- How to ensure weight gain and development during the last week of the rearing period.
- How to train the intake capacity to be ready for the production peakAt the peak of the production most of the hens need to be producing one egg.
- How to prepare hens for the production period.
Body WeightOnce the hen achieves the mature body weight, they shouldn’t grow much more until end of production.
Weight gain as a percentage will slow in this period, but the chicks will continue to grow and develop. Most of the skeletonIn the pullets we look for tall birds, with long shanks and keels and muscular systems have already been formed by now and fat disposal will now begin to improve. A correct fat level in the body is necessary to achieve the production peakAt the peak of the production most of the hens need to be producing one egg. Overweight birdsBirds with a weight over 5% of the standard will face many issues in production. The feed intake is higher than in previous weeks. The birds may be given a more diluted feed. If birds are within the weight standard or slightly above:
- Train feed intake capacityA layer hen with feed intake can overcome any challenge for the production peakAt the peak of the production most of the hens need to be producing one egg challenge.
- Promote weight uniformity.
If birds are under the weight standardThe lost of body weight in rearing will reduce the number of eggs per hen housed in production and the egg size will be also smaller:
- Some compensatory weight can be gained by maintaining grower feed for several weeks. However, this is very limited and the production period should be delayed.
Feed intake trainingContinuous training is important to have a good biosecurity
During the last weeks of the rearing period, the nutritional requirement is not very high. However, it will change dramatically in the ﬁrst weeks of production. To help the hens deal with this challenge it is beneﬁcial to train them to increase their feed intake during the end of the rearing period. To do this, try:
- Low density feed. From 10 to 15 weeks, it can be useful to switch to a feed (2700 Kcal, 15 % CP, 4.5 % ﬁbre) that promotes feed intake. _Feed distribution program allow hens to empty the feeders completely during the day (see below diagram).
- Move feed for the next day. Once a week, you can withhold feed in the after- noon (20 – 30 % daily ration) and feed it the next morning instead. Check for uniform distributionAll the birds need water and feed at the same time. and do not reduce the two- day ration and reﬁll the feederAll the birds need to eat the next morning after reducing the diet the previous day as many time as needed.
Attn: this is only possible if the hens are kept at the right stocking densityThere are 3 parameters defining density, space, feeder space and water availability and there is enough feeder space2.5 cm / bird in linear feeding or 60 birds/pan.
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- Ensure body weightOnce the hen achieves the mature body weight, they shouldn’t grow much more until end of production. gain and correct development by maintaining feed consumption.
- Train hens to develop a good feed intake capacityA layer hen with feed intake can overcome any challenge by working with diluted feed and adapted feeding times.
- Remove non-productive birds from the ﬂock.