Laying persistency – 500 eggs in a single laying cycle in 100 weeks

Laying persistency is a major trait currently being developed further in laying hens. The “long life” layer, which will be capable of producing 500 eggs in a laying cycle of 100 weeks, is on the horizon.

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. Breeding programs are particularly focusing on improving laying persistency and egg quality at the end of the laying cycle.

Reducing cost of egg production

Economic reasons play an important role in taking this decision. It means less feed is required per egg. Keeping the birds longer will decrease the financial contribution of the 18-week-old pullet to the cost per table egg. Maintaining egg size and quality beyond 75 weeks and up to a target of 100 weeks can have a big impact on the profitability of a flock. The time required to reach the economic break-even of the hen has increased from 34 weeks in 1998 to 52 weeks in 2016. This indicates that longer production cycles are imperative in a tough economic climate.

More sustainable egg production

Longer laying cycles lead to a lower carbon footprint per egg. Furthermore, it was calculated that around 1 g of nitrogen could be saved per dozen eggs for an increase of 10 weeks in production. This can significantly reduce the nitrification impact of increasing or maintaining production, which is especially important in nitrate sensitive areas.

More efficient use of resources and reduction of waste will help to reduce the environmental impact of egg production and preserve the environment.

First commercial flock achieving 500 eggs in 100 weeks

Free range laying systems are following the trend for longer laying periods. The case for extending free-range laying cycles.

Actually, the first commercial flock achieving 500 eggs in 100 weeks, was a free-range laying flock and was reported in June 2018. It involved a 40 000 Dekalb White flock based in Germany. A key success factor in this was that the farmer likes to learn new things.

How to get to 500 eggs in 100 weeks

A decline in egg numbers combined with a deterioration in shell quality are the main reasons for currently replacing flocks at or around 72 weeks of age.

The benefits of genetic selection for improved persistency in lay and stability in egg quality can only be realized if they are matched by improvements in hen nutrition and careful monitoring of the effects of this process on the health and welfare of the hens.

To extend the laying cycle of commercial flocks, long-term maintenance of the tissues and organs involved in producing eggs is required.

Motivational video for 500 eggs in 100 weeks

Nutrition supporting laying persistency

Genetic progress and longer production cycles have consequences for nutrition. Benefits of genetic selection for improved laying persistency and stability in egg quality can only be realized if they are matched by improvements in hen nutrition. There are three important areas that come to mind, when it comes to supporting laying persistence by nutritional means:

1) Careful management of feed/nutrient intake around start of lay and in early laying period

2) Maintaining organs that are important for egg production healthy, e.g. liver

3) Minimizing common stress reactions such as oxidative stress, inflammatory responses and reduction in feed intake to maintain birds healthy and efficient

Supporting birds to keep a positive nutrient balance in the first 10 weeks of lay will help provide a reserve for mid/late lay egg output and improved shell quality.

With older birds it is important to maintain liver health. Consider supporting liver function with relevant additives, such as choline and vitamin E. Adding certain plant extracts to diets has been shown to improve the antioxidant status in laying hens and can be used to prevent oxidative stress. This then also has the potential to prevent fatty liver hemorrhagic syndrome (FLHS).

Managing nutritional stressors

Monitoring mycotoxins in feed also plays a key role for liver health in layers, as mycotoxins will cause oxidative stress and damage to the liver. Laying hens are more sensitive than other poultry to mycotoxins. A longer life makes laying hens ideal candidates for chronic mycotoxicosis, caused by continuous exposure to low levels of toxins.

Poor bird health and environmental stress affect egg formation and the ability of the hen to maintain persistency. This can be aggravated by nutritional stressors in the diet, such as dietary changes, reduced nutrient digestibility, endotoxins, antinutritional factors and mycotoxins.

Nutritional concepts designed to support gut agility, increase the bird’s capacity to adapt to nutritional challenges and live up to its performance potential, particularly under situations of increased stress. Overall, they are a sustainable alternative to help reduce the use of antibiotics in poultry diets, whilst maintaining robust and efficient birds for consistency in the cost-effectiveness of diets at high performance levels.

Adding a product including phytogenic components with antioxidative power and designed for gut agility to the late laying period of a commercial ISA Brown parent layer flock, improved the persistency in lay compared to birds on a control diet.

Recommendations from breeding companies

Feeding laying hens to 100 weeks of age – Lohmann

How to feed layers for a longer production cycle and high performance – Dekalb

Progress in Layer Genetics Longer production cycles, a genetic perspective – ISA

Egg producer – monday motivation video with Anco FIT poultry

The modern egg producer is facing tough challenges ahead. More eggs per laying hen (500 eggs in a single laying cycle of 100 weeks by 2020), whilst reducing the use of antibiotics, improving hen care and welfare, introducing cage-free production and preserving the environment.

