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L-2060-02 June 15, 2010

breeder

Cobb Male & Cobb MX Male Management Supplement

Notes

Cobb Male & Cobb MX Male Management Supplement

Introduction

Cobb's commitment to genetic improvement of our family of products continues to increase the performance potential in all areas of broiler and broiler breeder production. However, to attain both genetic potential and consistent flock production, it is important that the flock manager has a good management program in place. The use of the Cobb broiler breeder worldwide has provided considerable experience of the breed in a wide range of situations, such as hot and cold climates, controlled environment and open housing. This Male Management Guide is designed to assist you in building your management program. Management must not only meet the basic needs of the stock but must also be finely tuned to benefit fully from the breed's potential. Some of the guidelines may need to be adapted locally according to your own experience, and our technical teams will assist with this. The Cobb Male Management Guide highlights critical factors that are most likely to influence flock performance and is part of our technical information service, which includes the Cobb Management Guides for grandparent stock, parent stock, hatchery, broiler, vaccination procedures, technical bulletins and a full range of performance charts. Our recommendations are based on current scientific knowledge and practical experience around the world. You should be aware of local legislation, which may influence the management practice that you choose to adopt. This Cobb Male Management Guide is intended as a reference and supplement to your own flock management skills so that you can apply your knowledge and judgment to obtain consistently good results with the Cobb family of products.

Cobb Male & Cobb MX Male Management Supplement

Male Management

The key to obtaining good fertility from today's broiler breeders is to develop feeding and management programs that allow a correct development of the male's reproductive system while controlling their growth rate and capacity to deposit breast muscle. The male growth profile is the single most important factor that correlates with flock fertility. Males should be weighed at least weekly from one to 30 weeks of age and at least every other week thereafter. Handle males by the wings (or both legs) during weighing & vaccinations.

Cobb Male & Cobb MX Male Management Supplement

Notes

Rearing

A good start in rearing males is crucial for weight uniformity as well as good organ and skeletal development, which are correlated with future male fertility. It is important that the males achieve body weight targets according to the standard developed for that particular line. For best results, males should be reared separately from females until housing. In brown out or dark out houses, enough light intensity (2.0-6.0 foot-candles / 20-60 LUX) and duration must be available to ensure that the proper amount of feed is consumed during the first 4-week period. Proper housing and equipment is paramount to obtaining flock fertility. The recommended stocking density is between 2½ - 3.0 ft.² per male (3.6- 4.3 males /m²). In addition to floor space, adequate feeder space is important to allow all males to eat simultaneously. Rapid, even feed distribution is critical for producing high quality males. The following feed space guideline is provided based on various types of feeding systems available: Trough- 6-7" (15-18 cm) Round pan - 8-10 birds/ pan Oval pan - 10-12 birds/ pan A starter ration containing 18-19% crude protein (CP) will allow the male to attain a body weight (BW) of 140-150 grams (0.31-0.33 lb) at 7 days of age. It is not necessary to use a pre-starter diet with high levels of CP (21% and higher).

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Cobb Male & Cobb MX Male Management Supplement

Notes

Cobb Male & Cobb MX Male Management Supplement

The body weight development in the first 12 weeks determines most of the frame size later in life. The heavier males will develop the largest frame size, so the male weights need to be kept very close to the recommended body weight from 4 thru 16 weeks of age. One way to do this is to separate the heaviest males at 3 to 4 weeks of age, by weight grading, and then controlling the male body weight in the growing period. This can be followed by a repeat grading at 8 weeks of age, handling all the males in the flock and removing obvious visual (phenotypic) faults; i.e., crooked and bent toes, spinal abnormalities, eye and beak abnormalities. Uniformity is more and more important with the higher yielding males of today, not only to have a uniform distribution of the female numbers per male in production, but also to control the size of the male. With slats in production, males maintained close to the Cobb standard weight will produce fewer leg problems and result in better overall fertility. With floor operations, a larger male can be used as long as the breast muscle is not oversized, which can create stability and fertility problems. After 15 weeks of age, stimulate the males constantly with feed to maintain body weight and testes development. Any severe stress or drop in body weight or even stagnation of growth, especially from 15 to 25 weeks of age, will result in smaller and less uniform testes in the males. This can result in lower initial hatches and a reduced fertility throughout the production period.

