Poultry International - June 2018 - 30

30 ❙ PoultryInternational

8

considerations for cage-free
laying hen nutrition

Egg producers must account for more than just housing when
changing production practices.
ZOE KAY

The cage-free layer is
subject to less controlled
conditions and - particularly
in the case of free range - is
exposed to a variety of weather
conditions. Energy levels in
the diet will therefore be a key
consideration to make sure
nutrients are not diverted from
egg production. Similarly,
any increase in hen feed
intake needs to be balanced
with protein levels to avoid
unwanted increases in egg size.
Outside of a cage, hens are
in greater contact with their
feces and, if allowed outside,
the number of disease
challenges can increase. This
creates a need for increased gut
health and immune support.
With any cage-free system,
there is greater opportunity
for bird interaction, which can
lead to an increase in vices;
therefore, fiber provision is a
key consideration.
This article explores several
feeding and production practices
to enhance the health and
performance of a cage-free flock.

Cage-free considerations
Beyond the housing
investments, cage-free layers
require alterations to their
feeding programs. Here are eight
considerations producers and
nutritionists need to keep in mind:

1

Energy balance

For the reasons
above, the energy
requirements of cagefree layers are greater than those
kept in cages. Laying hens can
compensate for this by eating more
to achieve the energy level they need
for maintenance and egg production.
The level of this increase depends
on housing system and country of
production and can vary by as much
as 30 to 40 grams per bird, per day,
between summer and winter.

2

Controlling
egg size

Knowing what egg
sizes your market
requires and trying to meet it
is paramount for all producers.
However, in the case of cagefree layers, it can be harder to
achieve. Higher feed intakes
mean hens are consuming more
protein, which will increase egg
size. Therefore, protein, amino
acid and energy levels need to be
carefully balanced.
Hen body weight also
influences egg size. Up to peak
lay, it is important to regularly
weigh them to know if they
are meeting breed targets. The
nutritional density of the diet
fed can then be increased or
decreased accordingly. Similarly,

CAGE-FREE HENS FACE
GREATER DISEASE
CHALLENGES, so producers must
emphasize gut health and immune
system support.
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ June 2018


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Poultry International - June 2018

Poultry International - June 2018
Contents
Editor’s Comment
News
2018 Poultry Nutrition & Feed Survey: Poultry feed formulations driven by consumers, market
Global poultry trade may become turbulent in 2018
Newly formed Avara takes third spot in UK poultry sector
Why chicken is the sustainable meat option
Poultry veterinary provision undergoing signifi cant change
8 considerations for cage-free laying hen nutrition
Taking the extra steps for poultry wastewater reuse
6 poultry processing tips to improve carcass quality
Products
Marketplace
Poultry International - June 2018 - CT1
Poultry International - June 2018 - CT2
Poultry International - June 2018 - Poultry International - June 2018
Poultry International - June 2018 - Cover2
Poultry International - June 2018 - BB1
Poultry International - June 2018 - BB2
Poultry International - June 2018 - Contents
Poultry International - June 2018 - Editor’s Comment
Poultry International - June 2018 - 3
Poultry International - June 2018 - News
Poultry International - June 2018 - 5
Poultry International - June 2018 - 2018 Poultry Nutrition & Feed Survey: Poultry feed formulations driven by consumers, market
Poultry International - June 2018 - 7
Poultry International - June 2018 - 8
Poultry International - June 2018 - 9
Poultry International - June 2018 - 10
Poultry International - June 2018 - 11
Poultry International - June 2018 - 12
Poultry International - June 2018 - 13
Poultry International - June 2018 - 14
Poultry International - June 2018 - 15
Poultry International - June 2018 - 16
Poultry International - June 2018 - 17
Poultry International - June 2018 - Global poultry trade may become turbulent in 2018
Poultry International - June 2018 - 19
Poultry International - June 2018 - Newly formed Avara takes third spot in UK poultry sector
Poultry International - June 2018 - 21
Poultry International - June 2018 - 22
Poultry International - June 2018 - 23
Poultry International - June 2018 - 24
Poultry International - June 2018 - 25
Poultry International - June 2018 - Why chicken is the sustainable meat option
Poultry International - June 2018 - 27
Poultry International - June 2018 - Poultry veterinary provision undergoing signifi cant change
Poultry International - June 2018 - 29
Poultry International - June 2018 - 8 considerations for cage-free laying hen nutrition
Poultry International - June 2018 - 31
Poultry International - June 2018 - 32
Poultry International - June 2018 - 33
Poultry International - June 2018 - 34
Poultry International - June 2018 - 35
Poultry International - June 2018 - Taking the extra steps for poultry wastewater reuse
Poultry International - June 2018 - 37
Poultry International - June 2018 - 38
Poultry International - June 2018 - 39
Poultry International - June 2018 - 6 poultry processing tips to improve carcass quality
Poultry International - June 2018 - 41
Poultry International - June 2018 - 42
Poultry International - June 2018 - Marketplace
Poultry International - June 2018 - 44
Poultry International - June 2018 - Cover3
Poultry International - June 2018 - Cover4
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