Dear Poultry Farmer,
Production Phase in Males breeders need to be transferred to the production house 3-5 days earlier than the females, so they can learn to eat from the male feeder.
After males and females are mixed, separate feeding systems are available so bodyweight and uniformity of males and females can be independently controlled.
It is important that males do not have access to the females’ feed and vice versa.
As roosters (Male) have larger heads than hens (Female), males can be kept out of female feeders by exclusion systems such as Grills or Roller bars feeder. Grills placed over hen feed troughs create vertical and horizontal restrictions which exclude males with greater head width and full combs, but allow females unimpeded access to the feed.
With some strains of broiler breeders, the difference between the size of the heads or combs between males and females is insufficient to control feed access with grills.
In these cases, a Plastic Bar, commonly called a “Nose Bone” is placed through the Nares and Nasal Septum, if you can and let it be carefully done to avoid injuries on them.
Male feeder lines need to be sufficiently elevated above the floor to prevent hens from reaching feed intended for roosters. In some housing arrangements a separate male water line runs down the scratch area, but, more commonly, the males use the female water lines above the slates.
Ideally, breeders should be fed daily, but skip-a-day feeding programs have been used when feeding space is limited and are most common.
Broiler breeders consume their feed in a short period of time (less than 30 minutes). Consequently, feed should be distributed to all chickens along the entire length of the feed line in less than 3 minutes so all birds can eat at the same time.
If delivery takes too long, aggressive birds consume most of the feed as it leaves the hopper. If feed is not delivered along the length of the entire feed line in a short period of time, dominant birds have access to more feed and gain more weight each week than smaller, less dominant birds.
Under these conditions, body weight uniformity declines even if initial body weight uniformity was good. Another problem that can occur with skip-a-day feeding is engorgement of food to the point that birds can compress the trachea and die of suffocation.
When birds are seen in respiratory distress shortly after feeding, the crop needs to be checked to see if it is hard. If so, the bird can usually be saved by gently massaging the food laterally away from the trachea.