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Management of breeder flocks


1 Start at the beginning of chick growth

Before the chicks are transported to the farm, the coop should be fully prepared. Special attention should be paid to the key stage that provides the greatest possibility for the chicks to obtain maximum production performance-the brooding period. The first 14 days of the chick's life will lay the foundation for its subsequent good production performance. The environment and local climatic conditions should be considered when determining the stocking density. Keep in mind that the weight of male chicks is significantly heavier than female chicks, so additional floor space should be given to ensure that they can reach their target weight. Strict disinfection procedures should be implemented, and regular monitoring and inspection should be performed.
The preheating of the house before the chicks enter the house is essential to ensure that there is enough time for the house to reach a suitable indoor temperature. The ideal indoor temperature is 30 ℃ ~ 31 ℃, the lowest floor temperature is 28 ℃. Check the mental state of the chicks 2 hours after entering the house to ensure that the chicks are in a suitable environment. After arriving in the chicken coop, the chicks should be able to easily obtain fresh feed and drinking water. The number of drinking fountains can be increased in the first 7 days to ensure that each chick can drink water.
2 16 to 24 weeks of management
16 to 24 weeks of management is a critical period to ensure that the flocks have high uniformity, adequate body weight, and suitable body conditions for transfer to the laying house. Hens should gain appropriate weight at 16-20 weeks of age to maximize egg production during the peak period and to maintain the egg production level after the peak. If the layer breeding farm can provide the layer chicken farm with the highest quality flock, then the latter will be able to achieve its production goals.
When the broiler breeder grows to a suitable age, it will enter the egg-laying stage as the light time increases. The laying response of hens to light stimulation is based on their body condition, body weight and age. Accurate weighing, good observation and feeding management are very important to determine when the hen will respond to increased light time. If there are still a large number of small-weight chickens in the flock, the light stimulation needs to be postponed.
3 Rooster management
It is important to remember that the cock accounts for 50% of the highest fertilization rate of the breeding eggs. First of all, it is necessary to ensure that the farm management personnel are well trained so that they have good knowledge of how to breed high-quality males and how to achieve this goal. The goal is to produce and maintain high-quality males to ensure that the entire flock has the highest level of fertility. It is also very important to keep the feed and body weight continuously increasing and within a controllable range.
A high-quality rooster has a tall body, active and alert. The comb is bright in color and there is no too much or too little "muscle". Poor males should be eliminated while maintaining a proper male-female ratio. Poor roosters have poor color combs, almost no muscles, and a "hunchback" appearance. Roosters that are obviously overfed and have too much muscle should also be eliminated.
4 Feeding management after peak egg production
Remember, hens carry half of the genes that affect the performance of their offspring. This means that if a hen is overweight, it may affect its laying rate and reproduction rate in the late laying period. Therefore, the feeding after the peak of egg production requires special care.
The key to controlling the weight of hens is to have a good understanding of the characteristics of each batch of flocks so that you can know when to reduce feed. Regular production operations and weighing are essential to determine the small changes in the hen's body composition, body condition, and body reserves, as well as to observe the peak laying, egg weight and feed "cleaning" times.
5 Handling of eggs
Proper egg collection and grading, egg hygiene and proper storage are the basis for maximizing hatchability of hatching eggs and chick quality. High hatchability and high quality chicks can only be achieved when the eggs are placed in the best conditions during laying and hatching. Remember that fertilized eggs contain a lot of living cells. Once it is produced, its incubation ability is maintained at best, and will not increase. If not handled properly, the ability to hatch will quickly decline.
The nest should be free of feces, litter and broken eggs. Collect eggs at least 4 times a day. It should be noted that the temperature of the eggs in the nest, especially in hot weather, may be similar to the temperature of the breeding eggs in the incubator, so regular egg collection is very important. Ground eggs should be collected regularly, and the collection frequency should be higher than the breeding eggs in the nest. This is especially important because the chickens have to start laying eggs. Store ground eggs and breeding eggs separately. When grading eggs, pay attention to the quality of the eggs. It is necessary to know what high-quality breeding eggs are, and eliminate dirty eggs, cracked eggs, deformed eggs and other eggs. Before placing the eggs in the storage room, the temperature of the eggs should be gradually reduced to the temperature in the breeding egg storage room of the chicken farm (refers to the exact temperature proposed by the breeder company). Keep the temperature of the egg storage room and the relative humidity of 75% at all times. The key is to keep in mind that whether in the chicken farm, during transportation or in the hatchery, temperature fluctuations will result in higher embryonic mortality and poor chick quality during hatching.
