This study was designed to evaluate the effect of corn or sorghum diet and canthaxanthin (CX) supplementation on performance in broiler breeders. A total of 440 females with similar body weight (BW) (3.71 ± 0.14 kg) and 60 roosters were placed in an open-sided house with 20 pens, randomly distributed in a factorial arrangement (2 × 2). There were 4 diets of 2 ingredients; corn (CO) or sorghum (SO) and 2 levels of CX; 6 mg/kg (CX) and 0 mg/kg (NCX) totaling 5 replicate pens of 22 females and 3 males each, from 42 to 65 wk, divided in 2 periods (from wk 42 to 53 and wk 54 to 65). Birds' BW was measured every 28 d and mortality rate was calculated at the end of trial. Egg production (%), egg specific gravity (g/cm3), egg weight (g), yolk weight (%), albumen weight (%), eggshell weight (%) and yolk colorimetric score were measured weekly. Incubation parameters were recorded in 12 incubations to evaluate hatching eggs, hatching (%), hatchability (%), fertility (%), weight of the chicks born and their quality. The BW, mortality, percentage of yolk and albumen weight, fertility and some incubation parameters were not affected (P > 0.05) by diets used. An increase in the egg production, hatching eggs, chicks born and first quality chick by hen at the second period were observed in CX breeder's diets (P = 0.0066; P = 0.0060; P = 0.0368; P = 0.0326). Egg specific gravity and eggshell weight were improved at the first period by SO+CX diet (P = 0.0138; P = 0.0209) and the same effect to egg weight, but at the second period (P = 0.0251). The CX was well absorbed from the diet and effectively transferred to the egg yolk, thereby increasing egg yolk pigmentation in the both periods (P < 0.0001). The CX supplementation in broiler breeder diets improved the productive and reproductive performance (laying% and hatchable eggs) at the second period, also to the both periods improved the egg yolk pigmentation.