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Differences between broiler and layer chickens II

Video discussing the differences between broiler and layer chickens.
In stark contrast to the pampered world of the pet chicken, the UK commercial sector manages the welfare of more than 42 million layers annually. Whilst globally, total annual broiler meat production is 130 million tonnes. The differences between layers and broilers are widely and commonly misunderstood. Whilst layers are always female with males being culled on hatching, broiler cockerels are not culled. Historically, birds were reared for multi-purpose use. But commercial demands have influenced specialist breeding, resulting in genetic selection for specific performance requirements. Let’s have a look at some of the differences in more detail. Once collected, fertilised eggs are taken to hatcheries where they’re incubated to produce broiler chicks. Initial incubation takes place in a machine called a setter.
Usually a setter is the size of a large room and has racks either side of a central corridor. The racks hold trays of eggs stored pointed end down. Humidity and temperature are closely maintained with fans circulating the air evenly. The racks pivot from side to side hourly, and eggs remain in the setter for 18 days. After 18 days, the eggs are then transferred to hatches. The trays allow the eggs to rest on their sides and provide space for newly hatched chicks to move away from the shell. On day 21, the trays are removed and the chicks inspected, sorted by sex, vaccinated, and boxed for transport to the broiler unit.

In this video, Gaynor Davies explains the differences between broilers and layers and tells us how the commercial sector uses technology to maximise efficiencies.

Let us know your thoughts after watching this video. Has your knowledge of broiler and layer differences and the hatching process improved? We’d love to hear your feedback.

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Poultry Health

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