Secrets to Successful Broiler Breeder Management

Broiler farmers should understand that the rearing stage is the foundation for the success of their production. Excellent broiler breeders start at age day one. This is the knowledge Dr. Klein-Hessling of the International Poultry Consulting Services wanted to impart to farmers and poultry enthusiasts at the seminar held at the SMX Convention Center in February last year.

Dr. Klein-Hessling stresses that the most important but often overlooked stage of broiler breeder production is the rearing stage. Often producers think that work only has to be done when male and female broilers are in the breeding stage.

7 Secrets to Successful Broiler Breeder Management

  1. Weigh your birds. Weighing as many birds as possible gives you a close-to-accurate idea of the mean flock weight.
  2. Ensure flock uniformity. Flock uniformity is affected by initial chick weight and quality, flock competition for resources, strain and aggressiveness.
  3. Stay away from high nutrient density diets. A simple way to remember how much feed should be provided for the birds is by monitoring the feeders.
  4. Regulate feed intake. To regulate feed intake, try giving the birds feed in small daily increments instead of a big weekly increase.
  5. Keep pullets at minimum threshold weight. Delaying photo stimulation of birds can increase uniformity of the birds compared to lighting underweight birds earlier.
  6. Manage post-peak feed withdrawal. The more a producer knows about his certain flock, the more information he has in making the decision on when to take away the feed.
  7. Be in charge of your flock Keeping records of data about the flock and farm can be a huge help to producers in managing the farm.

But nothing can be farther from what is advisable. Dr. Klein-Hessling advises producers to think of the rearing stage as the investment period for production. “What we do in rearing our broiler breeders is our foundation for success in production. Mistakes we commit here are very difficult to correct in the production stage,” Dr. Klein-Hessling adds.

Feeding formulation is one of the key factors in rearing first-rate broiler breeders. The feeding program employed during the rearing period consequently affects production. The three common mistakes in feeding are: inconsistent feeding, overfeeding, and underfeeding. These mistakes would then lead to production problems.

Feeding Management in Rearing Period

Overfeeding results in obesity of the flock, mating problems and poor eggshell quality.

Underfeeding during early rearing, on the other hand, causes a decrease of frame size of the bird, short shanks, lower uniformity and a decrease in male dominance. This then leads to a decrease in fertility, a decrease in egg production and an increase in mortality rate and culls.

Inconsistent or any irregularity in feeding, meanwhile, results in fluctuations in body reserves, fleshing and uniformity, which then leads to a decrease in production and inaccurate and erroneous management. Inconsistent feeding leads producers to constantly second-guess the required feeds of birds by their weight, adding and decreasing the feed provided according to the bird’s weight. This, Dr. Klein-Hessling says, leads to poor production management. “We are in charge of the chickens, not the other way around,” he adds.

author: Carmela Abaygar, Marid Digest, photo from

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