broiler breeder, male, nutrition, fertility


The methods for feeding broiler breeder males have evolved over recent decades, and further revisions will likely be needed as males become more challenging to manage. Since the introduction of separate male feeding systems in the early 1980’s, breeder males’ nutrient needs have been better managed via daily feed restriction. If a breeder operation can effectively produce, haul, and store a separate male diet, then it provides more options to use different nutrient levels or feed additives that are designed to enhance fertility. This article will outline the history of male-separate feeding and revisit nutritional research on fertility of broiler breeder males. While the male usually gets much of the attention when fertility is the topic of discussion, the receptivity of the hen to the male is also a necessity for fertile egg production. Excessive feather loss in females is sometimes blamed for poor fertility, so management and nutritional factors that influence hen feathering are also discussed.