43 43 LOHMANN TIERZUCHT › MANAGEMENT GUIDE Fibre Feed management The modern concept of fibre defines a positive impact on the intestinal microflora, health and development depending on the physicochemical characteristics, source, duration and period of supply. The developer phase requires a reduced nutrient density (energy, protein and mineral) plus an increased inclusion of coarseparticles of insolublefibre (Crude Fibre: 6–6.5% ; Neutral Detergent Fibre >_ 16 %) to enhance feed intake capacity which is crucial at the onset of lay. To keep the positive effects of the crude fibre inclusion, it is advised to maintain a certain level throughout production. Protein, amino acids level, miner- als and fibre deficiencies, poor feed structure and sudden changes in formulation have all been associated with negative pecking behaviour. Formulating homogenous feed with appropriate quality and quantity of fibre will satiate the birds and keep them eating for longer periods which may help reduce the incidence of this undesirable behaviour. Cereals, cereal by-products and oil seed by-products can be used as a source of crude fibre. Cereals & Cereal by-products Feed management is the balance of providing a homogenous ration that meets the flock’s requirements, while reducing selective eating and ensur- ing there is no over or restrictive feeding. Within alternative systems birds ex- press more natural foraging behav- iour so we need to ensure that they feed effectively. Those that use an intermittent light- ing program have already begun an early learning process that encourag- es the chick to seek out and identify the feed source. As the chicks continue to develop phase feeding should be introduced to encourage effective feeding. Phase feeding is important as it al- lows the birds to get used to eating a balanced meal rather than just the large grains they prefer. Phase feeding should be started no later than three weeks of age to en- courage good crop and stomach de- velopment. By seven or eight weeks of age the birdsshould be well placed to empty the feed troughs to a desired level. They are naturally selective eaters, and in modern feeding systems the smaller particles which contain a high proportion of the nutrients will al- ways sink to the bottom. Grains etc. Grains etc. Fine particles Fine particles