The management of broiler breeders requires a very specific housing system and feeding technology, as the birds are bred for rapid growth and thus genetically determined to gain weight instead of producing many eggs. This requires that neither males nor females may become too heavy to ensure that constantly high laying performances as well as fertility rates are achieved during the laying period.
The housing equipment (feeding, drinking, nests, manure pit) and the ideal position of each component significantly contribute to the successful production of hatching eggs. The following items are especially important:
- the correct feeding concept
- easy access to the nest
- ample freedom of movement
- the correct size and height of the manure pit
- short rolling-off distances and gentle transport of the eggs
- the use of high-quality materials for optimum hygiene
Depending on the selected components – chain or pan feeding, single or group laying nests, etc. – there are different housing concepts which have proven their worth in practice.