how are breeder birds selected

Editors Note: The following content is an excerpt from Poultry Industry Manual: The Foreign Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Plan (FAD PReP)/National Animal Health Emergency Management System (NAHEMS) Guidelines which is designed to provide a framework for dealing with an animal health emergency in the United States. Additional content from the manual will be provided as an article series.

Primary breeding companies are large international enterprises with geneticists, nutritionists, veterinarians, and computer specialists on their staffs. Today, there are only three major primary broiler breeding companies in the world – Cobb-Vantress, Aviagen, and Hubbard. Cobb-Vantress incorporated the Hybro breed in 2007 and focuses on selection for feed conversion because feed is the single largest cost associated with producing broiler chickens. Aviagen’s product portfolio includes Ross, Arbor Acres, and Lohmann Indian River (LIR) brands. Aviagen is the largest broiler breeding company in the world with 44% of global market share and operates in over 85 countries. Hubbard is owned by Groupe Grimaud, the second largest multi-species animal breeding company around the world. Hubbard has a presence in nearly 100 countries and offers a range of genetic products to meet specific needs for different market segments.

Primary breeding companies increase the genetic potential of broiler chickens by selecting for traits that improve production efficiency, such as rapid growth rate, feed efficiency, and breast meat yield and quality. Broiler breeding programs rely on quantitative genetics, computer science, and DNA chip technology to select breeding birds. DNA chip technology is a new genomic selection tool, which has been used to identify key genetic markers (single nucleotide polymorphisms) in pedigree selection programs. Genomic information is particularly helpful when selecting for sex-limited traits. Also, new measuring techniques, such as computer tomography to produce whole body reconstructions of broilers in three dimensions, have been included as one of the selection criteria. Primary breeding companies publish management guides for breeder and commercial broilers with standards of expected performance.

Genetic improvement of commercial broilers is achieved by using a production pyramid. A representative genetic pyramid illustrating production of broiler breeders is shown in the following figure. Primary breeders consist of pedigree, great grandparent, and grandparent generations that are owned by primary breeder companies. Eggs from pedigree flocks are hatched to produce great grandparent flocks, eggs from great grandparent flocks yield chicks for the grandparent generation. Grandparents consist of male and female lines, both of which are 2-way cross hybrids. Day-old chicks from male and female line grandparent stock are shipped to franchise hatcheries world-wide to create parent breeding flocks. Breeding the male and female parent lines together results in a 4-way cross broiler chicken. Primary breeder flocks are maintained under the highest level of biosecurity possible because of their value and critical importance in the production pyramid (Figure 2).

Live weights and feed utilization of commercial broilers have steadily improved over the last 50 years and over 90% of this improvement can be attributed to genetic changes. However, optimal nutrition, disease control, and environmental conditions must be provided for broiler chickens to reach their genetic potential.

Selection for rapid growth over many generations has reduced the ability of broiler breeders to produce high quality eggs in large numbers. A strong negative correlation between rapid growth and reproductive efficiency has resulted in broiler breeder hens with lower peak egg production and a shorter duration of lay than egg-type chickens. In addition, a positive correlation exists between high growth rates and multiple ovulations. Multiple ovulations result in eggs which are unsuitable for incubation because of double-yolks and thin or soft shells. Maintenance of fertility, hatchability, and egg production are important issues in the broiler breeder industry.

Parent breeding flocks are typically owned by commercial broiler companies. Eggs produced by parent flocks are transported to company-owned hatcheries. Chicks from these hatcheries are taken to commercial farms that are owned or contracted to the company. The chicks are raised as commercial broilers, slaughtered in company-owned processing plants, and marketed for human consumption. The relationship between primary breeders, parent breeders, and commercial broilers is illustrated in the Figure 3 below.

