Poultry International - September 2019 - 30

30 ❙ PoultryInternational

2

Protein

Extra activity is always
associated with heavier
musculature, and this
requires protein for its buildup and
maintenance. Although this requirement is expected to be minimal and
spread over a long period of time, it
cannot be insignificant in animals
that are fed on a limited ration. The
energy-to-protein (amino acids) ratio
might require slight adjustment, but
this aspect remains to be further
quantified. A sudden drop in egg
weight, however, or an inability to
match bird age with expected egg
weight is a good indication that
more protein is required.

3

Wastage

Feed in battery cages was
rarely wasted, but this
might not always be the
case in cage-free systems, especially
when housing density and feeder
space allowance create competitive
behavior patterns. It is also possible
that feed may be wasted due to insufficient feeder design and/or operation, especially when a house is first
converted to a cage-free system.
Keeping a close eye on hens during
feeding time will reveal how much
feed is wasted and the reason such
activity happens, leading hopefully to
the resolution of a profit-robbing issue.

4

Egg weight variation
All this new physical
activity, and its associated
increased social interaction

and competition, September lead
to some hens receiving inadequate
amounts of feed. This is evidenced
at its slightest form by an increased
variation in egg weight, to be followed
by a significant drop in egg numbers
- always as expected against bird
weight and age. If this happens, and
population density cannot be altered,
then the only remedy is to increase
feed allowance or nutrient density.
Such a move will cause top-ranking
birds to become overweight, with all
associated problems, but at least it will
temporarily resolve the laying of eggs
of highly disparate weights.

5

Water overconsumption

Increased water intake
in hens can be due
to reduced access to feed or an
increased need for water to excrete
superfluous minerals in feed. This
would not be a great issue in caged
hens, but when layers are kept on
deep bedding (straw or wood shavings), this increases litter moisture,
with several associated problems.
These range from increased leg
problems to dirty eggs to increased
colonies of coccidia. Extra activity
associated with heat stress will
certainly increase water needs, and
it is reasonable to expect increased
water-related issues during the hot
season of the year. This is a difficult
issue to resolve, but from a nutritional point of view, it is recommended to control ash (minerals),
protein and fiber in diets. Fiber, in

8 considerations
for cage-free laying
hen nutrition: www.
WATTAgNet.com/
articles/33430

particular, should be controlled in
terms of quantity but also quality as
a different fiber profile can significantly alter water balance patterns.

6

Coccidia

Here, experiences from
the broiler industry can
be extremely useful.
At the very least, certain additives may keep overall gut health
and systemic immunity as high
as possible. Nevertheless, there
is no single product that can
control coccidiosis as effectively
as traditional coccidiostatic drugs,
and this is a problem we need
to address rapidly. In the meantime, a combination of preventive
measures, of which nutrition is but
a small part, should be employed
to safeguard gut health.

7

Bones

Bone health has always
been a problem with
hens. Lack of movement/
exercise and high egg productivity in traditional cage systems
lead to weak bone structure. Hens

www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ September 2019

Courtesy Potters Poultry

7 CAGE-FREE LAYER NUTRITION ISSUES


http://www.WATTAgNet.com/articles/33430 http://www.WATTAgNet.com/articles/33430 http://www.WATTAgNet.com

Poultry International - September 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Poultry International - September 2019

Poultry International - September 2019
Contents
Editor’s Comment
Italy’s poultry producers saw mixed results in 2018
Marketing poultry products to younger generations
African poultry health scheme aiding women, society
Poultry Africa 2019 to address rapidly changing consumption
Why providing choices is key for poultry breeders
Cobb’s New Zealand facility now serving Asia-Pacific
Blockchain technology has big potential beyond transparency
7 cage-free layer nutrition issues that require attention
Processing considerations key to poultry meat quality
Products
Advertisers’ Index
Marketplace
Poultry International - September 2019 - CT1
Poultry International - September 2019 - CT2
Poultry International - September 2019 - Poultry International - September 2019
Poultry International - September 2019 - Cover2
Poultry International - September 2019 - CT3
Poultry International - September 2019 - CT4
Poultry International - September 2019 - Contents
Poultry International - September 2019 - Editor’s Comment
Poultry International - September 2019 - 3
Poultry International - September 2019 - Italy’s poultry producers saw mixed results in 2018
Poultry International - September 2019 - 5
Poultry International - September 2019 - 6
Poultry International - September 2019 - 7
Poultry International - September 2019 - Marketing poultry products to younger generations
Poultry International - September 2019 - 9
Poultry International - September 2019 - 10
Poultry International - September 2019 - 11
Poultry International - September 2019 - African poultry health scheme aiding women, society
Poultry International - September 2019 - 13
Poultry International - September 2019 - Poultry Africa 2019 to address rapidly changing consumption
Poultry International - September 2019 - 15
Poultry International - September 2019 - 16
Poultry International - September 2019 - 17
Poultry International - September 2019 - Why providing choices is key for poultry breeders
Poultry International - September 2019 - 19
Poultry International - September 2019 - Cobb’s New Zealand facility now serving Asia-Pacific
Poultry International - September 2019 - 21
Poultry International - September 2019 - 22
Poultry International - September 2019 - 23
Poultry International - September 2019 - Blockchain technology has big potential beyond transparency
Poultry International - September 2019 - 25
Poultry International - September 2019 - 26
Poultry International - September 2019 - 27
Poultry International - September 2019 - 7 cage-free layer nutrition issues that require attention
Poultry International - September 2019 - 29
Poultry International - September 2019 - 30
Poultry International - September 2019 - 31
Poultry International - September 2019 - Processing considerations key to poultry meat quality
Poultry International - September 2019 - 33
Poultry International - September 2019 - 34
Poultry International - September 2019 - Products
Poultry International - September 2019 - Marketplace
Poultry International - September 2019 - Cover3
Poultry International - September 2019 - Cover4
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