Transferring from rearing to production houses

The single most important factor in determining the correct ratio is male quality at housing. Select only healthy males with no obvious skeletal defects. For best results, keep the "average" weight population by removing extremely underweight and overweight males. (The heavy ones would be ideal for spiking). Removing poorly conditioned, extremely big males or males with skeletal or leg problems should be done frequently and is essential to maximize fertility. Aim to match heavier groups of males with heavier females and light males with light females. It is important to ensure a proper synchronization between male and female sexual maturity and a proper body weight differential. This helps with hen receptivity and mating efficiency.

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Cobb Male & Cobb MX Male Management Supplement

Sexual Synchronization with Females

It is important to ensure proper sexual synchronization between males and females. This is largely influenced by the body weight differential between the sexes. A properly synchronized flock will have high hen receptivity and a high mating efficiency. A guide to determining the correct male ratio should take the following criteria into consideration: 1) Weight differential between males & females at transfer; 2) Body composition, frame size and maturity development between males & females at transfer; 3) Genetics - there are differences in maturation rates, temperament and activity levels between male breeds & strains. Try to match heavier groups of males with heavier females. The percent body weight differential target between males & female at housing should be close to 30%. This differential gradually narrows from 30 weeks to sell age to between 18-22%. Maintaining control of male weight from transfer to flock completion is an essential component of maximizing male fertility and hatchability. After 30 weeks, with good BW control in the males, the BW differential can stabilize between 15 and 20%.

Cobb Male & Cobb MX Male Management Supplement

Generally, spiking with approximately 20% additional males to an existing flock will produce the best results. Spiked males should be of good quality and free of physical defects. Males must be at least 25 weeks of age with a minimum weight of 4.1 kg (9 lbs.) and be sexually mature. Constantly remove poor males and reduce sex ratio. Spiking males are then added to increase the ratio to the original levels. At housing, when an early spiking is assured, it may be possible to start with less males (7-8% at 21-22 weeks of age) and to add extra males as needed over time, to increase the numbers to 9-10%. This will improve female receptivity and mixing. A slight feed increase just after spiking (2-3g/bird/day, or 0.45 - 0.65 lbs/100) could be beneficial since spiking significantly increases male's mating activity. Flock data has repeatedly shown that having a spiking program in place prior to a fertility drop will produce the best results. Many times, historical flock data can help guide when a flock should be spiked. Spiking once in the life of the flock is normally enough. Flocks spiked twice on an 8 to 10 week interval also show good results. Spiking is usually not economical beyond 55 weeks of age.

Male Management during Production

One challenge for the farm manager and the feeding system selected is to distribute a measured amount of feed per male as quickly and uniformly as possible to keep all males with a uniform growth and activity level. A Male Separate Sex Feeding (SSF) should be used in production. True SSF implies that males should not have access to the female feed and vice versa. A normal set up would include a male exclusion system placed on the female feeder (grill, roller bar, plank...) and an additional line of pans, trough or tube feeders specifically for the males. The exclusion grill on the female feeder should create both a vertical (60 mm/23/8 in.) and horizontal (45 mm/111/16 in.) restriction. In systems with a plank or roller bar restriction the vertical restriction should be 50-55 mm (2 - 23/16 in.).

Intra-Spiking

Intra-spiking simply means exchanging 25-30% of original males between houses from the same farm, without importing any young males, to create a similar stimulus to mating activity as the one created by spiking. Like spiking, intra-spiking gives better results when done earlier in life (<45 weeks). Two Intra-spikings, done at 40 and 48 weeks of age, can produce even better results. Intra-spiking is inexpensive, easy-to-practice and, most importantly, rarely presents a biosecurity risk.

