Robust, healthy point of lay pullets are crucial for sustained egg production. Pullets must be physically and immunologically healthy so that their welfare is fully supported and they can be economically productive throughout their time in the laying shed.
In the first of two articles, we look at how attention to detail is the key to successful point of lay pullet rearing; from preparing the rearing house, and throughout the growing period, to loading and delivery of the birds.
A pullet’s immune system develops throughout rearing, so Humphrey Pullets’ rearing houses are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before each new batch of birds. We also maintain tight access and bio-security measures to exclude potential disease sources.
Air quality is closely monitored, particular carbon dioxide levels, and water feed pipes regularly checked to ensure water is untainted and fresh.
Chicks cannot control their temperature until around 14 days old, so rearing house and litter temperatures are accurately controlled to keep the chicks’ internal temperature at 40-41°C.
Light control is a critical aspect of preparing point of lay pullets for egg production. Lighting programmes are developed to suit customers’ laying accommodation and egg size requirements.
Vaccination programmes can be tailored for a customer’s specific requirements, but our standard programme commences in the hatchery and continues throughout the 112-day rearing period. Pullets receive a final vaccination prior to delivery.
We start day-old chicks with crumbed feed for the right balance of nutrients, especially calcium for developing skeletons. All of our rations, from chick crumb to pre-lay are produced in our Twyford poultry feed mill and delivered in our own vehicles to ensure complete control of the quality of the feed.
We use Actigen in chick rations to promote healthy gastrointestinal tract development, with all the health and resilience benefits this brings.
All flocks receive a course of Flubenvet, the in-feed worming treatment, at 15 weeks to further aid bird health.
The grist of the feeds is tailored to ensure that the pullets develop optimally, even if climatic conditions adversely affect birds’ appetites.
Humphrey Feeds and Pullets
Humphrey Feeds and Pullets has been involved in poultry, rearing pullets and manufacturing layers feed for more than 80 years.
We help independent free range and organic egg producers achieve optimal performance whilst maintaining excellent welfare standards. To find out more about our services, call us on 01962 764555 or visit our website.