Chicken eggs and egg products are an important, accessible food source for the human diet. Globally, the demand for eggs continues to increase as populations grow and recognize eggs as a desirable protein source.
With this growing demand, laying hen operations cannot afford to be bogged down by operational challenges that hinder productivity. The layer industry is constantly under pressure to achieve efficient, high-performance results at a competitive cost. Today’s modern laying hen has a life cycle of about 100 weeks and is expected to produce around 500 eggs with strong eggshells within that timeframe. As a result, each hen needs to have nutritional and environmental needs met to experience optimal wellbeing and produce more high-quality eggs.
Turning Laying Flock Challenges into Opportunities
How can consistent, high-performance results be maintained? Evaluating the current productivity of your flock and identifying areas for growth can help determine which industry challenges and trends are worth focusing on. Challenges impacting the industry include:
- Egg numbers – Hens need to produce more saleable eggs more efficiently. Merely increasing egg production alone won’t address the issue unless enhancements in feed conversion ratio (FCR) and egg quality can also be achieved.
- Robustness – Birds need to be more robust in every environment and require additional support for skeletal health and laying persistence.
- Immunity and food safety – Hens need a robust immune system to overcome potential stressors and remain productive. With strong immunity, hens can defend against outside pathogens for better food safety.
- Niche markets – Enriched and organic eggs are niche markets growing in consumer demand. Maintaining healthy and productive flocks capable of meeting the demands of these markets can enhance profitability.
- Welfare – Managing bird stress and decreasing health concerns like foot issues, weak bones, poor feather quality and pecking behavior is a necessity for the continued wellbeing of each animal and consumer’s peace of mind.
- Sustainability – Consumers and regulatory agencies are expecting the industry to meet sustainability goals and reduce environmental inputs.
While the current state of the industry and growing trends can feel daunting, each area presents an opportunity for adaptation and advancement. With a tailored management plan in place your layer flock can improve productivity and meet your unique business goals.
How to Increase Egg Production in Layers
Using a holistic view of layer health and operational management, flocks can improve production and begin producing a higher amount of strong, high-quality eggs. Emphasizing these key management areas will also contribute to improved operational profitability and sustainability:
Nutrition and Formulation
Feeding proven nutrition, you can help each bird perform to its genetic potential and exhibit the ideal traits of a strong, good egg layer: robustness, laying persistence and a strong skeleton. We partner with producers to take a strategic approach in mineral supplementation that delivers impactful health and performance benefits. Zinpro® Performance Minerals® are a proven nutrition source with unrivalled absorption and can support the hen throughout her productive lifespan. Trace minerals play key roles in the immune system, build up the epithelial barrier and are necessary for proper skeletal development.
A robust laying hen will have the overall health and immune competence to recover from disease and other challenges more quickly, allowing her body to focus on her own maintenance and egg production. Zinpro Performance Minerals improve the epithelial barrier – leading to better intestinal health, a boosted respiratory system with substantial improvement of skin and feather integrity. This also aids in stronger immune and vaccine responses, which help create more uniformity and livability while protecting the flock.
Nutrition can also be leveraged to sell into niche markets, like enriched eggs. Incorporating Zinpro Performance Minerals into the layer diet is proven to increase the transfer rate of trace minerals to the egg yolk and albumen allowing eggs to be sold as “enriched eggs” for greater profitability. Always count on the experience in this matter of our professionals who already advise clients who produce enriched eggs.
Capitalizing on the many benefits of nutrition does not have to be complicated. The Zinpro® Global Poultry Mineral Guide was created to show how nutrition can be flexible and customizable to each flock. This interactive tool compiles trace mineral recommendations to help operations address different challenges and support stronger chicken egg layers. Using this guide, you can ensure your hens are receiving the best trace mineral nutrition in a solid or water-soluble delivery system for maximum performance.
The Zinpro® BlueBox™ is an eggshell evaluation tool that helps address opportunities for stronger returns on investment. Using years of research and data, the Zinpro BlueBox tells the full story of eggshell translucency and its correlation to eggshell strength and egg quality. Using this exclusive Zinpro tool, producers can gauge operational success and better benchmark flock performance.
Animal welfare remains a growing concern among consumers. The incorporation of Zinpro solutions into layer diets can help improve welfare concerns like skeletal makeup, pecking behavior and stress. With the right nutrition, layers are positioned to be resilient and exhibit fewer stress-induced behaviors while staying healthier and more productive.
Driving Flock Sustainability
Zinpro solutions also assist layer operations in elevating their current sustainability practices. Trace mineral inclusion rates can help achieve more sustainable animal production. Formulating diets with the most bioavailable trace minerals, Zinpro Performance Minerals, allows producers to formulate minerals more effectively and decrease excess nutrient excretion without sacrificing performance. Additionally, Zinpro solutions support greater feed efficiency, a key metric for the economic and operational sustainability of every flock.
Partnership and Expertise to Drive Stronger Egg Layers
Collaboration, proven nutrition and innovative solutions are critical to support your flock and produce stronger chicken eggshells.
Visit our layers species page to learn more about the unique solutions we can bring your animals and your business as you meet the demand for more high-quality eggs.