WATT PoultryUSA - November 2017 - 16
16 ❙ WATTPoultryUSA
Management practices can be put in place to determine the
cause of broiler feather loss and avoid it. | Courtesy Cobb-Vantress Inc.
Nutrition, feeding issues impact
broiler breeder feathering
Industry professional discusses how uniformity of feed in broiler
breeder females helps pullets in feathering and fertility
Maintaining the feather covering of broiler breeder
females can be a challenging management task in the
broiler breeder operation, but is essential to achieving
mating in the flocks and the fertility of the hatching
An inadequate amount of feather coverage can
cause a decline in fertility, a loss of body weight and
poor feed conversion. Although in some instances
it can be difficult to determine the cause of broiler
feather loss, there are management practices that
can be used to avoid the unfortunate situation, said
Jeanna Wilson, professor of poultry science at the
University of Georgia.
Genetic selection and feeding programs have contributed to the problems associated with feather loss.
They have also caused producers to experience lower
egg production and an increase in hen mortality. Feed
restriction, however, has reduced some of the negative effects that are thought to be genetically related.
Implementing various feeding programs may have
positive or negative effects, depending on an operation's management system, Wilson noted.
Inﬂuences of feathering
Low dietary protein levels may affect feathering.
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ November 2017