Layer Nutrition

A sound nutrition program is needed to aid flock's ability to respond to vaccinations and to reduce the effects of disease agent challenge. Proper nutrient levels at each stage of growing and production are required for proper

Several layer flock management practices impact layer health. Dead birds left in cages longer than one day will expose the live layers to high levels of bacteria. Composting dead birds in the pits of high-rise layer housing or maintaining a dead bird grinder in the live bird area also has been associated with an increase in bacterial infection of layers. The management of light intensity will aid in controlling peckout/prolapse mortality. Additional feedings given during hot weather will benefit birds by reducing the incidence of calcium depletion.

Proper pest control management (for rodents and flies) minimizes exposure to E. coli and Se. Manure management in high-rise housing storage pits is key to reduced fly breeding. Provisions are needed for drying the manure and for moving the dry manure between the manure piles to the top of the pile. An increasing number of pullet and layer units now remove manure from the house daily, or every other day, to a storage unit outside in order to control flies. Optimum rodent control involves constant vigilance in placing barriers between the layer house environment and the rodents on the outside, and in removing areas conducive to rodent nesting. Chemical baiting is also a part of the control program, but it cannot be relied on alone and needs to be considered a minor part of the entire program.

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