Advisor says flock’s welfare is dependent on proper brooding
OCEAN CITY, Md. — “Improving uniformity in a flock begins in the first hour. Birds can’t make up for poor brooding,” said Scott Black, technical advisor at Cobb-Ventress, speaking at the National Meeting on Poultry Health, Processing and Live Production at the Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel on Oct. 10.
Discussing management of weight curves, Black said, “Brooding is absolutely crucial. Brooding has a big influence.”
He noted that mistakes during brooding cannot be corrected later.
“Poor brooding fails to achieve uniform feed intake throughout the entire flock,” Black said. “The more uniform the birds, the more money the grower makes.
“Summer and winter are critical for bird uniformity and profitability.”
He offered tips for uniform development. “Early uniformity starts with how you put out feed early. Water is the forgotten nutrient,” he added, stressing that restricting water results in lower weights than if water is freely available.
Bird health is critical, he said, but acknowledged that “there are lots of things growers have no control over.”
He itemized the “culprits in poor uniformity” which growers can control: Poor management of feed lines, water lines, temperature, air quality and heat removal.
He noted heat removal is especially important for 8- and 9-pound birds.
Black reported, “More people are going to feeding on paper. You get better feed conversion and improved profitability.”
Noting the importance of a good early start, he said “One gram of weight gain at seven days is worth 6 grams at 37 days.”
He reported important economic factors in today’s marketplace include feed, fuel, breast meat prices and the cost to get a customer back once he or she is lost.
He reported propane inventories on the shore are now higher than the five-year average.
Black’s presentation was part of the live production session at the annual three-day meeting presented by Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc.
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