Summary

The key to achieving excellent fertility starts with rearing a uniform flock of healthy males. Having males properly prepared in terms of weight and fleshing prior to photo stimulation will help ensure they are ready to adjust to the new environment in the hen house. A successful transition to the hen house, with controlled weekly weight gains, timely, even feed distribution and meeting their daily nutritional requirement will help ensure males are healthy & viable throughout the production cycle. Please refer to the "Cobb Breeder Management Guide" for additional detailed information on male management.

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Cobb Male & Cobb MX Male Management Supplement

Spiking

Spiking is the addition of young broiler breeder males into an older flock to compensate for the decline in fertility that usually occurs after 45 weeks of age. This decline can be due to a decrease in mating interest (natural post 35-40 weeks of age), a reduction in sperm quality (natural post 55 weeks), lower mating efficiency (poor management leading to males in poor physical condition such as weight or leg and feet disorders, etc.), or excess male mortality resulting in a reduced male to female ratio. Extra males are moved to a separate house/farm at transfer and held until moved to a number of older flocks. Alternatively, the males are moved to another flock and held in a pen until used to spike that flock. One of the biggest risks with a spiking program is the possibility of introducing unwanted disease or parasites into the spiked flock. Males should come from a single source flock. The source flock should be serologically tested, 5 to 7 days before moving. Any positive or suspect results should put the move on hold.

Cobb Male & Cobb MX Male Management Supplement

It is highly recommended not to dub males. A complete comb, or one partially dubbed helps restrict the males from the female feeder earlier in production. It is equally important to keep the female from eating from the male feeder. Keep the male feeder at a height that makes the males stretch slightly to eat and prevents the females from reaching. A male feeder should always be stable and not be allowed to swing at all. The height needs to be frequently adjusted by observing feeding behavior at least once a week up to 30 weeks of age. Ensure that good positive growth takes place during the first 4 weeks after light stimulation, when testis development takes place. The key is to monitor weights weekly and adjust feed accordingly. Be aware that the feed amount may need to remain constant for some weeks after transfer while stealing from the female feeder takes place. Full exclusion does not start until the combs are completely developed (26-27 weeks of age). If the male is fed too much after transfer, this will result in larger, over-fleshed males that will need more energy to maintain body weight. If the male body weights increase too rapidly by 28-29 weeks, an alternative is to reduce feed amounts (but no more than 5g (1.1 lbs/100) at a time) to get closer to the actual needs of the male. Act immediately so males do not increase body weight too fast. Males should never lose weight in production. A SLIGHT LOSS IN BODY WEIGHT WILL RESULT IN AN IMMEDIATE REDUCTION IN SPERM QUALITY. After 30 weeks feed allocations should be modified according to weight trends. Ideally, small amounts of feed should be given by 28-30 weeks to allow slight feed increases throughout the production period to maintain the proper weight gains and keep the males stimulated and active (1-2 g/week or 0.22-0.44 lb/100/week every 3-4 weeks). This feed increase is particularly important in slat operations, especially after 40 weeks of age. The Cobb standard for male weights is designed to keep the male light early in production have a consistent positive growth of about 23-25 g (0.05-0.06 lb) per week from 30 weeks to depletion. Please refer to the weight standards charts for details according to Male line. In addition to controlling weight, male conformation and fleshing should be used to help judge male condition. Breast fleshing should be frequently evaluated by hand with the goal of maintaining a "V" shaped breast for as long as possible. Breast muscling should cover the keel and be firm in consistency.

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Cobb Male & Cobb MX Male Management Supplement

Weight Standards for the Cobb Male

When mated with C500 Females Week Grams Pounds 0.33 150 1 0.73 330 2 1.15 520 3 1.52 690 4 1.87 850 5 2.20 1000 6 2.51 1140 7 2.80 1270 8 3.09 1400 9 3.36 1525 10 3.64 1650 11 3.89 1764 12 4.14 1878 13 4.39 1993 14 4.67 2120 15 5.00 2268 16 5.35 2428 17 5.71 2588 18 6.06 2750 19 6.42 2910 20 6.92 3140 21 7.23 3280 22 7.50 3400 23 7.75 3515 24 7.99 3625 25 8.22 3730 26 8.49 3850 27 8.71 3950 28 8.93 4048 29 9.13 4141 30 9.28 4210 31 9.40 4265 32 9.50 4310 33

