Feeding Breeders
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How does feeding interact with management practices & affect reproductive physiology & chick output?

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The objective for broiler breeders is to optimize the production of fertile eggs that hatch into healthy and efficient-growing broilers. Body weight, body composition, physiological, and metabolic thresholds must be reached in order for sexual maturation of broiler breeder hens. Investigation on these thresholds will provide a better understanding of the physiological mechanisms driving the interaction among growth trajectory, feed allocation, sexual maturity, metabolic status, and reproductive axis. How can applied research help industry and producers understand how feeding practices influence reproduction? How have genetic changes over the years influenced bird metabolism and reproductive efficiency? Do feeding practices need to change and how?

About the speakers

Professor at University of Guelph

Dr. Bédécarrats was born and raised in France and following an MSc in Animal Physiology, he moved to Canada to pursue a PhD at McGill University (Department of Animal and Poultry Science) under the supervision of Dr. David Zadworny The focus of his research was to understand the role of prolactin in turkeys. After 3 years of postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Bedecarrats expanded his expertise on the molecular control of reproduction and in 2003, he joined the University of Guelph as part of the Poultry Program Team, a joint initiative between the University, OMAFRA and the Poultry Industry Council. Since then, his main research focus has been to elucidate the mechanisms controlling reproduction in poultry. This naturally led to the study of light perception and stimulation and, using a genetically blind line of chickens (Smoky Joe), he confirmed that reproduction is under the control of deep brain (extra-retinal) photoreceptors which can be better activated by light from the red spectrum. Next, Dr. Bédécarrats partnered with industry collaborators to develop, test and validate a spectrum lighting system to be used in barns (AgriLuxTM). While validating this system, Dr. Bédécarrats noticed that modern commercial strains (both layers and broiler breeders) are highly dependent on metabolic status and his current research aims at elucidating the interactions between metabolism and photoperiod