In a typical breeder house, 2/3 of the floor is covered by wooden or plastic slats located on each side of the house and the center 1/3 of the floor consists of a litter-covered scratch and breeding area in the center of the house. Slat and litter houses allow for a higher stocking density, which reduces the housing cost per bird. Rows of automated mechanical nests are located on the slats near the edge of the scratch areas on each side of the house. Slats extend beyond the front of the automated nests and waterlines and female feeding lines are placed over the slats. Fewer eggs are laid on slat and litter floors than on all-litter floors, especially in houses with mechanical nest systems. Floor eggs should not be set because they are heavily contaminated with bacteria on the surface of the shells. Bacteria can invade the eggs, multiply, and potentially cause eggs to explode, which contaminates the incubator. In addition, a relatively high percentage of floor eggs may be broken, destroyed, or eaten). Most droppings are collected in an area beneath the slats which helps maintain the quality of litter in the centrally located scratch area. Temperature in the breeding house should be maintained between 59°F and 77°F.

Biosecurity is higher on breeder farms than it generally is on commercial broiler farms, but it is not as stringently applied as on primary breeder farms. Breeder farms play a critical role in the operation of an integrated broiler company. Loss of a breeder flock to disease is not only costly, but loss of projected production from that flock makes losses much greater.

Environmentally controlled rearing (“pullet”) houses need to be lightproofed so light intensity is less than 0.5 lux (0.05 foot-candles) when lights are off. Fans and air inlets are covered with light traps to exclude natural daylight; all light is supplied by electric lighting.

Black-out pullet houses allow farm managers to control the age of sexual maturity by conditioning the brain to respond to subsequent stimulatory long day lengths. Chickens do not initiate testicular and ovarian development until they are exposed to increased day length and light intensity. Light-proof pullet housing makes it possible for farm managers to improve flock uniformity by delaying light stimulation until a high percentage of pullets in a flock are physically and reproductively mature. If the flock is provided sufficient feed at the time of photostimulation to support both maintenance and egg production, small hens not producing eggs consume more feed than required for maintenance and become overweight prior to onset of egg production. Ultimately, they will produce fewer eggs with reduced fertility and hatchability.

Flocks stimulated at older ages have a greater percentage of hens with mature reproductive systems than flocks stimulated at younger ages. Males and females are reared on the same lighting program to ensure both sexes reach sexual maturity at the same time. A lighting program for broiler breeder chickens reared and producing eggs in light-controlled houses is given below from the Cobb Broiler Breeder Management Guide (2008).

Males and females are transferred from the pullet farm to the production farm between 18 and 23 weeks of age. Broiler breeders reproduce by natural mating. Unlike commercial turkeys, artificial insemination is not used. Flock or mass mating allows a number of males to mix with an entire flock of hens. Management practices to enhance mating efficiency include feeding programs to control body weights in female and male broiler breeders and maintenance of an optimum male:female ratio in the breeding flock. The recommended gender ratio is about 10 males per 100 females. Initially, eight males per 100 pullets may be better to reduce male aggression toward hens and other males, reduce female mortality, and encourage hen receptivity.

Mating frequency of males is estimated to be 5-40 times per day. Mating frequency of hens is estimated to be about 0.5 to 1.0 per day. Broiler breeder male fertility is high (more than 95%) until approximately 40 weeks of age, but declines thereafter because of reduced rooster mating frequency, lower percentage of live sperm, and the need for hens to mate more often to maintain fertility. To compensate for a decline in mating activity, spiking or intra-spiking of the flock with new males is used to stimulate male interest in mating. Beyond 65-70 weeks of age, fertility drops to low levels and the flock is sold.

Spiking consists of adding new, younger roosters to a flock to compensate for a decline in fertility, which generally occurs after 40-45 weeks of age, but can occur anytime and may occur more than once. During the first 6 weeks after spiking, increased mating is primarily due to old males that are stimulated by the presence of the young males. After 6 weeks, increased mating is due to activity of the young males.