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Cobb Male & Cobb MX Male Management Supplement

The growth curve and weight standard for the Cobb male and the Cobb Mx male are different according to many factors: 1) Whether the rearing and production facilities are dark-out or open-sided housing. The weight of the Cobb Mx male needs to be very strictly controlled in open-sided environments. The Cobb Mx male matures faster and is more sexually active than the Cobb male, and extra male BW in production could lead to excessive activity. 2) The male/female ratio at housing. The mating ratio for the Cobb male is usually between 9.0-10.0%. When using the Cobb Mx male, (depending on the overall male flock condition), it may be necessary to reduce the mating ratio to 8.0-8.5% at housing. 3) Whether there is a spiking program, and whether the production houses are slatted or floor operations. Spiking with the Cobb Mx male in slatted production houses should only occur when the male ratio goes down to ~7.0% (spike back to 9.0%). In production houses without slats, house 9.5-10% Cobb Mx males at transfer and let the ratio come down to 7.5% before spiking is done, with the ratio going back up to 9.0%. 4) The line of females the males are mated with. The Cobb Mx male matures more quickly by 22-23 weeks of age than the female, especially the Cobb700. This results in the slating of young hens. The weight differential of the Cobb Mx male over the females should be no more than +30% when housed at 20-21 weeks.

When mated with C700 Females Grams Pounds 0.33 150 0.73 330 1.15 520 1.52 690 1.85 840 2.20 1000 2.51 1140 2.80 1270 3.09 1400 3.35 1520 3.64 1650 3.88 1760 4.10 1860 4.35 1973 4.65 2109 4.95 2245 5.30 2404 5.65 2563 6.00 2722 6.35 2880 6.85 3107 7.15 3243 7.45 3379 7.72 3500 7.95 3606 8.15 3697 8.35 3787 8.55 3878 8.75 3969 8.95 4060 9.11 4130 9.22 4180 9.28 4210

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Cobb Male & Cobb MX Male Management Supplement

Cobb Male and the Cobb Mx Male

Cobb Mx male is a male with different heritage than the Cobb male, resulting in a product with stronger hybrid vigor for livability and for different reproduction characteristics, including body composition and libido. There are differences that must be noted when using the Cobb Mx male. The Cobb Mx male is a more "forgiving" male than the Cobb male under less than optimal growing conditions. Provide a minimum of 2.0 ft.²/male (5.3 males /m2) at placement, with 2.5 ft.2/male (4.25 males/m2) being more ideal. The recommended space for the Cobb male would be a bit more, from 2.5 ­ 3.0 ft2 per male (3.5­4.25 males/m2). Under identical conditions, the Cobb Mx male matures more rapidly (~2-3 weeks) than the Cobb male post photostimulation. It is not necessary to photstimulate the Cobb Mx male prior to the female to accelerate maturity. The Cobb Mx male should be grown on the same lighting program as the female. The Cobb Mx male requires less fleshing than the Cobb male at housing and in the hen-house. Typically, fleshing would be more "V" shaped, with the keel bone feeling more prominent than on the Cobb male. Overweight males at housing generally tend to mature more quickly post photostimulation. In this situation, poor sexual synchronization can lead to slating of hens, male & female mortality and a higher incidence of floor & slat eggs. Overdeveloped males can be mated with the females at a later date. The Cobb Mx male has a larger comb size than the Cobb male. This may necessitate a higher feed rate for the Cobb Mx male at housing due to less ability to steal feed from the female feeder & to compensate for a higher activity level than typically seen with the Cobb male. Meeting the nutritional needs of both males is essential to maintaining a high level of mating activity.

