We keep our customers informed by publishing a wealth of technical information and industry best practices. Below you will find all of that information collected and organized so you can have access to it any time you need it.
The goal of any broiler breeder program is to produce the greatest number of hatching eggs per hen housed and life of flock hatch to give us the most chicks per hen housed. A production data analysis can help determine which flocks are meeting their genetic potential and which flocks are not.
Approximately 10 pounds of feed are needed to grow a typical 6-pound tray pack bird. Despite great strides in genetics, there is still clearly much ground to cover to produce birds that are capable of extracting most of the energy and nutrients contained in feed.
Most investments have a targeted approach, and a poultry operation is not any different. Knowing where to invest for the best return is very important.
Checking to see if your chicks are getting what they need to grow and thrive helps maximize results during brooding, setting yourself up for a successful and profitable flock.
In today’s poultry production world, most companies are using antibacterial wipes to reduce bacterial growth on eggs, as well as many other wet sanitation methods. As an industry we have had to learn quickly, but we still do not have all the answers.
Proper ventilation in the broiler house is of the utmost importance. Be on the lookout for these indicators throughout the year for any sign of poor ventilation so you can repair it immediately.
Broiler breeds such as the Cobb500 are selected to efficiently convert feed to body weight. Therefore, it is important in rearing parent flocks to understand how to feed the birds correctly right up to peak hatching egg production.
To really know if your broiler breeders have the right fleshing, the birds have to be handled. The more birds that are handled at different ages, the better the condition of the birds will be understood.
Our farms are our businesses, and ultimately our livelihood, and therefore a good biosecurity program should be a part of every farm management and poultry production plan.
Appetite development is the most important priority for every broiler grower during the first 72-96 hours of the chick’s life. Start by establishing a healthy flock from day one. This requires giving sufficient nutrients to develop the different physiological systems as well as protecting skeletal growth and feather cover.
Chick quality varies from chick pullout to farm placement due to procedures such as vaccination, quality control and timing of delivery. It is vital for the farm to provide the best conditions for a fast recovery and continued chick development. Early hatching and high incubation temperatures can impair chick quality.
Breeding programs continue to achieve annual gains in broiler growth, feed conversion and breast meat yield. But this has been combined with steady improvements in bird health and welfare traits too, such as better leg strength and reduced mortality.
Fully controlling Salmonella during poultry feed production requires total commitment as, despite careful sourcing, some raw materials can be expected to enter the mill contaminated.
Justina Caldas, World Technical Team Nutrition Specialist, recommends the following 5 tips to get the most from your feed program.
Transferring eggs from the setter to the hatcher trays is an important and delicate task. Follow these six tips to protect fragile eggs during the transfer.
Water is an essential nutrient that impacts virtually all physiological functions; and good water quality is vital to efficient broiler production. Measurements of water quality include pH, mineral levels and the degree of microbial contamination.
After chicks arrive, use this checklist to ensure that chicks have the feed and water they need to achieve the best results during brooding.
The key to successful broiler rearing starts with having a systematic and efficient management program in place, which starts well before the chicks arrive on the farm.
Among the many types of systems available today, what is the most effective feeding system for broiler breeders? The question really shouldn’t be which system is more effective, but which system can work more effectively in a particular operation.
Getting broiler chicks eating early pays dividends in the long term. Today, feed accounts for up to 70% of total production costs. That's why efficiency of use is one of the most crucial factors as broiler growers look to maintain margins.
Every year, we strive to bring innovative solutions to every facet of the poultry industry, including genetics. And as birds continue to evolve, so too do our management practices. In 2016, pullets, hens and broilers are vastly different genetically than they were 30 years ago. Today’s birds want to grow faster. They are more feed efficient.
When designing a modern broiler house the first question one considers is the optimum floor area for the best return on investment (ROI). New longer and wider houses challenge the ventilation system’s ability to produce uniform conditions the full length of the house.
