BREEDER PERFORMANCE & CHICK QUALITY
T he importance of chelated trace minerals
The embryo and day old chick is dependent on the nutrients found in the egg for growth and development. Therefore the post-hatch development, growth and subsequent quality of the next generation broilers, layers and breeders are dependent on the health and nutrition of the breeder hen.
Breeder longevity is a major factor influencing optimal performance of the breeder hen and as a result chick quality. In order to improve longevity the hen’s immune system and tissue integrity must be in peak condition. Therefore optimal nutrition is a prerequisite to maximum breeder and progeny performance.
Trace minerals are important in breeder diets to improve and maintain optimal breeder performance, as well as egg quality, chick quality and performance of the next generation layers, breeders and broilers (Table 1).
Traditionally inorganic sources of trace minerals, such as sulphates, are commercially added to the diet at levels 2-10 times more than recommended requirement by the NRC. Inorganic trace minerals dissociate in the crop and gizzard (low ph) resulting in interactions between the trace mineral and other components