Cobb Male & Cobb MX Male Management Supplement

Weight Standards for the Cobb Male

When mated with C500 Week Grams 4350 34 4388 35 4411 36 4435 37 4459 38 4483 39 4506 40 4530 41 4554 42 4577 43 4601 44 4525 45 4548 46 4672 47 4696 48 4719 49 4743 50 4767 51 4791 52 4814 53 4838 54 4862 55 4885 56 4909 57 4933 58 4956 59 4980 60 5004 61 5028 62 5052 63 5076 64 5100 65 Females Pounds 9.59 9.67 9.73 9.78 9.83 9.88 9.93 9.99 10.04 10.09 10.14 10.20 10.25 10.30 10.35 10.40 10.46 10.51 10.56 10.61 10.67 10.72 10.77 10.82 10.87 10.93 10.98 11.03 11.09 11.14 11.19 11.24 When mated with C700 Females Grams Pounds 4235 9.34 4260 9.39 4283 9.44 4306 9.49 4329 9.54 4352 9.59 4375 9.65 4398 9.70 4421 9.75 4444 9.80 4467 9.85 4490 9.90 4513 9.95 4536 10.00 4559 10.05 4585 10.10 4602 10.15 4628 10.20 4651 10.25 4674 10.30 4697 10.36 4720 10.41 4743 10.46 4766 10.51 4789 10.56 4812 10.61 4835 10.66 4858 10.71 4882 10.76 4905 10.81 4928 10.86 4952 10.92

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Cobb Male & Cobb MX Male Management Supplement

Weight Standards for the Cobb MX Male

When mated with C500 Females Week Grams Pounds 0.35 160 1 0.75 340 2 1.15 520 3 1.46 660 4 1.76 800 5 2.05 930 6 2.34 1060 7 2.62 1190 8 2.91 1320 9 3.20 1450 10 3.46 1570 11 3.73 1690 12 3.99 1810 13 4.23 1920 14 4.48 2030 15 4.76 2160 16 5.07 2300 17 5.40 2450 18 5.75 2610 19 6.12 2775 20 6.61 3000 21 7.05 3200 22 7.41 3360 23 7.72 3500 24 7.94 3600 25 8.16 3700 26 8.38 3800 27 8.60 3900 28 8.80 3990 29 8.97 4070 30 9.08 4120 31 9.17 4160 32 9.24 4190 33

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Cobb Male & Cobb MX Male Management Supplement

Weight Standards for the Cobb MX Male

When mated with C500 Week Grams 4220 34 4250 35 4280 36 4310 37 4340 38 4370 39 4400 40 4425 41 4450 42 4475 43 4500 44 4525 45 4550 46 4575 47 4600 48 4625 49 4650 50 4670 51 4690 52 4710 53 4730 54 4750 55 4770 56 4790 57 4810 58 4830 59 4850 60 4870 61 4890 62 4910 63 4930 64 4950 65 Females Pounds 9.30 9.37 9.44 9.50 9.57 9.63 9.70 9.76 9.81 9.87 9.92 9.98 10.03 10.09 10.14 10.20 10.25 10.30 10.34 10.38 10.43 10.47 10.52 10.56 10.60 10.65 10.69 10.74 10.78 10.82 10.87 10.91 When mated with C700 Females Grams Pounds 9.15 4150 9.24 4190 9.30 4220 9.37 4250 9.44 4280 9.50 4310 9.57 4340 9.62 4365 9.68 4390 9.73 4415 9.79 4440 9.84 4465 9.90 4490 9.95 4515 10.01 4540 10.06 4565 10.12 4590 10.16 4610 10.21 4630 10.25 4650 10.30 4670 10.34 4690 10.38 4710 10.43 4730 10.47 4750 10.52 4770 10.56 4790 10.60 4810 10.65 4830 10.69 4850 10.74 4870 10.78 4890

When mated with C700 Females Grams Pounds 0.35 160 0.75 340 1.15 520 1.43 650 1.74 790 2.05 930 2.34 1060 2.62 1190 2.91 1320 3.20 1450 3.47 1575 3.75 1700 4.02 1825 4.30 1950 4.57 2075 4.85 2200 5.13 2325 5.40 2450 5.68 2575 5.95 2700 6.45 2925 6.75 3062 7.05 3200 7.32 3320 7.61 3450 7..85 3560 8.09 3670 8.29 3760 8.49 3850 8.69 3940 8.82 4000 8.95 4060 9.06 4110

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