POULTRY - Maximising Output and Profitability to 80 Weeks of Age

25 Jan 2017

The cost of a pullet is the second largest input next to feed and Harbro aims to realise the full value of both.

The 80 week production cycle of laying hens is widely discussed by the laying industry throughout the UK however, 18 months ago Harbro and one of their producers took on the challenge to implements new techniques,
controls and nutrition to see how many quality eggs could be sold from a flock at 80 weeks. Working closely with Harbro and implementing a new management protocol, the producer successfully kept birds to 80 weeks and produced 370 eggs. The current flock is now on course to hit 400 egg target by 80 weeks.

This directs the focus towards tailoring a program which through feed and advice can fulfil these aims. Ultimately leading to greater profitability from increased egg sales with longer sustained quality and lower cost per egg produced. Where possible the process starts in the rearing stages where skeletal development has a big influence on the success of the extending laying cycle. This is because the bones provide a store buffer for calcium during lay, from which calcium is continuously absorbed and reabsorbed as the shell is formed and calcium is digested. For this reason, to enhance calcium metabolism and growth, Harbro has developed a unique product for use in the rearing stage.

Shell Life Rear has been formulated for targeted use during the rearing stages for cost effectiveness and best physical effect. It is added as a premix to diets for the first four weeks to get chicks off to the best start and is then included two weeks before transfer to prepare pullets for the upcoming demands, aiding resilience through the stress of transfer and advance towards peak lay.

Greater production does not come without a greater level of attention, so in addition to the use of the aforementioned products hens require careful management to avoid stress, health deterioration and resulting depletions in body weight and reserves.

Consider the prospect of extended laying cycles for your flock and what it could mean for your business, talk to Harbro in advance to devise a plan on how best to achieve this.

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