Rearing period (9-15 weeks)

Body Weight

Weight gain as a percentage will slow in this period, but the chicks will continue to grow and develop. Most of the skeleton 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 peak. Overweight birds 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:

If birds are under the weight standard:

  • 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 training

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 distribution and do not reduce the two- day ration and refill the feeder as many time as needed.

Gizzard with (left) o without (right) feed intake training

Attn: this is only possible if the hens are kept at the right stocking density and there is enough feeder space.