Broiler breeder performance is critical to meeting the growing demand for protein food sources worldwide. Genetic investments resulting in more efficient broilers are necessary to resolve demand pressure. However, the problem is two-fold as the traits required for efficient meat birds are often counterproductive to breeder birds. These include challenges related to:
- Egg Quality
- Progeny Quality
Feed is the natural delivery system for problems and solutions in poultry production, and has a significant impact on food safety, security, and sustainability throughout the entire production chain. As such, interventions concerning feed are prominent in broiler breeder production.
Interventions Targeting Broiler Breeder Performance
Broiler breeders have been selected to produce offspring that exhibit efficient growth and increased meat yields. Unfortunately, this means that today’s breeders also demonstrate optimal growth and high breast yields which poses a challenge to broiler breeder reproductive fitness. As a result, producers rely on various different strategies to control broiler breeder growth and optimize performance.
This requires adherence to strict management guidelines and implementation of innovative strategies and interventions for practices pertaining to:
- Operational Biosecurity
- Chick Management
- Feeding Programs
- Feed Quality Initiatives
- Ration Formulation
- Light Cycles
- Water Systems and Quality
- Egg Management
- House Ventilation
- Farm Hygiene
Broiler breeder growth and performance are significantly impacted by feed. Optimizing nutrients, managing intake and ensuring feed quality promote bird health and fertility while simultaneously controlling growth. Keeping variable microbial loads in feed in check is crucial to preserving feed quality and mitigating microbial challenges to the gut. Effective feed hygiene programs that incorporate feed sanitizers can greatly reduce microbial loads, preventing recontamination and promoting efficiency. Data shows that broiler breeders consuming feed with fewer microbial loads exhibit improved performance and productivity.
Could Feed Make the Most Impact on Broiler Breeder Performance?
Feed plays a central role in broiler breeder growth and development. From nutrition to feed schedules such as skip-a-day feeding, producers closely control broiler breeder intake to ultimately manage growth and fertility.
Throughout the poultry production chain feed can be observed via two facets:
Nutritionists develop rations to specific nutrient specifications in order to maximize broiler genetic potential and provide optimal support to broiler breeder management. Each ration serves a specific function and caters to bird nutritional requirements for each point of the life cycle.
Feed quality is largely affected by ingredient quality, storage conditions and handling. A significant body of literature evidences feed and feed ingredients as a fomite for pathogens and links pathogen prevalence to high microbial loads. High and variable microbial loads in poultry feed have demonstrated a correlation to reduced broiler breeder health and performance.
Feed can carry diseases that are harmful to poultry. It is essential to reduce the amount of pathogens in the feed during early broiler gut development and ration changes to avoid digestive stress, encourage the growth of beneficial commensal microorganisms and decrease the chances of intestinal diseases affecting broiler breeder performance.
By implementing strategies like feed sanitation, you can significantly reduce microbial loads in feed and minimize the chance of pathogen transmission to the gut, leading to better enteric health and improved broiler performance. Feed sanitizers are highly effective tools that the industry employs to reduce microbial loads and pathogen prevalence while also providing sustained protection against re-contamination. Ensuring that the feed remains clean until it’s consumed.
To ensure desired feed hygiene and intervention efficacy it is essential to monitor feed microbial loads throughout feed production, distribution and at the feeders. Feed sampling is crucial for monitoring feed quality and implementing effective feed pathogen control programs. Proper sampling helps producers optimize feed utilization, reduce feed costs, and support animal health, performance, and productivity. Feed sampling is also used to ensure solution efficacy and continuously monitor feed quality. Best practices in feed sampling are critical to providing a representative sample and ensuring repeatable and reproducible results.
Producers ready to learn more about how feed sanitation supports their broiler breeder management efforts should contact a clean feed expert today.