Layer Feed Quality Conference – Day 3 Highlights

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The final day of Asian Agribiz’s Layer Feed Quality Conference 2022 streamed on May 25, with Prof Doug Korver of the University of Alberta in Canada leading the session on ‘Setting up layers for a profitable mid to late‐lay’. Read the highlights below.

Achieving profitable mid to late-lay starts with the pullet

To achieve profitable mid to late-lay egg production, producers must begin with a good pullet. Prof Korver noted that realizing production goals like high peak, good persistency, long laying cycle, egg size and shell quality management, and good skeletal health successfully depends on pullet management and nutrition. “I encourage producers to start with the end in mind and listen to what the birds are ‘saying’,” he said. “We must manage body weight and body composition, uniformity, and skeletal development.” Think long term and not just what would minimize the short-term costs, he said, and look at the pullet as an investment in future egg production and profit.

Reduce aP for phytase to work in layer diets

Adding phytase to layer diets works, but producers must reduce the available phosphorus (aP) in the formulation to make it cost-effective. Prof Korver notes that current recommendations for Ca and aP in layers have safety margins. “We can reduce the aP levels because I think we have too much aP to begin with, so if you want your phytase to be effective, you need to reduce it even further,” he said. Failure to adjust aP levels when feeding phytase will increase feed cost without getting the beneficial effects of the phytase to the diet. Moreover, it would also decrease egg-shell quality because of excess P.

Editor, Asian Pork Magazine, Manila, Philippines. Isa is the in-house expert on African swine fever, as her deep knowledge on the subject is imbued in articles such as, ‘Strategic testing and extraction help farms survive ASF’.