Training to become an athlete

A laying hen starts her life in the hatchery and will eventually find herself in a housing system in a laying hen house. To achieve the best possible results in the production of eggs for consumption, good training in rearing is very important. A top athlete is not born as a top athlete, but must be trained, and that also applies to a laying hen. Before the chick can deliver optimum production, it goes through various phases.

When the chick arrives at the rearing company, the training starts. The chick begins its search for food and water, to grow and develop. As the chick grows, the training program is expanded, encouraging the chick to search for water and food at different levels and learning to sit on perches. This is a good preparation for the laying hen house where water and feed are also on different levels in an multi-tier aviary system. In addition, a light dimming program is set up to stimulate the natural day and night rhythm of the chick. The light goes out last in the system levels, so the chick learns to sleep here instead of on the litter. After approximately 17 weeks the laying hen goes to the production house. She then knows how to move through the system and easily finds her way to feed, water and the nest.

Optimal rearing is essential to obtain laying hens that deliver top performance. By applying the right training program, the hen can become a top athlete, and as with most top athletes, you have to score in a basket, goal or as in this case score in the nest!

Ilse Poolen- Poultry Specialist