Egg Industry Presentations

Overcoming Problems with Brown-Feathered, Non-Confined Egg Production Flocks

Simon M. Shane, FRCVS, Ph.D. MBL, ACPV
2013 MPF Convention, March 12-14, 2013
EGGLAND’S BEST LLC

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INTRODUCTION

Non-confined brown-feathered flocks represent about 8% of U.S. egg production. Because brown-feathered shell eggs are sold at a premium price in a rapidly expanding market, optimal production contributes to profitability. It is also necessary to maximize output from brown- feathered flocks to offset relatively higher costs associated with feed, housing and management. This is especially the case with flocks producing under the USDA Certified Organic Program.

A number of problems are associated with non-confined flocks irrespective of whether they are housed in aviaries, on slats, a combination of litter and slats or have access to the outside of the house.

It is axiomatic that many of the problems encountered during egg production have their origin in rearing. Accordingly, appropriate housing, equipment, management practices and immunization of immature flocks is critical to achieving production standards consistent with the genetic potential of flocks.

 

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