Efficient feed management of layers is essential in order to maximize profit and improve overall performance therefore nutrition plays a vital role in the performance of layer birds.
Feeding management for layer pullets should targeted at maintaining the recommended growth rate that will lead to the pullet reaching sexual maturity at the desired age while avoiding obesity. The stage at which a pullet will start laying eggs is affected by age, body weight and day length. On a percentage basis, layer pullet diets have lower energy and protein levels than chick diets.
It is important for poultry farmers to have flock that comes to lay at the right time, peak production, consistent peak production period, standard egg size, good cull bird weight and reduced feed cost per egg. Good flock management for day 1 is instrumental in having an efficient laying flock therefore body weight should be taken every week from 1st week to 18th week of age, monitoring of the flock’s uniformity, sorting out of the underweight and fed separately.
Every farmer most ensure that feed consumption is compared with the standard and it must meet nutrient specifications required to attain right body weight. Nutritional requirements of birds will vary depending upon the age, climate and breeds therefore it is very important that formulations should be prepared to meet nutritional requirement of birds or patronize a reputable feedmill. A lot of poutry farmers used to have problems with feeds and it affect the overall performance of layers.
The aim of layer diets is to optimise egg production (in terms of egg numbers, egg size or egg mass), provide the nutrition required to safeguard health and maintain the desired body weight. As with layer pullets, different breeders recommend different feeding strategies for their birds, including the number of different diets fed during the laying stage. Calcium is increased for egg shell formation.
Moreover, while preparing the feed formulation, good quality/ availabilty of raw materials and cost must be considered to meet the profit objectives. The nutrients in the feed raw materials should be utilized efficiently through proper digestion and absorption of nutrients by using emulsifier and enzymes.