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Breeders, Layers and Hatching Egg Production

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Presentation on theme: "Breeders, Layers and Hatching Egg Production"— Presentation transcript:

1 Breeders, Layers and Hatching Egg Production
R. Keith Bramwell, PhD Department of Poultry Science University of Arkansas

2 History of Poultry Industry
Orgin of chicken - Jungle Fowl (India) Reason for initial domestication - cock fighting

3 History of the Poultry Industry
19th century- poultry fanciers:new breeds developed which became the American class 1st poultry show in Boston American poultry assoc. Formed in 1873 Standard of excellence published in 1874 Chicks could be mailed

4 Exhibition Chickens American Poultry Association lists nearly 400 breeds of chickens most with several varieties Over 1000 chicken shows held annually in the US The APA Standard of Perfection sets the ideal qualities for each breed and variety

5 What is Bantam Chicken? A small version of the larger (standard size) breed Bantams are almost exclusively for exhibition

6 Breeds and Varieties Breed is a type of chicken
Leghorn or a Plymouth Rock Variety is defined by the variations within the breed Leghorn – single comb vs rose comb white vs light brown Plymouth rock – White Rock vs Barred Rock

7 Types of Variations Body shape and structure
Modern game, Japanese, rumpless

8 Types of Variations Leg and feet variations Size Sound?
Silkie, Salmon Favorelle, etc Size Bantam, standard Sound? Long crowers!

9 Breeds and Varieties

10 Types of Variations Feather color Solid coloring
Barring, penciled, mottled

11 Types of Variations Feather type Silkies, frizzles, long tails

12 Types of Variations Feather distribution Polish, cochins, naked neck

13 Types of Variations Comb type Single, rose, pea, v-shape, etc

14 Comb Types

15 Comb Types

16 Comb Types

17 Comb Types

18 Reproduction and Breeding
Cockerels and pullets can become sexually mature by 14 to 16 weeks of age Good fertility occurs at least 2-3 weeks after the onset of egg production Industry delays sexual maturation to 18 to 25 weeks Allows birds to develop body conformation which results in better egg size

19 Reproduction and Breeding
Reproduction occurs with light stimulation after they attain an appropriate body weight and conformation As little as 14 hours of light can stimulate reproduction (15-16 hours best) Light stimulation can be ‘staggered in’ Light duration must be consistent from day to day

20 Reproduction and Breeding
With light stimulation hens can lay through the winter However, they will need a break sometime to undergo either a hard or soft molt to regenerate body reserves

21 Reproduction and Breeding
Males can be housed with anywhere from 1 to hens This depends upon the breed and age of the birds Ornamental and exhibition breeds have more fertility problems For pedigree breeding up to 15 hens can be housed with a single good male in rotation

22 Reproduction and Breeding
Hens can store viable sperm for up to two weeks If pedigree breeding, this should be taken into consideration

23 Developing a Breeding Program
You must have top quality birds!!!! Or, you must start out with A LOT of birds and have A LOT of time!

24 Developing a Breeding Program
When you decide to be serious, select a couple of your favorite breeds and specialize Once you get the birds, select the best pairs, trios, etc. as breeders One rooster can breed 5-10 hens in rotating cages

25 Selection of Birds Select birds that fit your purpose
Then make sure your birds look and act like they are supposed to

26 Developing a Breeding Program
Light stimulate breeders to get chicks year round Min 14 hours light per day, everyday Hatch every egg they lay to give you numerous birds for selection Don’t be afraid to cull!!! Don’t keep poor quality birds around that may reproduce

27 Developing a Breeding Program
Keep records of birds, band them, and create pedigree charts You may need to outcross with other breeds or other lines to get the traits you want



30 Easter Silkies?

31 Female Reproductive System: Ovary
Mature ovary consists of numerous developing follicles Appears like a cluster of grapes Follicles present in hierarchal order

32 Sperm Cell Storage A biological necessity to produce fertile eggs in the avian system

33 Fertilization Sperm Storage Insemination (AI or Natural)
Sperm transport to site of fertilization Recognition of sperm binding sites Fertilization Sperm acrosome reaction and penetration

34 Fertilization Location - Infundibulum
Time - within ~ 5 minutes following ovulation or before the ovum enters the magnum

35 Fertilization Shell formation takes 24-26 hours to complete
Hen’s body temperature o F

36 Fertilization & Embryo Development
Fertilization occurs within 5 minutes after ovulation Shell formation takes hours to complete Hen’s body temperature o F Laid egg represents 1 days embryonic growth (20, ,000 cells)

37 Day 0 of Incubation: Before Egg is Laid
Fertile/infertile determination can be made at lay While the egg moves from initial fertilization, to shell membrane formation to shell formation in the oviduct, the embryo develops from the early to late cleavage stages Germinal disc diameter (3-4mm) larger the first few hours after fertilization than at lay


39 Fertile and Infertile Eggs

40 Artificial Insemination : a Three Step Procedure
1. Semen collection 2. Semen dilution* 3. Insemination * Second step may be omitted if neat (undiluted) semen is used for insemination within 30 min. of collection

41 Egg Production Provide nest boxes off the ground and keep them clean
Contaminated eggs (exploders) can ruin chick hatch and chick quality

42 Nest Boxes Hens want to feel secure when they lay their egg
Manufactured boxes Anything else

43 What Is Secure for Them?


45 Hatching Egg Management ‘On the Farm’
Minimize use of dirty eggs Remove and discard poor hatching eggs Dirty, cracked, small, very large, poor shells, mish-shaped eggs

