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What’s important for gamebirds?

  • Meat quality: This measurement refers to the quality of the meat, which focuses on its appearance, texture, juiciness, flavor and functionality.
  • Animal welfare: Animal welfare refers to the care and health of gamebirds. Proper animal welfare can be ensured, in many ways, by focusing on supporting bird health and comfort at each stage of growth.
  • Chick/poult quality: The quality of life for young birds will impact their quality of life later as well. Starting off with good immunity and health can jumpstart and ensure a bird’s likelihood of surviving and thriving.
  • Feed efficiency: Feed efficiency describes how effectively birds convert feed into human food (i.e., meat). Feed efficiency is measured through the feed conversion ratio and is important for maintaining a profitable production system.
  • On-farm management: Many gamebirds are raised and then released for hunting sport/game. The proper management of water, feed, the environment and biosecurity are key components of maintaining a gamebird operation.

Common challenges

  • Poor poult/chick health: A poor start early in life can impact a bird forever. These challenges are often caused by variation in their genetics, inadequate nutrition and/or insufficient management practices.
  • Pathogens: This includes bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms that can cause disease.
  • High FCR, low feed intake and low weight gain: These performance measurements are monitored to ensure flock health and profitability.
  • Coccidiosis: This is a common disease in poultry that is caused by an invasion of protozoa (Eimeria or Iospora) in the intestine. Coccidiosis is usually identified by observing inflammation in the intestine, lesions, diarrhea, weight loss and/or sometimes even death.
  • On-farm management: Proper on-farm management includes taking steps like providing clean water and fresh feed and ensuring good air quality and the proper brooding temperature. Managing the day-to-day operation in a very consistent way is key to avoiding inconsistencies in both the products and the animals.

Tips for maximizing health and performance

  • Provide antioxidants and minerals that are better absorbed in order to increase the birds’ mineral reserves.
  • Establish a program that helps prevent and reduce the incidence of disease.
  • Incorporate a multi-enzyme into the gamebirds’ diet to help optimize nutrient absorption and protein breakdown.
  • Enhance the birds’ quality of life by adding enrichment materials.