Water management is one of the most crucial components in a top-performing broiler flock. Broilers have advanced to grow faster, become larger with more breast meat, eat more feed at younger ages and be far more efficient than their predecessors, increasing their demand for water.
The performance of a hatchery and the quality of a day-old chick are directly related to the quality of the raw material that comes into a hatchery, the fertile egg. It is important to appreciate that a hatching egg is as much alive as a baby chick — we just can’t see it.
The success of a breeder flock depends on producing good quality hatching eggs with high hatchability and delivering first quality broiler chicks.
Each spring, along with the onset of warmer weather and longer days, comes the arrival of budding trees, nesting birds and buzzing insects. And while we appreciate the change in seasons, each change presents new biosecurity challenges.
Dr. Algis Martinez, senior veterinarian at Cobb-Vantress, outlines nine strategies to help prevent inflammatory process, or cellulitis, and minimize carcass downgrades and condemnations at the processing plant.
With the continuous improvements in genetics, housing and feeding equipment, good and accurate record keeping throughout the birds’ life is becoming crucial. With accurate records, managers can more easily identify areas for improvement for future flocks.
Today’s broilers have huge genetic potential and can reach their target body weight sooner and on less feed than ever before. During winter and periods of cold weather the management of these “cold blooded” chicks’ is more difficult and requires precise management.
For most operations, egg age is ideally under 7 days of age, but with variations in orders, production volumes with different size farms and market/seasonal conditions increased storage time can be inevitable. Over the years many techniques have been applied to minimize losses from increased egg age, including heat treatment
In hot summer weather house design becomes critical in ensuring optimal airflow for the cooling and comfort of the birds. Yet when designing a modern broiler house the priority is all too often driven by the need for quick returns and not long-term bird performance.
Cobb always strives to ensure that the chicks we hatch and deliver to our customers are the best quality possible. Find out how we do it.
Similarly to humans, broilers also need well-balanced, energy rich diets to maintain their body temperature during the cold season. And they must keep FCR at a low rate of course. Proper heating and ventilation are just as important however. Finding the right balance between these factors demands an integrated approach.
When purchasing lighting, it's important to understand the differences between various light sources and the terminology included on the packaging. The right bulbs could not only lower your electric bill, but impact flock performance.
The brooding period – the first 14 days of the broiler’s life – is the most important stage because chicks are forming the building blocks for future performance. Their skeletal, muscular and neurological systems are all developing at an extremely rapid pace.
Cobb’s comprehensive, proactive biosecurity standards are designed to keep birds safe and healthy and to protect them from common diseases such as mycoplasma. In fact, Cobb helps customers prevent mycoplasma from occurring in their own breeder and broiler flocks by providing biosecurity Best Management Practices.
Proper management is just as important in production as it is in rearing. In fact, today’s growers must constantly manage hens to keep them at an ideal weight, despite their ability to grow faster and convert feed more efficiently.
The importance of getting pullets to feed and water right away cannot be emphasized enough. Proper feeding of chicks starts at day one, as it is essential for proper development and future performance. For best results, flock managers should keep the following six management practices in mind.
Across the globe, poultry producers want to know how to grow a top performing flock. Yet, the most successful growers always seem to know what it takes to achieve the lowest cost bird.
Broilers should easily achieve their economic and genetic potential when they live in a specifically controlled environment that meets their needs. Ventilation systems are designed to automatically manage this environment for broilers, especially during the brooding period.
Implementing a spiking program as part of your regular male management routine is a great way to maintain high levels of fertility throughout the life of the flock. The following article outlines three different types of spiking programs, each designed to meet your specific needs and circumstances.
At Cobb, we provide our customers with the training and resources they need to reach the genetic potential of their flocks, especially when it comes to male management. We encourage farmers to implement a regular spiking program to maintain the highest possible fertility and egg production rates throughout the life of the flock.
The term hatch window – also known as the spread of hatch – is used to describe the time span between the hatching of the first and last chick after the eggs have been transferred from the setter to the hatcher.
