In production practice, male and female broilers are best kept separately for the following reasons:
1. Different nutritional needs
Cocks are less able to deposit fat than hens, but cocks use protein more efficiently than hens. From 2 weeks of age, the protein level of rooster feed should be higher than that of hens.
2. Different growth rates
Roosters grow fast. At 4, 6, and 8 weeks of age, the weight of roosters is 13%, 20%, and 27% higher than hens, respectively. If the male and female are polycultured, the weight is different, and the height requirements of the trough and drinking fountain are different.
3. Different environmental requirements
Rooster feathers grow slowly, and hen feathers grow faster. Therefore, the temperature requirements of the rooster are higher than the hen in the early stage, and lower than the hen in the later stage; the weight of the rooster is larger than the hen, so the incidence of thoracic cysts is higher. Hens are tall and require loose litter and proper thickening.
4. Different genetic properties
After 7 weeks of age, the growth rate of hens decreases relatively, and the consumption of each kilogram of weight gain increases sharply. Therefore, hens are sold at about 7 weeks of age, and the feed utilization rate is the highest; the growth rate of cocks decreases after 9 weeks of age. , So it is best to sell the rooster at 9 weeks of age.