Chinese company opts for Natural Beak Smoothing over beak trimming
How can you put an end to beak trimming in broiler breeders and still have a worry-free start to the egg production phase? With Natural Beak Smoothing.
Poultry company Tieling Yonghong Animal Husbandry Co. Ltd from Zhou’antum (China) shares its experiences of making the switch. Chairman Shi Yong Zhou explains that Natural Beak Smoothing has had a positive impact on the well-being of his chickens. Since the chicks have a better quality of life from the very beginning, this translates to better results in the rearing and production phases.
Shi Yong Zhou: “In late 2019, we inaugurated a new broiler breeder company with 18 houses in the Yinzhou district of Tieling in the Chinese province of Liaoning. Roxell’s distributor in China – SongMing Agro-Tech (SMI) – persuaded us to stop using beak trimming on the males. Instead, in three rearing houses for males we installed Roxell feeder pans with a metal bottom pan that has a rough texture. The house installer SongMing explained to us that the bottom pan functions as a file that automatically smooths out the tips of the beaks. We no longer need to use beak trimming on the chicks and that saves us man-hours and money. The other 15 broiler breeder houses accommodate the females, from day-old chicks to the final lay. The females eat from the KiXoo™ feeder pan, without a rough texture on the bottom.”
Shi Yong Zhou: “We didn’t see the results overnight. It’s a gradual process because the filing down happens when the males are eating, as the beak rubs against the metal bottom of the pan. I noticed a difference in the males from week 7 onwards. When the chickens are 12 weeks old, their beaks have a smooth appearance.
With beak trimming, I’d have to deal with the problem of the beaks growing back. Beaks keep growing, even if you use beak trimming on chickens. For example, when the chickens were 50 weeks old, I always had the same issue: poorly shaped, sharp beaks and as a result the chickens struggled to peck up the feed. In contrast, Natural Beak Smoothing maintains the beaks on a daily basis, so the effects are lasting. Now I end the rearing phase with a healthier group of males that have nicely smoothed beaks.”
How can you tell that the broiler breeders are healthier?
Shi Yong Zhou: “The groups of males that eat from the feeder pans with Natural Beak Smoothing in the rearing phase are always very uniform. There is less waste because the nicely rounded beaks allow them to eat the feed more easily and none of it drops on the floor. In addition, my chicks have not undergone the stressful beak trimming procedure, reducing the risk of beak infections. No stress and less illness means the group has a more consistent growing process. I’d estimate that the uniformity has improved by +5 % and the mortality rate is on average 2 % lower than before. These are encouraging statistics that boost the profitability of this poultry site.”
Aside from the time and money spent on beak trimming, are there other resources that you save on?
Shi Yong Zhou: “The transport and delivery of the feed is all fully automatic. Roxell’s Flex-Auger™ transport system takes care of that. The feed transport system connects the feed storage bins with the KiXoo feeding system. Flex-Auger ensures that the feed is properly distributed among the feeder pans in the house. When a broiler breeder decides to eat, there is the same amount of feed in every pan, which ensures the flock’s uniformity. Therefore, I also save on man-hours because the system is so easy to manage.
I also began using other Roxell systems. The feed storage bins are from Roxell and the males in the production phase eat from the Boozzter™ feeder pan. The females — from day-old chicks to the final lay — eat from the KiXoo™ feeder pan. These two types of feeder pans allow me to automatically feed males and females living in the same house separately. This means my females eat the right amount and composition of feed, without needing to compete with the males.
Thank you Shi Yong Zhou for your testimonial and we wish you and the poultry company Tieling Yonghong Animal Husbandry all the best for the future.