For the first week after spiking there is an increase in male aggression with elevated male mortality and sexual interference (males preventing other males from mating). The result is approximately 12 weeks of increased or sustained fertility. During the first week after spiking, fertility declines slightly due to male aggression and mating interference but significantly increases by 2 weeks post-spiking.

Bringing new males into the flock creates a biosecurity risk. Intra-spiking overcomes this problem by exchanging males of the same age between houses on the same farm or between pens in the same house. Intra-spiking males are stimulated by encountering new hens and begin to mate immediately. Aggression and sexual interference increase for the first two weeks after intra-spiking but there is no significant increase in mortality from either the original males or spiked males. Double intra-spiking is possible and may help maintain higher levels of hatchability for up to 15 weeks.

Controlling body weights of both males and females during rearing and egg production is a critical factor in determining their performance in the breeder house. Males and females are typically grown separately during the rearing period, as target body weights are different. Attaining target body weights as breeders age is achieved by regular adjustments of feed allowances based on weekly body weight measurements of chickens in the flock.

Deviations from target body weight curves require adjustments to feed allocations that can be maintained or increased, but never decreased from day 1 of age until peak egg production at around 30 weeks of age. On days 7 and 14 after placement, 10 birds can be weighed together in a bucket. Thereafter, birds should be individually weighed at the same time on the same day of every week before feeding. Onset of sexual maturity is influenced by body composition, so males and females must have both correct body weights and correct body composition at the onset of lay. At the onset of lay, the females’ body should have an adequate fat reserve as well as adequate muscle mass. Goals of a typical broiler breeder feeding program are shown in the table below.

Overfeeding broiler breeder hens leads to development of abnormal ovarian structure, reduced egg production, impaired fertility, increased hen mortality, and increased frequency of defective eggs. At the onset of lay, overweight pullets have a tendency to develop multiple large yellow ovarian follicles (“superovulation”), each of which produces progesterone. Superovulation results in excessive progesterone production, which triggers multiple concurrent ovulations.

Multiple ovulations result in regular eggs or large eggs containing double yolks, which have no shell, soft shells, or thin shells. These defective eggs have poor embryo viability and poor hatchability and are not suitable for incubation. Multiple ovulations also may result in laying more than one egg per day, abdominal laying, and laying eggs at abnormal times in the day (erratic ovipositioning). In addition, overweight hens are too large to breed effectively and tend to have sperm storage and sperm transport problems because of fat infiltration into sperm storage glands at the shell gland-vaginal junction of the oviduct.

Optimum ovarian function is one ovulation per day, which can be achieved by feed restriction. Feed restriction during rearing, breeding, or both reduces the weight of the ovary and number of large yellow follicles at sexual maturity, erratic ovulation, and defective eggs.

Additional benefits of restricted feeding include reduced mortality and lower feed costs. Reproductive performance of broiler breeder hens on restricted and ad libitum feeding programs is documented and compared in the table below (International Hatchery Practice, Volume 20, No. 1, page 7, 2009).

Achieving male body weight targets that closely adhere to growth curve recommendations by primary breeder companies is the single most important factor in attaining high flock fertility. Male growth and breast muscle development must be controlled, especially during the first 16 weeks of life when skeletal size is largely determined. Overfeeding broiler breeder males causes excess body weight and excessive development of breast musculature, both of which impair mating efficiency.

Fertilization requires semen transfer from males to females by copulation. Excessive pectoral muscle creates an imbalance so overweight roosters have difficulty making cloacal contact with hens and transferring semen. Furthermore, excessive body weight is associated with development of foot pad and leg problems, which negatively impact the mating process and occur in more than 30% of broiler breeder males.

Sertoli cells protect developing sperm cells and proliferate between 2 and 12 weeks of age, not thereafter. Numbers of mature sperm produced is limited by the number of Sertoli cells, so maximum potential for sperm production is established by 12 weeks of age. From 16 to 23 weeks of age, nutrition must be sufficient to support maintenance, growth of testes, and production of reproductive hormones. Appropriate levels of follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone are critical for testes development and establishing a “feedback loop” between the brain and the testes.

