Egg producers may be used to charting total egg numbers against breed standard, walking the birds every day and recording mortality.
But there’s a whole lot more data they can access to monitor the performance of their flocks.
Poultry World asked Martin Humphrey, feed director at Humphrey Feeds, for the key measurements farmers should be taking every day.
He said that, while counting egg numbers was a good start, figures could be days, or even weeks, out of date.
In more regular recording and analysis of trends, health problems may be picked up much faster, drops in egg production or quality will be noted earlier and, ultimately, profitability will improve.
See also: 6 top tips for free-range egg production
Absolutely critical – a drop in water is the first indicator of what’s going to happen to egg size. It is also a great indicator of health challenges that may present in the coming days, says Mr Humphrey.
If possible, find a way of monitoring feed intake as well.
“You just build up a pattern. Don’t just write the number down on the wall, plot it.”
Look out for trends, compare with other data and it will help build a picture of the flock’s performance.
Remember to count all the eggs, and not just first class.
Keep an eye on seconds every day – something is not right if there is a sharp jump.
Minimums and maximums should be monitored.
“You will be able to plot water intake against temperature, feed intake and find there is a close relationship to egg quality.”
To read the full interview with Mr Humphrey, look out for October’s Poultry World in shops or subscribe to the magazine