It requires extra motivation, new and creative thinking to advance egg production. Watch our Monday motivation video for egg producers to boost your motivation and creativity.

Other sources to brighten your day

11 ways to beat the Monday Blues

Chicken song

More information on Anco FIT Poultry

More eggs, greater laying persistency

Available in more than 30 countries

Improved antioxidative capacity for better feed efficiency

Antioxidative power for your antibiotic-free feed strategy

Certain phytogenic feed additives can support high feed efficiency in ABF (antibiotic-free) feeding strategies due to their high antioxidative power. Recent studies indicate a positive relationship between increased anti-oxidative capacity in broilers induced by certain plant extracts in feed and improved feed efficiency.

Link to related article Improve broiler feed efficiency with antioxidative capacity

Agile power of plants

Through a multitude of bioactive substances, with a variety of adaptive properties plants are very well equipped to be polyvalent to different stressors and to prevent their negative impact. Bioactive substances derived from plants have also shown to support humans and animals to adapt to stressors more adequately and help counteract some of the negative physiological and metabolic side effects. Applying the right combination of plant extracts to feed can therefore help the animal become more robust and reach performance potential more efficiently in the face of stressors, including mycotoxins.

Oxidative stress – a common stress reaction

A common reaction to stressors is an increase in Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) on the cellular level. ROS are produced endogenously by normal metabolic processes, but amounts may be increased markedly by certain stressors, including heat and toxins. Deficiencies of natural protective substances or excess exposure to stimulators of ROS production may result in oxidative stress, which occurs when ROS exceed the capacity of antioxidants. Oxidative stress is a major factor related to the development of inflammatory diseases.

Antioxidative power in herbs and spices

The ROS detoxification process in plants is essential for the protection of plant cells against the toxic effect of ROS. Hence many herbs and spices are rich in antioxidative defense mechanisms. The ROS detoxification systems in plants include enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants. Non-enzymatic antioxidants involved include phenolic compounds, flavonoids, alkaloids, tocopherol and carotenoids. These antioxidant defense systems work in concert to control the cascades of uncontrolled oxidation and protect plant cells from oxidative damage.

Phytogenic feed additives based on extracts and material from herbs and spices with high antioxidative power, can be used to support the antioxidative capacity in animals and make them more resistant to stress factors which would otherwise increase oxidative stress and reduce feed efficiency.

Related articles and scientific abstracts

Improve broiler feed efficiency with antioxidative capacity

Evolution in the evaluation of phytogenics

Effects of dietary inclusion level of a phytogenic premix on broiler growth performance, nutrient digestibility, total antioxidant capacity and gene expression of antioxidant enzymes


Assessment of phytogenics is evolving – new article published in All About Feed

Assessment of phytogenics is progressing. Compared to 15 years ago, today phytogenics receive much greater attention for the use in animal feed as a tool in strategies designed to reduce the use of antibiotic growth promotors in animal protein production.

However, surveys have shown that many producers and feed manufacturers are still unsure of the efficacy of phytogenics, because of the perception that products are lacking scientific proof.

A new article looks at the progress made in the evaluation of phytogenics from a scientific and a commercial perspective. Find out what Dr. Kostas Mountzouris, Associate Professor of animal nutritional biotechnology at the Agricultural University of Athens in Greece says on this topic from his experience in the research world.

Read the full article by Gwendolyn Jones online via the following link, published by All About Feed: Evolution in the evaluation of phytogenics.

Relevant scientific abstract published by Dr. Kostas Mountzouris

Effects of dietary inclusion level of a phytogenic premix on broiler growth performance, nutrient digestibility, total antioxidant capacity and gene expression of antioxidant enzymes


Anco FIT at World Pork Expo 2018 in Iowa

Find out more about Anco FIT at the World Pork Expo 2018 6th-8th of June. Visit the ADM booth V345 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, USA.

This year the World Pork Expo is celebrating its 30th anniversary. World Pork Expo is the world’s largest pork specific tradeshow and attracts more than 20000 visitors during the three day exhibition. At this year’s event the exhibitor space will be up more than 40,000 square feet from 2017.

ADM is distributor for Anco FIT products in the US and Canada. ADM will have a booth inside the buildings (booth V345) as well as a tent outside. Locate the ADM booth and tent in the link to the floor plan of the trade show below

Talk to Ruben Beltran, product manager at ADM or Gwendolyn Jones from ANCO or any of the sales people present from ADM about Anco FIT. You might also meet a pig farmer already using Anco FIT in the US, who will share his experience with Anco FIT with you.

