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Flock management tip for breeders: Why grade males at 28 days?

This is the first in a new series called 'Flock Management Tips' presented by Aviagen.

by 5m Editor
21 February 2019, at 12:00a.m.

The importance and benefits of grading males is often over-looked. Although males form only a small percentage of the total population, they make up 50 percent of a day-old chick and must be given equal, if not even more, attention than the females.

Grading males within a population will produce:

  • A more uniform body weight
  • A more uniform skeletal conformation
  • A more uniform testes development and size
  • A higher and sustained level of fertility throughout production
  • A population that is easier to manage

Re-draw body-weight profiles and adjust feed levels to bring graded populations back to target body weight by 63 days.

Males at the extremes of the population, either very light or very heavy, and any males with skeletal deformities should be removed throughout the rearing period.