46 Effect Of Egg Storage On Hatchability

47 Egg Handling Prior to Incubation
Temporarily stop embryo development -Lower internal temperature of the egg below 70o F (physiological temperature) Do not allow eggs to oscillate above and below physiological temperature -Early hatching chicks (dehydration) -Early embryonic mortality will increase

48 High to Low Storage Temperature
82.3 80.0 79.4 76.5 74.3 72.9

49 Egg Storage Store eggs in appropriate on farm egg room
~ 70 F ~ 75% humidity Less than 10 days Keep egg room clean and tidy (biosecurity)

50 Egg Storage Take extra care in grading eggs (egg pack)
Carefully place eggs point down in setter trays

51 Fixing Cracked Eggs Simple fine hairline crack
) paint with thin layer of glue Break that causes indentation ) cut kleenex, shell membrane of infertile egg ) glue edges and dry ) paint over patch If crack leaked liquid contents, unlikely to survive

52 Incubation Preferences
Multi stage ? Several ages of eggs in one machine Single stage? All in all out (much cleaner) Separate hatcher? Sanitation necessity

53 Incubation Preferences
Letting nature take its course . . . Setting only + Hatching + Brooding + Growing

54 Artificial Incubation

55 In the Beginning . . . The Small

56 Small to Medium . . . The Dome Style

57 Medium Sized . . . Table Top Style

58 Medium Sized . . . Table Top Style

59 Large Sized . . . Cabinet Style

60 Large Sized . . . Cabinet Style

61 At the End ? . . . The Extra Large

62 Artificial Incubation
Important points Temperature Humidity Turning Ventilation

63 Artificial Incubation
Temperature Control ) Range from 98.7 to 100 F optimum ‘Still air’ incubators suggest higher incubation temperatures as opposed to ‘forced air’ units

64 Artificial Incubation
Humidity ) Achieving specific water loss is the goal 11-15% general rule 12% weight loss best 2 ) Relative humidity should be % Wet bulb temp F

65 Artificial Incubation
Egg turning ) Recommendations 5-6 times per day (three times is OK) 180 degrees, not all in one direction place an X on one side of egg Do not turn last three days of incubation

66 Artificial Incubation
Ventilation Air exchange is critical to prevent suffocation Rule of thumb – ventilate as much as you can and still be able to maintain incubator temperatures

67 Setter Operation Ventilation Temperature control
Supply of fresh air, exhausting CO2 Temperature control Varies with setter type 99.5 – 1000 F

68 Setter Operation Humidity Turning Used to control moisture loss
Chickens ~ days Ostrich ~ 15% total 840 F wet bulb (~ 54% humidity) Turning Ensures proper embryo development At least 2-3 X per day

69 Hatcher Operation Ventilation Humidity Temperature
May increase after pipping Humidity varies with different species Temperature Usually lower than in the setting machines Do not turn eggs prior to hatching

70 Incubation Duration Varies a great deal among species Chicken 21 days
Duck 28 – 35 days Pheasant 24 days Quail 18 – 24 days Turkey 28 days Emu days Budgie 14 days

71 Egg Candling Candling allows examination of embryo development
After 10 days of incubation, use a small flashlight and place it on the large end of the egg while in a dark room Examine and determine normal embryo development at 10 days Break open unhatched eggs (residue breakout) to determine fertility or embryo death

72 Hatch of Fertile 86.4% hatch / 96% fertile * 100 = 90% Hatch of Fertile Hatchery % Hatch % Fertile % Hatch of Fertile A 86 97 88.66 B 82 91 90.11 C 84 94 89.36

73 Natural Incubation Maintain a pen of naturally broody hens
Silkies, Cochins, etc Allow layers or breeders to incubate and brood their own young

74 Incubation – management of setters and hatchers
Hatchability Controlling Factors Farm Hatchery Breeder Nutrition Sanitation Disease Egg Storage Infertility Egg Damage Incubation – management of setters and hatchers Egg Sanitation Chick Handling

75 Chick Pull and Processing
Chicks separated, graded by quality, counted Vaccination

76 Factors Influencing Chick Size
Egg size Chick weight 66-68% of egg weight Moisture loss during incubation Length of time between setting and pulling chicks from hatchers Date at which incubation began

77 Brooding Chicks Start chicks at 90 to 92oF
Lower temp ~ 5oF each week thereafter Use a solid brooder guard if you have a large area you are raising the chicks Feed and water chicks immediately after they are placed in brooding area Provide access to food and fresh water at all times!

78 Brooder Ideas

79 Just right Too hot Too cold Too drafty

80 Importance of Water Water is the forgotten nutrient
It must be clean, and cool at all times Don’t create a soup of bacteria! Adding vitamins or electrolytes in the water is also very helpful

81 Ambient Environment In addition to air temperature Keep birds dry
Don’t allow birds to be exposed to air drafts But. . . Birds need fresh air Keep birds dry Keep pens (floor) dry

82 Brooding Chicks Feed chicks a quality starter feed for several weeks
This feed is high in protein and a “rich” formula

83 Rearing Pullets After the starter feed formula runs out switch to a regular chicken grower Again provide access to food and clean, cool water always

84 Housing for the “Hens” Keep them “high and dry” Clean floors and area
Fresh air through ventilation Without excessive drafts Nest boxes Perches Adequate feed and water space

85 How It Used to Be Done in 1926

86 Do we need to reinvent the wheel?
NO! How it used to be done is not bad However, we do know much more about birds today than anyone has ever known, We can and should utilize this information!

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