Traditional chick-grading standards do not always pick up damage due to overheating. Because overheated chicks hatch earlier than they should, they are often smaller, weaker and more prone to infections as well as a host of other health problems.
In a hatchery – particularly in the setter and hatching trays – ventilation is key to producing a top quality chick. The following four components are essential so chicks get what they need to grow and develop according to their genetic potential.
Follow these five key factors to ensure proper development of breeders.
To produce the best chicks, eggs must be kept at a very precise temperature, humidity and ventilation during incubation. However, it is often difficult to know what’s happening beneath the surface of each shell.
Cobb takes a comprehensive, proactive approach to biosecurity by creating a safe and healthy environment for our birds and our employees in every facet of our business. Part of what makes Cobb’s biosecurity program unique is the House Clean Out (HCO) process.
Once eggs are delivered to the hatchery, incubation is the first step to raising a profitable flock. Hatchery managers that create the optimum physical conditions for embryos will produce the highest number of top-quality chicks and ultimately achieve the best broiler results.
Chicks need special care as they transition from the incubator to the rearing house. It is imperative that they eat and drink enough right away. Stimulating feed and water consumption during their first several days will give chicks the best start during the brooding period.
At Cobb, biosecurity means preventing the introduction and spread of disease or contamination among our flocks. Even so, it’s so much more than a set of rules and procedures – it’s a part of who we are, a part of our culture.
A successful holding area keeps the birds comfortable before processing and prepares them for all subsequent steps. Four main factors help create an effective holding area and maximize yield – environment, time, design and measurement.
Once an egg is laid, its hatching potential can only be maintained, not improved. To ensure optimum hatchability and chick quality, it is vital to keep eggs in ideal conditions between laying and setting in the incubator.
A high number of floor eggs – or any egg laid outside the nest – can be a serious problem for egg producers. Eggs laid in the nest have the best chance of getting to the hatchery clean and free of excess contamination. The result is a higher hatch rate, healthier chicks and better broiler stock.
Individual bird weights are important to monitor the progress of the flock. But this must be augmented with the regular handling of the flock, including recording the body composition and fat reserves prior to light stimulation.
Management must be geared to preserving flock uniformity while accomplishing the feeding and body weight control necessary for good reproductive performance. Birds that are uniform can be fed properly and light stimulated with the greatest effect, resulting in optimum production and persistency.
Today there is a strong interest worldwide to automate the collection of hatching eggs at parent stock breeder farms.
Primary breeder companies have been very successful in developing strains of meat-type poultry which balance the requirement of excellent broiler performance with the need for good breeder flock results.
Controlling male bodyweight and condition is one of the most critical aspects of maintaining fertility and hatch persistency as broiler breeder flocks age.
In the first four weeks of the rearing period, the following five points are important for starting chicks properly.
By providing chicks with the right environment and nutrition during the brooding period — the first 14 days of a bird’s life — hatcheries can optimize the flock’s overall performance, and maximize profit. The top five management best practices are equally weighted in importance.
Light intensity is not always seen as an important factor in brooding, yet it is. Chick activity during the brooding period is the driver that ensures adequate feed and water consumption. Only then will the genetic potential of the broiler chick be realized.
This is the 3rd of our five essentials series of articles. All five brooding essentials are equally weighted in their importance.
Correct litter and ambient temperatures are vital to ensure chick activity. Pre-heating is important and begins at least 24 to 48 hours prior to placement, even during summer and in tropical countries.
The following is the fourth of our five essentials series of articles. All five brooding essentials are equally weighted in their importance.
More than 8,000 feathers cover broilers although their number differ by breed and genetic line. Feathers are involved in thermoregulation and play an important role in providing protection against outside challenges and physical injuries.
The brooding period – the first 14 days of the broiler’s life – is the most sensitive period because the bird is changing from an immature thermo regulation system to a mature one.
Yellow corn and wheat continue to be the two dominating cereal grains used worldwide in the broiler industry.
Broiler breeder management can be a complicated area and one should not expect consistent flock performance to occur by focusing on only one or two variables.
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