Preparation for Extended Lay Can Enhance Returns – Whether Implemented or Not

By ForFarmers’ national poultry advisor Andrew Fothergill

There has been much debate in recent times over the subject of extended cycles for commercial laying hens. The geneticists have undoubtedly provided the opportunity, whereas the laying industry has potentially not felt confident to adopt this practice.


However, most of the preparations that are needed to successfully take a flock beyond the conventional 72/76 weeks of age, will pay handsome dividends in any case. Let’s consider what is required to take a flock to a longer age in lay.

A well-managed rear – birds grown to their advised growth profile, according to their genetics, in a house with the necessary enrichments to prepare for their laying house, with all necessary vaccinations and veterinary health plan adhered to.

If a pullet is delivered at her advised bodyweight at transfer and has largely achieved growth targets through a relatively uneventful rear she should be capable of persisting in lay beyond 76 weeks.

Knowledge of the pullets rearing history is always helpful, as is being involved in the veterinary health plan to address any known laying challenges.

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