Body weight gains should be limited to small, consistent amounts to prevent excessive breast muscle development. Male body weight loss will immediately result in diminished sperm production and decreased mating activity, so weight loss must be avoided.

Males need to be transferred to the production house 3-5 days earlier than the females, so they can learn to eat from the male feeder. After males and females are mixed, separate feeding systems are available so body weight and uniformity of males and females can be independently controlled. It is important that males do not have access to the females’ feed and vice versa. As roosters have larger heads than hens, males can be kept out of female feeders by exclusion systems such as grills or roller bars. Grills placed over hen feed troughs create vertical and horizontal restrictions which exclude males with greater head width and full combs, but allow females unimpeded access to the feed.

With some strains of broiler breeders, the difference between the size of the heads or combs between males and females is insufficient to control feed access with grills. In these cases, a plastic bar, commonly called a “nose bone” is placed through the nares and nasal septum. Male feed lines need to be sufficiently elevated above the floor to prevent hens from reaching feed intended for roosters. In some housing arrangements a separate male water line runs down the scratch area, but, more commonly, the males use the female water lines above the slates.

Ideally, breeders should be fed daily, but skip-a-day feeding programs have been used when feeding space is limited and are most common. Broiler breeders consume their feed in a short period of time (less than 30 minutes). Consequently, feed should be distributed to all chickens along the entire length of the feed line in less than 3 minutes so all birds can eat at the same time. If delivery takes too long, aggressive birds consume most of the feed as it leaves the hopper.

If feed is not delivered along the length of the entire feed line in a short period of time, dominant birds have access to more feed and gain more weight each week than smaller, less dominant birds. Under these conditions, body weight uniformity declines even if initial body weight uniformity was good. Another problem that can occur with skip-a-day feeding is engorgement of food to the point that birds can compress the trachea and die of suffocation. When birds are seen in respiratory distress shortly after feeding, the crop needs to be checked to see if it is hard. If so, the bird can usually be saved by gently massaging the food laterally away from the trachea.

Hatcheries should be built in isolated locations away from feed mills, processing plants, or industrial buildings, which may produce contaminated dust or pollutants. Fences with a gate and a guard erected around the hatchery and decontamination equipment, showers, and change rooms for employees would provide maximum biosecurity, but currently are not common in the US. Separate rooms should be provided for the office, fumigation, egg grading, egg holding, setters (incubators), hatchers, chick grading and boxing, chickholding, supplies, and waste disposal. Central fogging systems, which provide a timed release of disinfectant mist from high pressure nozzles, should be located throughout the hatchery, including the setters and hatchers.

Strategically located high pressure hot water outlets enhance sanitation efforts, and walls and floor surfaces should constructed of durable, easy to clean materials. Floors slope toward drains, which are trapped to prevent blockages. Each room should have its own ventilation system and air pressure in each room should be adjusted so that the cleanest rooms have the highest positive pressure.

Hatchery work and egg flow patterns contribute to biosecurity, as do placement of ventilation inlets and exhausts. The hatchery should be divided into clean and dirty areas, which must be separated to avoid cross contamination. Hatching eggs should enter one end of the building and chicks should leave from the other end.

Ventilation systems should move air from clean areas to the dirty areas, in the same direction as hatching eggs move from setters to hatchers. Air pressure differences among the areas in the hatchery help minimize backflow of contaminates into clean areas. Ventilation systems need frequent inspection a nd periodic cleaning.

Chick Holding and Transport to Farms

The chicks are assembled in the chick holding room before being placed into chick boxes and transported to the farm. Typically, flocks contain one hundred thousand or more chicks. The temperature in the chick holding room at the hatchery should be between 276 and 80 degrees Celsius, with a relative humidity of 2070 percent. These circumstances are nearly identical to the chicks’ comfortable thermoneutral zone. In order to regulate the chicks’ environment, they are transported to the farm in specialized vehicles fitted with ventilation, heating, and cooling systems. The drivers that deliver chicks are well-trained and maintain a log book in which they note when the truck leaves the hatcher, when it stops, and when it arrives at the farm. The vehicle cab has a display showing the transport conditions.

