Maintaining high performance of the broiler breeder flock is essential to the profitability of any breeder operation, as well as the integrated broiler operations it supplies. Increasing the number of high quality chicks is a key objective. This objective is only obtained when all aspects of production are well managed. Flock health, hatchery management and nutrition programs must meet the high standards of the genetic strain. One area of nutrition often overlooked is trace mineral nutrition. Improving zinc, manganese and copper nutrition will have dramatic effects on the performance of the broiler breeder flock, and the potential liveability of the progeny it produces.

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Organic trace minerals have been classified by the American Association of Feed Control officials (AAFCO) in to several categories. Within these groupings, Zinpro minerals are classified as metal amino acid complexes (Complex trace minerals). These have high solubility and stability within biological pH ranges, as well as important functional differences when
compared with the other OTM’s. Therefore the research generated for complex trace minerals cannot be extrapolated to the other groups of organic trace minerals.

Research has shown that feeding complexed trace minerals to broiler breeders has helped to increase egg production, enhance immunity, improve eggshell quality, and increase hatchability (Kidd et. al. 1992, Wedekind et. al. 1992, Virden et. al. 2002, Khajarern et. al. 2002, Hudson et. al. 2004, Zinpro Corp. Internal Research. 2011). Ultimately these benefits translate in to the production of more high quality chicks per hen housed. When combining the benefits of the extra chicks1, and increased liveability of the broiler progeny, a return on investment of 6:12 is achievable under current market conditions.

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