Pullets: Alternative Methods to Delay Onset of Lay
Pullets: Alternative Methods to Delay Onset of Lay - The commercial table egg industry has access to genetic strains of laying hens that mature early and will produce eggs efficiently with a long persistence of lay. The table egg industry rotates egg-producing hens in the business to ensure a constant egg production level to meet egg contracts and maintain the business. Occasionally, disease issues arise that can delay the movement of pullets into the layer house, but egg producers have been able to respond to these minor incidences. Currently, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is afflicting the commercial turkey and table egg industry, decimating entire farms. As a result, the replacement pullets being grown may not be allowed to move into the hen housing system until depopulating, cleaning, and disinfection has occurred. This creates an issue, as pullets will have to be maintained within pullet housing until producers find a suitable solution, such as selling them to another company or euthanizing them. Therefore, some alternatives must be explored as an avenue to delay the onset of lay. The following provides suggestions based on pullet age that can assist a producer in delaying the onset of lay.