I’ve always believed that I know a fair amount about the characteristics that define the American Gamefowl breed, how to choose the right brood fowl, and what qualities to look for. But I didn’t realize how little I really knew until I met my mentor, Tony Saville.

Thus, my initial reaction upon seeing a farm with birds that share the same color and body conformation and that all appear uniform and consistent is, “This guy is a knowledgeable and experienced breeder.” He is knowledgeable about the breed, adept at selecting, and unafraid to cull aggressively. Above all, this breeder takes great pride in his lineage.

The “APA’s Standard of Perfection” applies to domestic breeds. Where can you find out more information about this Standard? ” American Games have 2 very good sources for information. Tony Saville’s book, which is available on Amazon, is a good Standard for American Games. com. The Standard for American Games is also available on my website, The Breeders Academy. We offer this feature to each and every Academy Member.

Needless to say, Tony taught me a lot, and I owe a lot of my success to that. I now appreciate the breed more and understand it better, along with what makes the breed unique and its history. As a result, I’ve improved as a teacher and breeder.

I spent a lot of time learning from Tony over the years. I would visit Tony and his wife Francis often. After hanging out in the chicken yard, we would sip wine on his porch while chatting about chickens. Tony was a wealth of knowledge, and every time I saw him, I gained new insight. He was so important to my family that my children even referred to him as “Uncle Tony.” ”.

Egg Collection, Selection, Storage, and Pre-Warming

The embryo’s development starts in the oviduct’s infundibulum during fertilization and continues as the egg develops until ovipositioning. The rate of embryo development slows and the embryo enters diapause as the egg cools. To maintain the integrity and viability of the early embryo before incubation and further development, the egg must be handled carefully.

In normal weather, eggs should be collected at least three times daily; in high temperatures, they should be collected five times daily. Regular collection minimizes the risk of bacteria from feces or nest materials contaminating the eggs. It also keeps the eggs from overheating in the summer and freezing in the winter. The hatchery should receive clean nest eggs before submitting them for incubation. It is best to gather and package dirty nest eggs, cracked eggs, and floor eggs separately as they reduce the likelihood of hatching. These eggs are not suitable for incubation. Most contamination in hatcheries originates on the breeder farm.

how are breeder birds selected

Egg selection is the process of removing eggs that have a lower chance of hatching and producing high-quality chicks. Because abnormally large or small eggs do not hatch as well as medium-sized eggs, egg size is a selection criterion. Overweight and underweight eggs can be removed by automated equipment. Eggs that are elongated or round, or have thin or wrinkled shells, are not suitable for hatching and should not be sent to a hatchery. Eggs that are unclean may contain dried blood, yolk, or excrement; these should be removed and thrown away.

To be stored until they are picked up and brought to the hatchery, eggs are placed in an air-conditioned egg room. For the shortest amount of time feasible, they ought to be kept in storage on the farm. They are stored in an egg holding room in the hatchery until they are incubated after being removed from the egg room on the breeder farm. Fresh and stored eggs should be set at different times because each day of storage adds one hour to the incubation period.

Diffusion of water vapor and carbon dioxide from the egg through the shell’s pores results in a reduction in hatchability while being stored. After 6 days of storage, hatchability declines by approximately 0. 5 to 1. 5% per day. Eggs should be cooled to below 75. 2°F and held at 75-80% humidity in the storage room. Cooling eggs below physiological zero for broiler breeder eggs (75. 2°F) minimizes embryo development during storage. The recommended storage temperature for eggs decreases with the length of time they are stored.

