Egg Production – How to manage need-based feeding of laying hens with amacs and split feeding control
Split feeding is an alternative system for feeding layers. It provides different morning and afternoon diets to the birds. This responds to their physiological feeding behaviour and nutrient intake according to the different requirements throughout the day. The feeding process is controlled by the Big Dutchman management system amacs. The newest feature in the amacs feeding module is the split feeding control.
So, what are the advantages of the split feeding concept and how could it benefit you and your poultry? Let’s find out.
Split feeding in egg production
The birds are fed twice a day, once in the morning and again in the afternoon. The morning feed, which accounts for 40% of the daily ration, affects the content of the eggs. The remaining 60% influences the growth of the egg shell.
What is the difference between the two types of feed?
The morning feed has increased energy protein and phosphate contents. It is well digestible meaning it passes the intestines faster. The afternoon feed is rich in calcium and fibres, but low in phosphorus.
What effect does this type of feeding have?
Split feeding allows the right feed to be in the birds’ stomach at the right time. For example, if the hens were given high-energy food in the afternoon, they would excrete it rather than making use of the extra energy.
How do hens react to split feeding?
When switched to split feeding, hens are often more agile, their intestinal health and metabolism can improve, and their bone density is higher, which means the sternum is stronger and feet are more stable. There is a noticeable link between split feeding and higher animal welfare. On top of this, the birds weights also remain more stable.
How does split feeding affect the eggs laid?
Split feeding can improve the quality of the egg shell because a calcium component can be added at the time the shell is formed. The shell is approximately 10 percent stronger which means the eggs remain saleable for a longer period of time.
Are there any ‘side effects’?
There is less ammonia produced in the barn because the birds consume less water, meaning the manure is drier and the litter is cleaner.
Poultry farmers Stefanie and Hans-Albert Meiners-Funke have been using the new amacs software and is seeing positive results. When asked if they like the new software, they replied “A lot! As a user, you only need to know the right feed quantities for your birds; amacs automatically calculates the switching times so that all hens always receive the same feed”, Hans-Albert continued, “The system also automatically responds to changes in the eating behaviour. This becomes very obvious on hot summer days, for example.”
Big Dutchman asked what they think about the visualisation, Hans responded “I like it very much! You can’t make any mistakes and will easily be able to operate the system correctly even without knowing every single function. The system is self-explanatory.”
For more information on amacs, please contact Newquip on 01677 428600 or use the form here