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Increasing persistency in lay and stabilising egg quality in longer laying cycles. What are the challenges?

Bain MM, Nys Y, Dunn IC - Br. Poult. Sci. (2016)

Bottom Line: Persistency in lay however cannot be achieved without due consideration of how to sustain egg quality and the health and welfare of the birds in longer laying cycles.The recent advent of molecular genetics offers considerable hope that these multiple elements can be balanced for the good of all in the industry including the hens.The "long life" layer, which will be capable of producing 500 eggs in a laying cycle of 100 weeks, is therefore on the horizon, bringing with it the benefits of a more efficient utilisation of diminishing resources, including land, water, raw materials for feed as well as a reduction in waste, and an overall reduced carbon footprint.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: a IBAHCM, College of MVLS , University of Glasgow, Bearsden , Glasgow , Scotland , UK.

ABSTRACT
In the past 50 years, selection starting initially at the breed level and then using quantitative genetics coupled with a sophisticated breeding pyramid, has resulted in a very productive hybrid for a variety of traits associated with egg production. One major trait currently being developed further is persistency of lay and the concept of the "long life" layer. Persistency in lay however cannot be achieved without due consideration of how to sustain egg quality and the health and welfare of the birds in longer laying cycles. These multiple goals require knowledge and consideration of the bird's physiology, nutritional requirements, which vary depending on age and management system, reproductive status and choice of the selection criteria applied. The recent advent of molecular genetics offers considerable hope that these multiple elements can be balanced for the good of all in the industry including the hens. The "long life" layer, which will be capable of producing 500 eggs in a laying cycle of 100 weeks, is therefore on the horizon, bringing with it the benefits of a more efficient utilisation of diminishing resources, including land, water, raw materials for feed as well as a reduction in waste, and an overall reduced carbon footprint.

No MeSH data available.


Stylised representation of how increasing the laying cycle to 90–100 weeks will significantly reduce the number of multiplier hens and hence the overall shape of the breeding pyramid.
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Figure 0001: Stylised representation of how increasing the laying cycle to 90–100 weeks will significantly reduce the number of multiplier hens and hence the overall shape of the breeding pyramid.

Mentions: Over the next 4 decades, the world’s population is forecast to increase by 25% and to meet this challenge food production needs to increase by 60% (FAOSTAT, 2013). Eggs constitute one of the most affordable sources of animal protein available, and so it is not surprising that the number of laying flocks is rapidly increasing in developing countries like India and China. In Europe, the priority is to increase egg production by breeding for increased persistency in lay and stability in egg quality so that the laying cycle of commercial flocks can be extended to 90–100 weeks. Although making hens lay for longer may not receive universal acclaim from those opposed to current farming practices, it appears to be the most logical approach to the efficient utilisation of resources as the benefits are both financial and environmental. For example, we estimate that even 25 more eggs per hen could potentially reduce the UK flock, including breeding hens, by 2.5 million birds per annum. The net effect of this on the overall shape of the breeding pyramid is illustrated in Figure 1. The potential savings highlight the environmental benefits of a reduction in the national breeding flock as well as the obvious reduction in food required to maintain these hens. On the environmental front it was calculated that around 1 g of nitrogen could be saved per dozen eggs for an increase of 10 weeks in production (Dr Murdo Macleod, personal communication). This would considerably reduce the nitrification impact of increasing or maintaining production that is especially important in nitrate sensitive areas.Figure 1.


Increasing persistency in lay and stabilising egg quality in longer laying cycles. What are the challenges?

Bain MM, Nys Y, Dunn IC - Br. Poult. Sci. (2016)

Stylised representation of how increasing the laying cycle to 90–100 weeks will significantly reduce the number of multiplier hens and hence the overall shape of the breeding pyramid.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4940894&req=5

Figure 0001: Stylised representation of how increasing the laying cycle to 90–100 weeks will significantly reduce the number of multiplier hens and hence the overall shape of the breeding pyramid.
Mentions: Over the next 4 decades, the world’s population is forecast to increase by 25% and to meet this challenge food production needs to increase by 60% (FAOSTAT, 2013). Eggs constitute one of the most affordable sources of animal protein available, and so it is not surprising that the number of laying flocks is rapidly increasing in developing countries like India and China. In Europe, the priority is to increase egg production by breeding for increased persistency in lay and stability in egg quality so that the laying cycle of commercial flocks can be extended to 90–100 weeks. Although making hens lay for longer may not receive universal acclaim from those opposed to current farming practices, it appears to be the most logical approach to the efficient utilisation of resources as the benefits are both financial and environmental. For example, we estimate that even 25 more eggs per hen could potentially reduce the UK flock, including breeding hens, by 2.5 million birds per annum. The net effect of this on the overall shape of the breeding pyramid is illustrated in Figure 1. The potential savings highlight the environmental benefits of a reduction in the national breeding flock as well as the obvious reduction in food required to maintain these hens. On the environmental front it was calculated that around 1 g of nitrogen could be saved per dozen eggs for an increase of 10 weeks in production (Dr Murdo Macleod, personal communication). This would considerably reduce the nitrification impact of increasing or maintaining production that is especially important in nitrate sensitive areas.Figure 1.

Bottom Line: Persistency in lay however cannot be achieved without due consideration of how to sustain egg quality and the health and welfare of the birds in longer laying cycles.The recent advent of molecular genetics offers considerable hope that these multiple elements can be balanced for the good of all in the industry including the hens.The "long life" layer, which will be capable of producing 500 eggs in a laying cycle of 100 weeks, is therefore on the horizon, bringing with it the benefits of a more efficient utilisation of diminishing resources, including land, water, raw materials for feed as well as a reduction in waste, and an overall reduced carbon footprint.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: a IBAHCM, College of MVLS , University of Glasgow, Bearsden , Glasgow , Scotland , UK.

ABSTRACT
In the past 50 years, selection starting initially at the breed level and then using quantitative genetics coupled with a sophisticated breeding pyramid, has resulted in a very productive hybrid for a variety of traits associated with egg production. One major trait currently being developed further is persistency of lay and the concept of the "long life" layer. Persistency in lay however cannot be achieved without due consideration of how to sustain egg quality and the health and welfare of the birds in longer laying cycles. These multiple goals require knowledge and consideration of the bird's physiology, nutritional requirements, which vary depending on age and management system, reproductive status and choice of the selection criteria applied. The recent advent of molecular genetics offers considerable hope that these multiple elements can be balanced for the good of all in the industry including the hens. The "long life" layer, which will be capable of producing 500 eggs in a laying cycle of 100 weeks, is therefore on the horizon, bringing with it the benefits of a more efficient utilisation of diminishing resources, including land, water, raw materials for feed as well as a reduction in waste, and an overall reduced carbon footprint.

No MeSH data available.