It’s best to prewarm eggs before setting to protect the embryo from temperature shock and to stop moisture from condensing on the egg’s shell’s exterior (egg sweating). When moving eggs from a cold storage area on the farm to a warm hatchery or from a cold storage area inside the hatchery to the incubator’s setter room, they may perspire. It takes 6 to 18 hours to pre-warm eggs, and during that time, there should be adequate air circulation. A room specifically designated for pre-warming ought to maintain a temperature of approximately 273°C to 105°F with a relative humidity of 45%.

how are breeder birds selected

Fertile eggs must be brought to hatching through natural or artificial means during incubation. Artificial incubation eliminates the need for breeding hens to incubate eggs, allowing the hens to carry on producing eggs. The development of an embryo is influenced by five well-known environmental factors: temperature, humidity, ventilation, egg turning, and egg orientation. The image on the right displays an incubator from a commercial broiler hatchery.

The recommended temperature for setters is 99. 5 – 100°F in multi-staged machines. Later in incubation, embryos are relatively resistant to cooling. On the other hand, overheating may result in fatalities or deformities. Viscera outside of the body cavity, exposed brains, absent eyes, abnormalities of the beak or face are examples of malformations. All setters.

possess both hot and cold areas, and it’s important to take precautions to prevent heat stress in hot areas for embryos. Temperature can be lowered during single-stage incubation to offset the heat generated by developing embryos.

According to the manufacturer’s recommendations, the relative humidity in sets should range from 50% to 60%. Water vapor is lost through the pores of the shell. Egg weight decreases because of water loss during incubation. Most animals attempt to conserve water, but in order for bird eggs to hatch, they must lose water during the embryonic stage of development. Relative water content of incubating eggs must be maintained by the diffusion of metabolic water produced by the embryos through the shell. After 2018 days of incubation, a fresh egg should lose about 2012% of its weight due to the egg’s water content being lost. By the time the embryo is 19 days incubated, the air cell has grown to fill 1/3 of the egg due to the loss of moisture during embryonic development.

In order to maintain embryonic respiration, ventilation in the setter must remove excess carbon dioxide and supply an adequate amount of oxygen. Around 10,000 pores on an average chicken egg allow carbon dioxide and oxygen to diffuse through the shell. Fresh air entering the setter contains 21. 6% oxygen. It might be necessary to humidify the air in the room with the setter if the outside air is dry and doesn’t provide much moisture; on the other hand, it might be necessary to dehumidify the air before it goes into the incubator if the surrounding humidity is high. The setter’s exhaust air eliminates carbon dioxide, water vapor, and extra heat. Carbon dioxide levels in the machine should not exceed 0. 4.4%, since embryos may perish if carbon dioxide levels rise too high.

Regularly rotating the eggs in the setter promotes the growth of extra-embryonic membranes and helps regulate the temperature. Turning devices in contemporary hatcheries rotate eggs 90 degrees and have timing mechanisms installed so that eggs are turned once every hour. The placement of eggs in the setter with the large end up is crucial.

how are breeder birds selected

To keep the down, egg debris, and microorganisms produced during hatching separate from the rest of the hatchery, hatchers are housed in a separate room. Eggs are placed on their sides in chick-holding trays in hatchers to enable the free movement of the developing chicks out of the shell.

Eggs are taken out of the setter, vaccinated, and moved to the hatcher after eighteen days of incubation. Infertile eggs and dead embryos can be identified and removed from eggs using candleing, preventing live chicks from coming into contact with these possible sources of harmful bacteria after hatching. Vaccines against infectious bursal disease, fowl pox, and Marek’s disease are frequently administered to broiler chickens using in ovo injection systems.

When the Marek’s disease vaccine is administered subcutaneously, it causes the chicks much less stress and requires a lot less work and time. 60,000 eggs can be vaccinated per hour by in ovo vaccination machines, which reliably administer the right dose to the right place in the embryo. The time between hatching and having access to food and water in the brooder house is shortened when vaccinated chicks are promptly moved out of the hatchery.