Link to World Pork Expo 2018 floorplan   Floorplan

Link to information about Anco FIT application in pigs    Anco FIT in pigs

Link to more information about World Pork Expo    World Pork Expo 2018

New article published in Feed Strategy: Improve broiler feed efficiency with antioxidative capacity

Reducing antibiotic growth promotors in animal feed calls for the development of new strategies to improve feed efficiency (FE) in poultry production systems. This represents unique opportunities to explore the biochemical and physiological sources of inter-animal variations associated with FE. Research has demonstrated a genetic link between higher feed efficiency and less mitochondrial ROS (reactive oxygen species) production at the cellular level in broilers.

More recent studies indicate a positive relationship between increased anti-oxidative capacity in broilers induced by certain plant extracts in feed and improved FE.

Read more in this link on page 28: Improve broiler feed efficiency with antioxidative capacity by Gwendolyn Jones, WATT Feed Strategy, April issue

Diets that keep your cows agile for high milk quality

Responsive and adaptive technologies are leading the development for increased agility in how we and machines are operating today. What if we could formulate diets for dairy cows that can help the cow to adapt to challenges in the diet and her environment? We could expect greater and more consistent performance in response to diet formulations.

Find out more in the latest article published in international dairy topics here on page 11 in the link to ”Diets that keep your cows agile for high milk quality”

If you want to watch the trailer video to the article click on the following link: Keep your cows agile

XVL Congress on Egg Production and Commercialization

On March 20 to 22, 2018, the XVL Congress on Egg Production and Commercialization, an important event of commercial egg production organized by the Paulista Poultry Association (APA) took place at the Convention Center of Ribeirão Preto – SP. This year, the event had approximately 700 participants with producers and professionals from the egg production and supply chain. The main technical event was held by the sector in Brazil, addressing important topics on the egg and grain market, regulatory issues, health, nutrition and management of laying hens.

Marco Aurelio S. Nunes, Technical Manager Anco Latin, gave a presentation with the topic: “Improving intestinal health of laying hens: Opportunities and Challenges” talking about possible impacts that changes in the production process of laying hens, mainly involving welfare and restriction of the use of antibiotic growth promoters, can bring to the gut health of laying hens. Furthermore, he discussed viable alternatives to face this challenge with a focus on a new concept – “Gut Agility “.

Anco congratulates to the efficient organization of the congress, which year after year, has been increasingly more successful in discussing problems and opportunities of the egg production industry.

Anco - Nunes

Noack introduces Anco FIT in Czech dairy seminars

21-22nd of February 2018, Noack held 2 dairy seminars in Partutovice and Kunice, Czeach Republic. The audience included dairy farmers and key opinion leaders from the Czech dairy industry.

Kylie Preisinger, Commercial Research Manager from ADM and Dr. Gwendolyn Jones Head of Product Management from ANCO were 2 of the invited guest speakers for the Noack dairy seminars.

Kylie walked dairy farmers through some of the key management strategies to optimize  dry matter intake in dairy cows. Kylie believes ” It really is all about providing the cows with what they need and more importantly when they want it to drive the simple formula: more feed equals more milk and profit.”

Gwendolyn introduced the concept of agility behind the Anco FIT product range and the application of this feed supplement to help dairy cows adapt more efficiently to nutritional stress factors in the feed. Find out more about Anco FIT in dairy cows.

In Partutovice the program concluded with a visit to a local dairy farm to stimulate the exchange of on farm practices amongst the dairy farmers in the audience. The program in Kunice, ended with a visit to the “Follow the goat” brewery tour of the Velkopopovický Kozel brewery. Velkopopovický Kozel is a Czech lager produced since 1874. The mascot of the brewery is a billy goat (Kozel means male goat in Czech).

We would like to thank the Czech team from Noack (Ondřej Schejbal,  Radek Balvín, Eva Šandová, Milan Douša and Ales Rusek) for their hospitality, translations and great organization of the events.

View some of the impressions from the Noack CZ dairy seminars in the short video below


Feedeal joins as Anco FIT distributor for France

ANCO is expanding its business to France with the company Feedéal as distributor for Anco FIT products.

Michael Eder, Managing Partner at ANCO, visited Feedéal in January to officially start the collaboration in France. Both companies are looking forward to working together and growing the Anco FIT business in France.

“Brittany is the number one region for livestock production in France. So, our business is ideally located to serve the largest pool of potential customers for Anco FIT in France “ says Hervé Bezille, Managing Director at Feedéal.

He is particularly excited about the positive results he has seen from trials with Anco FIT in dairy cows and comments: “France is the second largest dairy producer in Europe. I look forward to introducing a product that has already shown such consistent results for milk component yields on dairy farms in several other European countries and the US.”

About Feedéal

Based in Brittany in northwestern France, Feedéal selects and distributes innovative feed additives for the nutrition of all major farm species.
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