Choosing the best broiler breed is a crucial step you have to take care in ensuring you have a successful production. This is because when the best broiler breed is selected correctly for the intended purpose, all other resources and time invested in the production will probably do well.
When you choose the wrong or bad breed of broiler especially if it’s day old broilers, on the other hand, you will waste your time and money. I had a client whose supply of chickens was a mix of different breeds. At first, they all looked like broilers, but after two weeks, she noticed that they weren’t all growing at the same rate. Sometimes the problem comes from the hatchery or from what we think we know about the broiler breed.
Let us correct this Misconception: Referring to Hatchery name as Breed name.
What’s the difference between the name of the hatchery and the name of the breed?
Some hatcheries in Nigeria have names like Agrited, CHI, Amo, etc. These are the names or brand names of companies that sell a certain type of broiler breeding stock ( Parent stock). The name that the person who made this broiler breeding stock gave to it is called the Breed name. In Nigeria, common names for broiler breeds include Cobb 500, Ross 308, Arbor acres, Hubbard, and Marshall.
So, what is the misunderstanding?
Most broiler keepers use the brand or hatchery name instead of the breed name. This is a mistake. People in Nigeria say things like “I want Agrited” or “Agrited is the best.” In the United States, people say “I want Ross” or “Ross is the best.” What if Agrited decides to sell another breed of broiler? Will the new breed have the same traits as the old one? It could be either way. The same thing can be said about the breed names Arbor and CHI (a hatchery name).
Popular hatcheries in Nigeria and the breeds of chickens they raise
|HATCHERY||COMPANY ADDRESS||BROILER BREED|
|Zartech||Oyo State||Cobb AA|
|CHI||Ajanla Ibadan||Arbor Acre +|
|Farm Support||Oyo State||Arbor Acre|
|Fidan||Ibadan, Oyo State||Hubbard|
|Obasanjo||Igboora Oyo State||Marshall|
Also see: 8 natural ways to make broilers grow faster that really worked
How to Choose the Best Broiler Breed
How you choose the best broiler breed will depend on what qualities or traits you want in a broiler. But each breed is different in its own way, and each has its own “Achilles’ heel.” In general, some breeds are more balanced than others, having a little bit of each cookie.
Still, we’ll look at the most common best broiler breeds in Nigeria and what makes them unique so that you can make an informed choice about which breed is best for your needs.
before you choose a broiler breed , it is essential to know what broilers are. Here is a great article on What are Broiler chickens and how long they live.
Popular breeds of broiler chickens in Nigeria and What Makes Them Unique
- Cobb 500
- Ross 308
- Tree Acre
Next, we’ll look at what some of these broiler breeding stocks have in common and how science backs up those similarities, so we can confidently say, “This is the best broiler breed stock.”
Cobb 500 and Ross 308 are the only breeds left in the debate about which is the best broiler breed. So, to avoid wasting time, we’re only going to talk about Cobb 500 vs. Ross 308.
Ross 308 vs. Cobb 500
Here are the things that Cobb-Vantress, the research company that made Cobb 500, wrote down about it.
The best broiler breeds in the world has the lowest feed conversion, the best growth rate, and the ability to do well on low-cost, low-density food. With all of these features, the Cobb500 has the advantage of having the lowest cost per kilogramme or pound of live weight produced for its growing customer base around the world.
Some other things are:
- Lowest cost per pound of live weight
- Better performance on feed that costs less.
- The best use of food
- Good rate of growth
- The most uniform broiler for processing
Ross Avigen, who made the Ross 308, says the following about it:
- Consistent performance and the ability to adapt to a wide variety of end-product needs.
- Makes a lot of eggs and the eggs are easy to hatch.
- Stronger performance and more muscle mass.
- Fast growth, and the possibility of killing them early.
The amount of weight gain per day at the right breast is between 52 and 58 grammes. Broiler chickens ROSS 308 get strong muscles when they are young. People think that between 6 and 9 weeks is the best time to kill the breed. At this point, the chickens have to be at least 2 kg (4.4 lb) each.
Note: Aviagen, the company that made Ross and Abor Acre, also made Abor Acre. But Abor Acre plus (AA+) is a special breed that was created to make it easy to raise chickens because the parents perform well, the broilers do well, and the processing yield is good.
Let’s see if these characteristics and features line up with what scientists have found and what experts say.
Research called “An Alternative to Broiler Chickens Breeding in Peasant Households” was done in 2011 by Stafie. He used the Cobb 500, Ross 308, and Hubbard Flex breeds of broilers, which are common in Romania. This is what he found and what he decided:
With Cobb 500:
- Need special care to keep the microclimate around the hybrid in line with the rules of operation.
- High-speed growth will make the animals more sensitive, which will lead to more permanent bedding. This means that the litter should be kept in the best conditions.
- Since it can eat a lot of food, a light programme with a long dark can be used.
- Because Cobb 500 has breasted meat, it has a high yield at slaughter.
- A big problem with this type of meat is that it grows quickly, which is linked to the sudden death syndrome of chickens.
With Ross 308:
- Ross 308 hybrid has been made to make the chest and legs, which have a lot of shape.
- It needs to be fed more expensive food to do well, but it can handle the microclimate better.
- A lot of parents voted against the Cobb 500 and the fact that it has a higher hatching rate. This backs up Ross Avaigen’s claim that the Ross 308 hybrid laid more eggs with better chances of hatching.
Hubbard meat Hybrid Flex is a hybrid that does well in food and microclimate conditions, but don’t expect great performance if you don’t give it the right point of view of technology.
What makes Cobb different from Ross?
This is the main difference between the Cobb 500 and the Ross 308, but both are made to grow quickly and have a lot of chest meat. Cobb 500 needs precise management technology and cheap food as a prescription. That means Cobb 500 doesn’t care what kind of food it eats. You can get them to the right weight with low feed costs, but make sure they are well cared for and managed well.
Ross 308 needs a well-balanced diet and costs more to care for, but it doesn’t cause any other problems. Compared to Cobb 500, they can live in a smaller range of climates. From the research summary, we can see that some of these findings were in line with the features and qualities of both the Cobb 500 and the Ross 308, but the people who made them didn’t talk about their flaws. Also, let’s look at what other experts have found in their research.
Simona et alresearch .’s on “Evaluation of Productive Performances in Ross 308 and Cobb 500 Hybrid” (Simona et al., 2017) found that the feed conversion index was better for the cobb hybrid than for the Ross 308 hybrid, but the values were very close.
Lobago et al. (2003) compared the performance of the Cobb 500 and the Ross 308. They found that the Cobb-500 had a higher marginal income and a lower marginal cost than the Ross chickens. Under Debre Zeit’s current small-scale production system, it was decided that the Cobb 500 performed better overall than the Ross.
But the best broiler breed will depend on what the farmer wants and needs. Some people may want Cobb 500 because it has low feed costs, while others may want Ross 308 because it is easy to care for. Overall, Cobb 500 was a little better than Ross 308 in terms of quality and performance. Still, no breed of broiler chicken is without its “Achilles heel.”
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