Most broiler hatcheries hatch twice a week from each hatcher. The hatcher is cleaned and disinfected between hatches. Hatchers must be properly hydrated and heated before obtaining hatching eggs. For chicks to be able to escape from the eggs, there needs to be enough moisture to keep the shell membranes flexible and soft. Additional moisture may be supplied by a spray system. In order to prevent overheating, the temperature is slightly lower than that of the setter (98%C2%B0F), and the relative humidity is higher than that of the setter.

The window of time during which chicks emerge from eggs is known as the hatch window. Pipping is the process by which chicks peck the inside of the eggshell until the shell is sufficiently broken to allow the chicks to escape. A few days prior to hatching, internal pipping happens when the embryo’s beak breaks through the air cell. Eggs in a hatch may differ in storage time and conditions, environmental conditions within the same setter or hatcher, age of breeder flocks supplying the eggs, shell characteristics, and original egg size, so variation in hatching time is to be expected from chicks in a single setting.

Overly early hatching eggs are prone to dehydration, which can lead to a higher rate of early chick mortality and subpar broiler performance. Too-late hatching eggs have lower hatchability, lower quality chicks, more pipped but unhatched eggs, and more unhatched eggs containing live embryos.

Pulling the hatch refers to removing chicks from the hatcher. The majority of chicks should be removed when they are dry and fluffy, but about 5% of them should still have damp spots on the backs of their necks. When chicks are taken out of the hatcher too soon, they become “green chicks,” which are still wet, prone to chilling, or have open navels that allow bacteria to enter. Chicks that stay in the hatcher for an extended period of time suffer from excessive dehydration, increased mortality after placement, and decreased growth and flock uniformity.

how are breeder birds selected

Following their separation from hatching tray debris, chicks are categorized as either culls or first quality. Chicks with twisted legs, crooked toes, partially closed navels, or excessively wet down are culled due to anatomical deformities.

Feather sexing or vent sexing can be used to identify the gender of day-old chicks. The length of the wing’s primary and covert feathers is used to determine the sex of the feathers. The coverts make up the upper row of feathers, while the primary feathers make up the lower row. Females with fast feathering genes always have shorter coverts than primaries. Covert feathers are always as long as primary feathers because males have slow feathering genes. Examining the cloacal wall to find primitive male copulatory organs is known as vent sexing.

In the hatchery, spray vaccination is a frequently employed method for administering vaccines to a large number of chicks in order to prevent infectious bronchitis and Newcastle disease. When aerosolized vaccine viruses come into contact with the lungs, trachea, and nasal passages’ mucous membranes, they promote both systemic and local immunity. Furthermore, coccidiosis vaccinations can be given as a spray that falls onto chicks’ bodies and is later consumed.

Before being relocated to the chick holding area, the chicks are sorted, counted, and put into chick boxes.


What is the selection of breeding chickens?

Breeders today select for (or at least monitor) the age at sexual maturity, the rate of lay, livability, egg weight, body weight, feed conversion, shell color, shell strength, albumen height, egg inclusions (blood and meat spots), and temperament.

How did we selectively breed chickens?

In the poultry industry, commercial breeders and farmers aim to produce offspring who can yield higher quantities of meat or eggs. They choose larger birds to pair together for reproduction, with the intention that their genes are likely to produce young who will yield more meat or eggs.

What are the cons of selective breeding chickens?

As consequence of unnaturally rapid growth and heavy body weight, these birds often experience skeletal and metabolic disorders that severely compromise their welfare, including lesions in the hip joint and painful leg disorders, such as angular bone deformity, tibial dyschondroplasia, and tendon rupture or slippage.

What is the difference between a breeder farm and a broiler farm?

Broiler farms raise chickens that supply grocery stores, restaurants, and any place that you would get chicken from to consume. Breeder farms, however, produce the eggs that are sent to the broiler farms after they hatch.