GUIDELINES FOR THE FIRST SEVEN DAYS OF BROODING IN POULTRY FARM
- Early placement of chicks in the house , access to fresh clean water and feed after arrival is important .
The time of transport from the hatchery to the farm should be as quick as possible .This is because the hatch window might be close to 12-24 hrs after hatching and there is no need for further delay once you have collected your birds from the hatchery/sales point.
On placement, provide an hour of clean water mixed with glucose or Vitastress, and wait to give feed until the one hour period of water is done. This helps to avoid constipation issues in chicks!
Once again, make sure good feed and fresh clean drinking water is readily available and easily accessible to reduce time for searching for feed and water by the newly arrived chicks. Please note that putting water/drinkers near pots or any other heat source is not good, when water is hot birds do not drink it.
Four hours after placement, randomly pick some of the chicks and check the crop fill .The target crop fill should be 85%. After 12hrs , it should be above 95%, and after 24hrs, the target crop fill should be above 98 to 100%.
- Use of digestible raw materials in making feed for the chicks is necessary as their digestive system is not mature or procurement of chicks feed from reputable commercial feed manufacturer.
Don’t compound your own feed if you are not an expertise in that field, instead purchase good an approved feed supplier within your locality to avoid stories that touch.
You know yesterday some farmer complained about some feed type that made her sell off her 2 months Broilers, that had failed to growth. Another lost 300 chicks in the first week just because feeds made chicks sick! Its touching.
- Place highly hygienic materials that have been adequately sanitized and disinfected in the brooding house. You should know that the chicks’ immune response is not fully developed any health compromise might be more devastating for young chicks compared to older ones.
One major route of disease entry in chicks is the intestine so have your chicks’ intestines protected!
Biosecurity measures like foot baths, disinfection of premises and disinfection of equipment should be done using a struat and trusted disinfectant.
Dont joke with biosecurity. If you miss it, then you miss out. Restrict access to your day old chicks, have some workers dedicated to look after the brooder but not allowing everyone to enter, and these workers should not be working anywhere else! all equipment should have been washed, disinfected and sanitised with appropriate disinfectants.
A designated Uniform/clothings for the purpose of caring for your birds should be worn by the person/stockman caring for the birds.
If not, once immunity of your birds is compromised be ready to start counting your losses from the onset.
4 . Provide breed specific diet of high quality as this will enable the chicks to consume the amount needed for adequate growth .For broilers, you should give broiler feed. Which has both starter and finisher.
5 . Avoid overcrowding as this leads to competition for feed and water And causes pecking in chicks. Moreover, this will lead ultimately to a high number of lighter birds that will end up being at a disadvantaged when it is time for scrambling for feed in the midst of other heavier birds in the flock.
These lighter birds that you created in the brooder are the same birds you will see in your poultry house being chased around, and hiding in laying boxes and perches. Over crowding leads to poor growth and low production percentage when birds grow!
- Ventilation: Much as we advise that you keep the brooder sealed off from draught, we do not mean that you deny the birds air exchange. Now, do not just seal off everywhere! Leave some little breathing space in the brooder!
Do not leave ammonia to build up in the house, open up during day for the ammonia and dust to get out.
Try to achieve good uniformity. i.e birds falling within similar average body weight. In layers, lighter and heavier birds are difficult to design feed programme for.
You can seperate them and grow each group together to allow light birds gain weight faster and catch before laying begins.This will enable a large percentage of the whole flock to attain peak production at the same time.
Remember, the main aim is to maximize profit in poultry by stopping disease challenges, reduced mortality, reduced antibiotics expenses and veterinary bills, and keeping them healthy and productive.
Don’t forget to use our new chacool brooder for easier brooding.