Basic Husbandry for Commercial Broiler Breeders


Factsheet - ISSN 1198-712X   -   Copyright Queen's Printer for Ontario
Agdex#: 452
Publication Date: October 2013
Order#: 13-071
Last Reviewed: October 2013
History:

Original Factsheet

Written by: Al Dam - Poultry Specialist/OMAF and MRA Guelph;Kathleen Taylor - Poultry Research Technician/OMAF and MRA Guelph

The tables in this Factsheet provide basic husbandry information for commercial broiler breeders. Proper care and management of birds and their environment result in fewer mortalities and improved production. Additional information on poultry production can be found at ontario.ca/livestock.

Table 1. Fan Dimensions

Fan

Diameter

(in.)

Range of Airflow (CFM)

all airflows measured at

0.10 in. static pressure

 

Average Airflow (CFM)

all airflows measured

0.10 in. static pressure

12
1,400-1,800
1,600
14
1,900-2,200
2,050
16
2,500-3,000
2,750
18
3,000-4,000
3,500
20-22
3,000-5,000
4,000
24-26
5,000-7,000
6,000
36
8,000-12,000
10,000
48
18,000-22,000
20,000
50
19,000-27,000
23,500

CFM =cubic feet per minute

Source: Agricultural fan performance test results from Bio-Environmental Structural Systems (BESS) labs at the University of Illinois 

Table 2. Recommended feeder space for broiler breeders

Age Males (cm/bird Females (cm/bird)

0-5 weeks

Track Feeder: 5 cm

Pan Feeder: 5 cm

Track Feeder: 5 cm

Pan Feeder: 4 cm

6-10 weeks

Track Feeder: 10 cm

Pan Feeder: 9 cm

Track Feeder: 10 cm

Pan Feeder: 8 cm

11-20 weeks

Track Feeder: 15 cm

Pan Feeder: 11 cm

Track Feeder: 15 cm

Pan Feeder: 10 cm

21 weeks to depletion*

Track Feeder: 20 cm

Pan Feeder: 13 cm

Track Feeder: 15 cm

Pan Feeder: 10 cm

* The Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Poultry, 2003, recommends that, during feed restriction, feeder space should allow all birds to feed at the same time. Feed interruption should not exceed 48 hr.

Adapted from Ross Parent Stock Manual, 2013.

 

Table 3. Recommended minimum ventilaton rate per broiler breeder

Age CFM/bird

1-8 weeks

0.10

9-15 weeks

0.25

16-35 weeks

0.35

36 weeks to depletion

0.45

CFM = cubic feet per minute
 Adapted from Ross Parent Stock Handbook,2013.
en.aviagen.com/assets/Tech_Center/Ross_PS/Ross_PS_Handbook_2013_i-r1.pdf

Values in this Factsheet are in imperial measurements, reflecting common usage in the ventilation industry.

Table 4.Husbandry Guidelines for Commercial Broiler Breeders

Criteria

Rearing (0–20 weeks)

In Lay (20 weeks–depletion)

Troubleshooting Checklist

Air Temperature (at bird's height)

Day-old: 30°C

Two days to 27 days old: Decrease by 1°C every 3 days until 20°C.

Balance relative humidity vs. dry bulb temperature when assessing air temperature.

20°C-22°C

Balance relative humidity vs. dry bulb temperature when assessing air temperature.

Too high: panting, wing spreading/flapping, pasty cloacas

Too low: feather ruffling, huddling, rigid posture, piling near heat source

Relative Humidity

60%-70%

50%-70%

Too low: dehydrated, dusty

Too high: damp litter, high ammonia

Ventilation

See Table 2 and Table 3.

 

Ammonia

Maximum of 25 ppm (parts per million)

>10 ppm: damage to lung surface

>20 ppm: increased respiratory issues, human eyes affected

>50 ppm: reduced growth rate

Too high: higher incidence of respiratory problems and burns (eyes, feet, breast)

Lighting

Intensity

0-3 days: 80-100 lux

4-9 days: 30-60 lux

10 days-21 wk:1--20 lux

Maximum dark hour intensity: 0.4 lux

Duration of photoperiod

0-3 days: 23 hr

4-10 days: gradually decrease to 8 hr

11 days-21 wk: 8 hr

Light entering through inlets, fans and doors can disrupt dark period.

Intensity

30-60 lux

Maximum dark hour intensity: 0.4 lux

Duration of photoperiod

Do not exceed 13-14 hr.

Light entering through inlets, fans, and doors can disrupt dark period.

Intensity too high: cannibalism, flighty, nervous behaviour

Photoperiod too long: delayed/uneven sexual development, reduced egg numbers, increased egg weight

Photoperiod too short: increased number of floor eggs

Water Source

Bell drinkers

1.5 cm/bird

Nipple drinkers

8-12 birds/nipple

Cups

20-30 birds/cup

Bell drinkers

2.5 cm/bird

Nipple drinkers

6-10 birds/nipple

Cups

15-20 birds/cup

Not enough drinker space: poor intakes, poor growth rate, poor egg production

Feeder Space

See Table 1.

Not enough feeder space: poor intakes, poor growth rate, poor egg production, increased injury due to competition at feeders

Density

(floor space)

Males

3-4 birds/m2

Females

4-7 birds/m2

3.5-5.5 birds/m2

1 nest/5 birds

Too few nests: high number of floor eggs

Too dense: feather picking, cannibalism, drop in egg production, higher mortality, more injuries

Adapted from Ross Parent Stock Manual, 2013, and Codes of Practice, 2003.


For more information:
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E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca