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Author Topic: Broiler Breeder Project  (Read 28131 times)

Clansman

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Ayrshire
Broiler Breeder Project
« on: January 21, 2015, 01:58:10 pm »
The broiler breeder parent stock is due to arrive around the start of next month so I thought I'd post up a wee thread just to document the process.

previous thread - http://www.accidentalsmallholder.net/forum/index.php?topic=53907.msg455700#msg455700

Broilers (its an American term) are the meat birds you see for sale in the supermarkets.

These are generally grown in huge commercial farms, I worked on commercial broiler farms which varied in size from 100,000 to almost 300,000 birds.

These birds are usually killed between 5-8 weeks of age depending on the market requirement and attain live weights of 2 - 3.5Kg

Their growth rate is being improved constantly by selective breeding and to a lesser extent their ration, since the 1950's these birds have reached their particular target weight a day earlier each year and so far that shows no sign of slowing down.

The Ross 308 broiler male is expected to reach 2Kg live weight at 32 days, 3Kg at 42 days, 4Kg at 52 days and 5Kg at 63 days, (i've never known them to be kept more than 56 days commercially) the growth rate is tremendous.

the longer they live the bigger they will get and if kept much more than the normal 55 day maximum you would begin to see major problems in them caused purely by their weight, leg problems, mobility, skin and leg disorders due to them sitting most of the time etc

These birds by their design have been bred to grow as fast as possible and be killed before they are 8 weeks old, they should not be kept any longer than that.

It sounds cruel, maybe it is but its what the market and the demand has created so rightly or wrongly, from a commercial point of view its where we are now.

The major companies that produce broilers for the UK are Aviagen, (who acquired the old Ross Poultry and hence the Ross breeding stock) , Cobb, Hubbard etc you might have heard the names.

Each has different strains/types of broiler for different applications.

Commercial meat birds are often incorrectly called "Ross Cobbs". 

see here - http://www.accidentalsmallholder.net/forum/index.php?topic=40639.msg394898#msg394898

The parents of these broilers are known as broiler breeders, they are two different strains bred together, a male strain and a female strain to produce the fast growing broiler.

Basically todays broiler chicken its what we would call a cross breed.

I have also worked on broiler breeder farms, these are laying farms where these parent strains run together and the eggs sent to a hatchery which then sends the day old broilers out to the broiler farms.

These are smaller sized farms, usually with around 10-30,000 birds each.

My original plan was just to buy day old broilers and rear them for the freezer but the purchase price was quite expensive, anything from 1-2 per bird for a small chick!

Thats expensive once you start to add up the feed/heat costs plus allow for mortality etc etc

So the cheaper way is to buy the parent stock and breed your own.

Hopefully i'll be able to sell some hatching eggs/chicks and maybe recover a bit of the purchase cost.

I'm planning to have a flock of around 20 females and 2 males which should produce more than enough eggs.

The rearing of these parents needs a bit of care and attention, they need to be kept within a certain weight range during the rearing and laying period or they will just grow to large and the egg numbers and fertility will suffer.

They also require to be kept to a lighting program during the rearing period to prevent them maturing too early or too late which again would impact on the egg numbers/fertility.

It sounds more complicated than it is, honest  :D

I'll be keeping mine inside until the natural daylight fits in with their lighting regime then they can go out in the run.

A bit of reading if anyone is interested

http://en.aviagen.com/ross-308/
« Last Edit: January 29, 2015, 06:11:02 pm by Clansman »

Andrew

  • Joined Dec 2007
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2015, 03:26:32 pm »
Thanks for post. Very interesting and I will have an in depth look at downloads prior to chicks arriving.

Stereo

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2015, 03:53:24 pm »
How long would you expect the parent stock to live for? Presumably you need to replace them quite often? I gather that Hubbards can actually live quite a long time.

lord flynn

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2015, 04:23:41 pm »
At the rate supermarkets are going, I may have some chicks off you for my freezer if you want to sell.

Clansman

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Ayrshire
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2015, 06:00:01 pm »
How long would you expect the parent stock to live for? Presumably you need to replace them quite often? I gather that Hubbards can actually live quite a long time.

They should live for a good few years, i've seen the odd few of these breeders mysteriously disappear at the end of their commercial flock cycle during the depletion and end up on a smallholding somewhere, running around for a good few years quite happily.

Whether they are still producing fertile eggs or not I have no idea though.

Commercially they are not economically viable after their first year, the egg production and fertility reduces too much and they are just replaced by new stock at around 60 weeks old.

When they come into lay on commercial farms they hit peak egg production around the 25 week mark which is  expressed as a percentage and usually over 90% (9 eggs laid per 10 hens per week = 90%)

This tails off over time and by 60 weeks they will be down to around 40-50% production (4-5 eggs per 10 hens)

They can be kept through the moult and they will come back into production usually peaking at around 80% and producing larger eggs but purely from the financial point of view its quite a lot cheaper just to replace them.

For me though as long as i'm still getting a few good hatching eggs out of them i'll keep them as long as I can

If I have 20 females as planned I should initially be seeing 100 -120 good hatching eggs per week, tailing off to 50-60 at the end of their first year.