6 Don’t ignore “basic information”
Adequate clean drinking water and high-quality feed, as well as good ventilation, weight and litter management are obviously important factors for obtaining high-quality eggs. According to our experience, in chicken farms with poor performance, some basic needs of breeders are usually ignored.
The last point is the importance of competent, active and proactive breeders in breeder management. If the breeder does not have the skills to maximize the performance of the flock, management techniques are meaningless. Highly qualified breeders can determine the success or failure of the flock. For the chicken industry, this is an important aspect of attracting suitable talent. This will make young people, their teachers and career consultants aware of the professional potential of the modern chicken industry. No other field on the farm has such a career ladder, and talented and ambitious young people can make a difference.
7 Maintain good flock health
The first step in developing and implementing a successful biosafety plan is to understand the risks caused by biosafety failures. Biosecurity is a kind of risk management, and a balance has been maintained between cost and biosecurity intervention. Therefore, risk assessment will facilitate the development of targeted programs that can control or eliminate the introduction of diseases into chickens. In order to understand this risk, it is important to know what kind of disease pressure the chickens are under. The pressure of this disease may come from commercial poultry farms, courtyard-raised chickens, or local tourist attractions, such as open water sources that can attract large numbers of wild birds.
8 Strictly control visitors
The importance of flock health should be understood, and biosecurity measures should be strictly implemented. All doors leading to the chicken farm should be locked, and it is clear that all visitors should contact the chicken farm administrator before entering the chicken farm. Make sure that all visitors really need to visit the chicken farm and sign the guestbook, stating the reason for the visit and whether they have been in contact with poultry in the past 72 hours.
9 Live shower
The best way to ensure the biological safety of chicken farms is to provide shower conditions for all visitors and employees, and to change clothes and shoes. Most chicken farms are adopting these measures. At Cobb Europe, we insist on letting all employees and visitors take a shower for 5 minutes to ensure that no pathogenic microorganisms are brought into the chicken farm.
10 Vehicles and equipment
Only necessary vehicles and equipment are allowed to enter the chicken farm. If vehicles must enter the chicken farm, they should be thoroughly disinfected, paying special attention to the exterior of the vehicle, wheels, and wheel arches. The tools and equipment brought into the chicken farm should also be minimized, especially the tools or equipment used in other chicken farms. The equipment brought into the chicken farm should be disinfected.
11 Foot bath and boot change
The commonly overlooked aspects of foot baths are that the disinfectant has been contaminated by leaves and soil, and the disinfectant has expired. Under ideal circumstances, each chicken house should be equipped with a covered footbath, and the dilution rate should be accurately measured, and the disinfectant should be replaced every 1 d to 2 d.
In addition, entering the chicken house after changing boots is another effective way to reduce the disease attack of the chickens on the farm. Boots of different colors inside and outside the house will be easier to identify. Secondly, specific areas should be delineated, such as using physical barriers or drawing lines on the ground. This will delineate the use of different boots inside and outside the house and control any risk of cross-contamination.
12 Prevent pests and wild poultry
Check the feeding point of the rats every week and ensure that the chicken house is insect-proof. Please pay special attention to the worn door seals, vents and drains. Mowing often. Prevent overflow of feed. It is better to install a cyclone vacuum cleaner on the feed discharge pipe than to install a filter bag. Prune all overhanging trees or branches to deter wild birds.
13 Biosafety awareness of employees
If everyone observes the biosecurity of the chicken farm, then it is the most effective method. Creating a biosafety culture is the key to obtaining employee support, such as ensuring that foot baths and hand sanitizers are used before entering the chicken house. Continuous training of employees around critical control points and explaining their importance is an important part of any biosafety plan

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