Maximising Profits: 10 Key Factors for Producing Saleable Chicks in Egg Production

16th May 2024
Proper management of layer breeders mean high quality chicks.

Maximising Profits: 10 Key Factors for Producing Saleable Chicks in Egg Production

Egg production is a nuanced industry where success hinges on the quality and viability of chicks. Worldwide, egg consumption is on the rise mainly due to its nutritional benefits. In fact, Asia is the global leader in egg production with a 61.1% of the world’s total egg production. Hence, much emphasis is needed on the management of breeder flock and the handling of fertile eggs.  For layer breeder farmers aiming to maximise profits, it's essential to pay close attention to various factors throughout production cycle. Let's take a look into the ten key factors that can contribute to producing more saleable chicks for egg production.

1. Breeding Stock Selection: Laying the Foundation
Selecting the right breeds is crucial. Opt for those renowned for fertile egg production as a healthy and genetically robust breeding stock is the cornerstone of success in this regard. Consider traits such as adaptability, disease resistance, and, of course, high egg-laying potential.

2. Genetic Diversity: Preserving Vitality
Maintain genetic diversity within your breeding stock. Genetic variety enhances adaptability and resilience, ensuring your flock is better equipped to withstand environmental challenges and diseases. Maintaining genetic heterogeneity is an important method to improve overall flock resilience. 

3. Optimal Nutrition: Fuelling Reproductive Health
Ensure that your breeding hens receive a nutritionally rich diet. Essential vitamins and minerals in a well-balanced diet are crucial for reproductive health. A well-fed hen is more likely to produce viable eggs with higher hatchability rates.

4. Health and Disease Management: A Proactive Approach
Layer chicks are especially susceptible to diseases.

Implement a proactive health management program. Regular monitoring for diseases and parasites is key to preventing their transmission to chicks. A robust disease prevention programme with strict biosecurity measures leads to a healthy breeding stock and commercially viable chicks.

5. Lighting Programs: Illuminating Reproductive Behaviour
Controlled lighting is key to promote optimal reproductive behaviour in layer breeders.

Controlled lighting programs stimulate optimal reproductive behaviour in the breeder stock. Gradual increases in daylight exposure promote consistent egg-laying. This strategic approach contributes to more fertile eggs being produced.

6. Incubation Conditions: Precision in Creation
Maintain precise temperature and humidity levels during incubation. Calibrating and monitoring incubators regularly ensure accuracy, leading to a higher hatch rate and healthier chicks. The type of incubators used, as well as age of the breeding stock and size of the eggs also determines the incubation parameters. 

7. Hatchery Hygiene: The Foundation of Quality
Adhere to strict hygiene protocols in the hatchery, along with proper egg storage and temperature settings. Regular cleaning and disinfection of equipment and facilities prevent contamination, to help ensure the production of healthy, saleable chicks.

8. Proper Egg Handling: Gentle Care for Better Outcomes
Proper egg handling results in healthy and viable chicks.

Implement careful and gentle handling of eggs to minimise damage. It is key to understand the eggshell structure, minimise bacterial contamination and manage temperature at all times. Prompt collection and storage of eggs under optimal conditions are essential for the production of healthy and viable chicks.

9. Vaccination Programs: Shielding Future Layers
Develop and follow a comprehensive vaccination schedule as chicks especially are prone to infection easily. In fact, both breeding stock and chicks should receive necessary vaccinations to enhance disease resistance, ensuring the health and viability of the flock.

10. Post-Hatch Care: Nurturing the Future Flock
Provide optimal care and nutrition to chicks post-hatch as this can regulate hormone secretion and material metabolism to promote the digestion and absorption of feed. Maintaining proper brooding conditions, including temperature, and ensuring access to clean water are also equally important to set the stage for healthy growth.

A Comprehensive Approach for Success

By adopting a comprehensive approach that encompasses genetics, health management, nutrition, and meticulous handling, layer breeder producers can significantly enhance the quality and viability of chicks. These ten factors for nurturing high quality chicks are the basis for success in the egg production industry, ultimately contributing to higher profits in egg production. Meticulous attention to detail at this initial stage ensures a profitable performance when the chicks mature and provide consistent laying performance. 

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