Providing high-quality feed as part of a strong broiler breeder management program ensures good pullet uniformity and allows broiler breeders to express their full genetic potential, reach egg production goals and produce healthy, viable offspring, ultimately leading to a more profitable operation.
During the rearing of the broiler breeder hen, it is important to remember that she is truly a broiler. She is genetically programmed to eat, grow, and deposit muscle, traits that happen to be inversely related to fertile egg production. To manage the weight of a broiler breeder hen, producers use feed restriction programs during pullet rearing and limit feed intake once in the breeder facility. While these practices manage the weight of the hen, aiding in reproduction, feed restriction causes stress and potentially makes her more susceptible to disease.
Providing high-quality feed to broiler breeder birds helps improve their immune system, which can help prevent diseases and reduce mortality rates. The microbial quality of feed can potentially impact their overall health, reproductive performance, and mortality. Broiler breeder mortality is a multifactorial issue that negatively affects broiler breeder operations globally. Increases in pullet and hen mortality have been linked to metabolic disorders, management practices and disease status. As broiler breeder mortality continues to rise, so does the need for solutions to the problem.
Does decreasing feed microbial loads Have an impact on Broiler Breeder Health Performance?
A study led by Dr. Jeanna Wilson at the University of Georgia found feed sanitation had a positive effect on broiler breeder mortality. In the study, hens and roosters were fed Termin-8 treated feed or a control diet from 25 -60 weeks of age. The impact of the feed treatment was assessed through hen performance, the microbial load of feed and eggshells, chick quality and livability.
Data from this study confirmed that Termin-8 effectively reduces total aerobic bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, Clostridia, and yeast and molds in feed. Results from this study showed that hens fed a Termin-8 treated diet had a 4.5% reduction in mortality compared to those fed an untreated control diet.
Chick quality and livability is largely impacted by hen age and hatchery conditions. Throughout the study, fertile eggs were sampled and assessed for microbial contamination. In the study, Dr. Wilson and her team found that fertile eggs from hens consuming Termin-8 treated feed had reduced shell contamination. From this data, we hypothesize that this would result in less bacteria entering the hatch cabinet, reducing chick infections stemming from the hatchery. Furthermore, late-lay eggs from hens fed the treated, sanitized diet showed a 4% increase in “Grade A” chicks compared to the control diet. Post-hatch, offspring of hens from both treatments were reared until day 7. The offspring of the hens fed Termin-8 treated feed had reduced 7-day mortality. This was especially true for offspring of week 60 lay, where 7-day chick mortality was reduced by 3% compared to the control diet.
Innovative Feed Solutions for Modern Broiler Breeder Management
With thousands of feed additives on the market for commercial poultry, nutritionists and veterinarians struggle to find ones that are always effective, affordable, and show positive impacts on production. Reductions in broiler breeder mortality, eggshell contamination, and 7-day mortality in broilers are all significant improvements to current problems that we as an industry need solutions for. Through this data and previous experiments, it is easy to see that treating breeder feed with Termin-8 helps to reduce the impact of multiple problems poultry producers face daily.
Termin-8's active ingredients have long-lasting properties when used in feed, providing consistent protection from recontamination for up to 21 days. Effective feed sanitation gives producers control over bacterial and viral contamination in animal feed and reduces the microbial load in live production by protecting feed until the point of consumption.
Contact your clean feed expert today to learn how feed sanitation can support your broiler breeder management program.