Even setting 20 hatching eggs a week would be quite an operation, i'd always have 60 eggs incubating and a batch of chicks ready to hatch at any one time. plus those already at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 weeks old

But the plan is to sell excess chicks and possibly a few hatching eggs and fill as many freezers as I can!  ;D

Lord Flynn hopefully you can be my first customer! :)

AndynJ

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • uk
  • Says it as it is. don't like it don't look
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2015, 09:28:24 pm »
I know of a farmer who produces 10,000 (meat) eggs a week under contract, his sheds/kit were 1.1M

He has hundreds of left over eggs every day 10 buys you as many as you can carry.

Clansman

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Ayrshire
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2015, 09:55:13 pm »
I know of a farmer who produces 10,000 (meat) eggs a week under contract, his sheds/kit were 1.1M

He has hundreds of left over eggs every day 10 buys you as many as you can carry.

Are you sure on the figures there Andy?

To produce 10,000 eggs per week he would only need a flock size of around 2000 which would be  the smallest breeder farm i've ever heard of, never seen any below 10,000 birds.

It certainly wouldn't need more than one very small shed and certainly not a million quids worth.

Are the eggs he has left over not rejects? Surely  not hatching eggs
« Last Edit: January 29, 2015, 06:15:50 pm by Clansman »

AndynJ

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • uk
  • Says it as it is. don't like it don't look
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2015, 10:16:08 pm »
I know of a farmer who produces 10,000 (meat) eggs a week under contract, his sheds/kit were 1.1M

He has hundreds of left over eggs every day 10 buys you as many as you can carry.

Are you sure on the figures there Andy?

To produce 10,000 eggs per week he would only need a flock size of around 2000 which would be  the smallest breeder farm i've ever heard of, never seen any below 10,000 birds.

It certainly wouldn't need more than one very small shed and certainly not a milloin quids worth.

Are the eggs he has left over not rejects? Surely  not hatching eggs

I'm fairly sure it's 10,000 he has just over 2000 birds his sheds are heated, lit, ventilated etc.

The eggs he sells on are rejects yes, we had 300 eggs we had approx. 180 hatch

I will ask him to confirm numbers as I am going up there tomorrow.

As you have first hand knowledge of broiler farms have you any suggestions to an economical way to finish birds on site, only 180-200 a week

Clansman

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Ayrshire
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2015, 10:27:39 pm »
I've been out the broiler farming for a few years now but still keep in touch with a lot of the guys that still work there.

They are apparently seeing good results feeding high percentages of whole  wheat for the last couple of weeks which reduces the feed cost quite considerably

Clansman

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Ayrshire
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2015, 04:46:51 pm »
Delivery date now confirmed as Wednesday 11th February  :excited:

I'm meeting up with the Aviagen lorry as it heads North with a large delivery to collect our huge order!  :innocent:

100 females and 20 males  :innocent:

All have been vaccinated for Mareks and Infectious Bronchitis

Males will get Nova Tech laser treatment on their beak tips (the new method of beak trimming)

They'll also have the first joint of their inner toes removed (to prevent damage to the hens)

and they have been despurred.

Invoice also arrived today, 413 in total

so 41.13 per 10 females and 2 males

Commercially these run 10 females to 1 male but as these are going to be split up into groups as small as 10 females then it would mean people only getting one male each which as we all know is just tempting fate that he'll keel over!  :innocent:

If 1% of your males drop dead in a 20,000 bird breeder farm you'd hardly notice but I you only have one to start with and he pops his clogs then you're stuffed!

I explained this to Aviagen and asked for a few extra males.

they've given us an extra 10 males free of charge  :thumbsup:

So everyone getting 10 females will now have 2 males, 20 females - 4 males etc

Looking forward to it now, going to get the shed set up for them this weekend  :thumbsup:








Victorian Farmer

  • Guest
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2015, 02:54:34 pm »
Very good  read/   most of the eggs checked whith tempriture censer the brinsea are bad for this .The chicks hatch and the dawn slows the fans dawn over time and the bottom of the incubater is dawn 5 degreases .I think its a good project to do .I'm triying to make a meat bird for the estate some think like Dorking indian game .The meat chicks will sell .I' would Have a go at the marts ,sell the eggs to pay the pens 3 a pen 8 chicks in a pen about 50 a pen i would of thort .
« Last Edit: February 01, 2015, 02:57:42 pm by Victorian Farmer »

Clansman

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Ayrshire
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2015, 10:03:57 am »
I'm triying to make a meat bird for the estate some think like Dorking indian game .The meat chicks will sell

Are you going for a pure breed cross meat bird or would it be an idea for you to cross a pure breed with some of these broiler breeders?

I'm sure I could spare you a few

Victorian Farmer

  • Guest
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2015, 05:56:33 pm »
I think that if the right cock bird was used it would work ,I would try a road a sussex a marran or a sussex D104 the D104 lays 300 egg so a incubater full of these would make a good utilatey flok. The best hens iv ever made was a blue marran good dark eggs and 12 cuckoo marran hens .They was big like a black rock the neck bleeds a band round there neck and sext linc .So i had lots of cock birds some one said il have them . i gave him a bag of weat and away he went .The christmas sale was on at huntley these cock birds were for sale drest 20 each they looked great . Would like to see a pic of the breeders .A nother thort castle farms welsh blacks good cock birds

Clansman

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Ayrshire
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2015, 09:38:28 am »
Struggling to find a few good pictures on the internet but this'll give you an idea







Victorian Farmer

  • Guest
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2015, 12:12:55 pm »
Looking at them onley one would do ixworth ,Iff you look on the 2 birds  the black is marran
« Last Edit: February 03, 2015, 12:15:56 pm by Victorian Farmer »

 

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