lem exists. Unconsumed feed is a problem that needs to be addressed quickly
to avoid deterioration in quality and
5Monitor house insulation and ventilation systems for ideal temperature control. Insulation is much
less expensive than having to heat the
house through the production of metabolic heat from feed. Usually insulation
is maximized at the time of construction
or during remodeling. If house temperatures are not maintained between
70-80 F, the ock will consume up to
2 lbs/100/day more feed than at a lower
temperature. As the industry increases
cage space allowance to meet Animal
Welfare guidelines, maintaining house
temperature has become more challenging.
6Monitor body weight and gain,
case weight and grade distribution. Overfeeding hens to achieve
excessive body weight gain and egg
size is in reality a waste of feed if there
is no incremental return for extra large
eggs. This consideration does not necessarily apply to breaker operations.
Research supports maximum egg mass
when hens are producing large grade
eggs with optimum rates of egg production. Maintaining heavy hens to
produce larger grades is not an ef cient
use of feed.
7Evaluate strains of hen to select the
lowest feed maintenance cost to
optimize egg mass given speci c
housing and environmental conditions.
Management of hens and selection of
strain and body weight differ considerably between a breaker and a shell egg
There will be some low-hanging fruit
to pick in order to reduce feed wastage. After the mechanical defects and
leaks are repaired, emphasis needs to
be given to ne tuning record-keeping,
quality control, and adherence to goals
for egg mass. EI
Dr. Sheila Scheideler is a Professor and
Extension Poultry Specialist and currently
the interim Head of the Department of Animal Science at the University of Nebraska.
She has published on a wide range of topics
including management and nutrition since
earning her Ph.D. from Iowa State University in 1986. She was the recipient of the
PSA Helen Cecil Leadership Award in 2007
and was inducted into the Nebraska Poultry
Hall of fame in 2008.
To hear Alltech’s Aiden Connolly
discuss the importance of new
technologies for improving poultry
nutrition from this year’s
International Poultry Expo &
International Feed Expo visit:
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