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Flashcards in Under-performance in Poultry Deck (15):

Which production indicators are used to measure performance in layer hens?

Saleable egg numbers
Saleable eggs per bird (EPB) per 72 weeks


What are signs of under-performance in layer hens?

Reduction in egg numbers compared to breed standard
Reduction in egg size compared with breed standard
Increases in substandard eggs
Higher than normal hen mortality
Reductions in profits


What factors influence poor egg production?

Poor rearing
Poor environment on layer farm causing stress
Poor management on layer farm such as mechanism of collection/transportation of eggs
Poor nutrition leading to poor weights or lack of calcium to make shells


How does poor rearing influence egg production?

Good growth rates are essential with key weight targets at 6 weeks and 12 weeks


How is rearing progress assessed?

Daily food and water intake
Daily mortality/culls
Weekly bird weights
Even flock and variation from breed standard


What history should be taken when investigating poor performance on a rearing farm/stud?

Chick factors such as breeder flock/hatchery conditions
Day old management
Daily temperatures and humidity
Feed/water quality and availability
Mortality/cull figures
Bio-security risks


How should clinical examination of poor performance on a rearing farm/stud be conducted?

Observe shed environment, temperature, ventilation and humidity, chick appearance, bunching/spread out, morbidity, feeding/drinking habits, litter quality/faeces


What diagnostic samples should be done when investigating poor performance on a rearing farm/stud?

PME using poor/moribund birds
Sample for histopathology at bursa of fabricus
Paristiology (coccidiosis) and bacteriology (yolk sac infection)
Serology for viral infections such as Gumboro/IB


What history should be taken when investigating poor performance in laying hens?

Production %, egg quality and total mortality in past 7 days
Ages on site, vaccination, bodyweights
Lighting pattern, ventilation systems, power failures and nest box failures
Feed source, feed changes, feed inclusions, quantity eaten, feeder management
Water supply and amount consumed
Other avian species on farm? Predators? Stressors?
Routine treatments, products used, routine diagnostics


How should a clinical examination of a laying flock be performed when investigating poor performance?

Activity, noise, feathering, aggression
Pale folded combs and wattles, sneezing, snickering, ocular/nasal discharges, faeces
Air quality, ventilation rates, temperature, lighting pattern
Feeder and drinker quality/access, perching, litter quality


What should eggs be examined for if investigating poor performance in laying flock?

Mis-shaped - IB or stress 10-14 hours pre lay
Calcium splash (pink eggs) - in shell gland too long/stress at lay
Rough shelled - 2 eggs in oviduct/slabbing
Soft shelled - older flocks/in oviduct too long/calcium supply/IB


What diagnostics should be performed when investigating poor performance on a laying farm?

PME, culling from moribund birds
Samples for histopathology
Parasitology of faeces for worms or coccidiosis
Bacteriology for E. coli, Pasteurella, Erysipelas
Serology for IB, ART, ND, ILT
PCR/virus isolation


What are the measures of profitability on a broiler unit?

Feed cost per kg of live broiler
Processing yield


How is performance measured on a broiler unit?

Mortality to 7 days
Bodyweight data (breed targets)
Weigh once weekly for first 3 weeks then twice weekly
Feed conversion rate (1.66kg feed to 1kg meat)


What is the European Performance Efficiency Factor?

Weight gain, FCR and mortality
Target is a score of over 400