To manage for reproductive output, feed restriction programs have been implemented to limit growth of the breeder which affects the number of large yellow follicles on the ovary. Studies have shown that full access feeding results in poor reproductive performance. With limited nutrients and fat storage and a biological drive for breast growth, the modern broiler breeder female has fewer energy reserves to draw upon when faced with the typical stress and challenges experienced by breeders under commercial conditions.
Intensive management strategies are needed to limit the genetic tendency of roosters to deposit a large amount of breast fleshing that dramatically reduces the male’s ability to complete a mating. Advancing age reduces male libido and when coupled with the hen’s reproductive decline, today’s broiler breeder flocks have low fertility after 45 weeks of age.