An Introduction to Platinum Brooding®
Disciplined Brooding

Managing poultry health in a constantly changing world is a theme that has received increased attention and focus from the international poultry industry, academia and governments.

In the not so distant past, deficiencies in brooding were often overlooked or even tolerated. Perhaps this was associated with slower growth rates and the use of less efficient genetics. The genetic potential of the modern broiler chicken is truly remarkable.

Advances in all areas of broiler production including genetics, nutrition, management and health have resulted in continuous and significant improvements in efficiencies of production.

In the current era of enhanced automation, precision nutrition, and genetic selection programs, the specific requirements of neonates are numerous and the negative impacts associated with brooding deficiencies are significant.

Deficiencies in brood management will negatively impact body weight targets, feed utilization, flock health, flock uniformity and meat yield. Additionally, deficiencies in brood management may result in increased incidence and/or severity of disease.

Brooding is so critical that detailed brooding programs have been developed and continue to be developed. One of these programs, Platinum Brooding®, revolves around the continuing education of producers and producer service persons, the establishment of accurate measurements and the thorough and accurate completion of a Platinum Brooding® checklist. The Platinum Brooding® program is now established as an important component of integrated poultry health management continuing education opportunities.

The Platinum Brooding® Program was introduced to clients of Canadian Poultry Consultants Ltd. (CPC) in March of 2001. Since then, the Platinum Brooding® class has evolved into a regular, formal, on-farm education opportunity for those who care for broiler or leghorn chicks. In Canada, the Platinum Brooding® class is held at a commercial broiler farm in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. Formal courses and presentations are held at various other locations across North America. The Platinum Brooding® program is a “hands on” experience and gives the attendee an opportunity to review and participate in a commercial broiler setting. The material seems to make more sense when discussed and reviewed in a barn or a house or a shed. Feed, light, litter, water, air, security, sanitation all reviewed on site and in a group setting there is also an opportunity to discuss with others and learn from their own experiences in the field. These experiences also result in feeding the dynamic nature of this learning process, as there are always improvements being made.

The Platinum Brooding® program has been presented at numerous veterinary, nutritional, industry and corporate meetings over the years and has received detailed critical review by numerous experts. The program has been mandated as a new grower entry requirement by the BC Chicken Marketing Board and is supported by the Alberta Chicken Producers Board. It is also part of the Aviagen International Production School in Alabama. The Platinum Brooding® program is integrated into the curriculum of the Master of Avian Medicine program at the University of Georgia and this course is also held at the University of Arkansas and the University of Alberta. The Platinum Brooding® program is being further fine-tuned and expanded through further development of and where visitors can review scholarly articles and educational content relevant to the poultry industry.

Genetic potential of modern poultry cannot be achieved without strict attention to brooding, and the Platinum Brooding® program provides a disciplined approach to this critical production period. It is now universally accepted that disciplined brooding, following the Platinum Brooding® principles, will improve most if not all production parameters with subsequent benefits to health, food safety, animal welfare, and environmental stewardship.

Dr. Stewart Ritchie
Canadian Poultry Consultants Ltd. | S.J. Ritchie Research Farms Ltd.

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