In this blog post, you will learn how to take care of day old broiler chicks very effective without encountering any loss.
Introduction To Modern broiler production is a highly specialized field of poultry production where genetic selection, management and nutrition are geared towards the production and marketing of a bird at the earliest age and at optimum cost.
Broilers are specially bred birds with the ability to grow fast, are quick feathering, and have a good conformation, are well covered with meat and convert food very efficiently. Broilers are normally fed ad libitum (i.e., without any restriction) from day old to finishing, by which time they should have attained just above 2 kg live weight with a feed conversion ration averaging.
For professional guide on how to take care of of day old broiler, you would to take good attention to the followings:
WHAT DAY OLD BROILER NEEDS TO SURVIVE
Yes before i start, let me quickly sum it up here and give you a list of what you need to raise day old broiler chicks from their first day on earth till harvesting period.
- Feed and feeding management.
- Regular water supply.
Feeds and feeding management
Feed costs accounts for between 60 and 70% of the total variable costs of a broiler production enterprise. The prudent producer will therefore plan thoroughly all the feed requirements to avoid losses and unnecessary surpluses.
It is important to monitor feed consumption and weight on a regular basis. The performance of the birds can be checked against standards.
Day old chicks should be fed in feeder lids or plastic trays (1 per 100). The automatic feeders should be in place on arrival of the chicks and should be adjusted so as to rest directly on the litter.
I recommend this feeder lids which I’ve always recommends for farmer to use. Below are short descriptions about it:
- Can be easily clean when dirt.
- They may be hung or sit on the ground.
- It’s made of plastic, you need to be careful when handling.
Possible Questions & Answers.
Q: Does the handle push down making it waterproof?
A: No it doesn’t but we have it under cover and haven’t had any problem with it getting wet.
The feeder lids or trays should be removed as soon as birds have become accustomed to feeding from the mechanical feeders. This usually takes place around seven days of age.
Feeder height should be continually adjusted as the birds grow. The top edge of the feeders should be at the same level as the back of the birds.This helps to prevent feed wastage.
During the first two weeks, the chicks should be given starter mash or crumbles. For the remainder of the time, it is to be feed pelleted feeds.
The feed i would always recommend for broiler’s farmer is this Manna Pro Chick Starter|Medicated with Amprolium. Below are some descriptions about it:
- Medicated Complete Crumble for Chicks Ages 0-8 Weeks
- Feed Manna Pro Poultry Grit Free Choice in a Separate Feeder, or Mix 1 lb with 40 lbs of Feed
- Fortified with Vitamins and Minerals for Healthy Growth and South Development
- Formulated for the Development of Active Immunity to Coccidiosis
- Made with 18% Protein for Weight Gain and Muscle Development.
Possible Questions & Answers.
Q: Can this be fed to adult chickens as well?
A: Adult chickens may be temporarily fed medicated chick starter, such as when the mother hen is raising chicks and they share a source of food. Please note that the dose of medication is only to aid in the prevention of coccidiosis and may not be sufficient to treat an active case of coccidiosis. If that is the case, please refer to a coccidiosis treatment or consult your vet.
Q: How many chicks will this feed for that 8 weeks?
A: I can only tell you I fed 6 day old broiler chicks for 16 weeks on one bag.
Mash can still be given but there is much wastage with mashes than with pellets. Feeders should never be more than 1/3 full at a time. With trough feeders, allow 5 cm feeding space/bird, while one pan per 50 birds is used with pan type feeders. Broilers are fed high nutrient density diets so that they achieve market weight within a short period of time usually 6-8 weeks.
Generally as the energy content of broiler feed increases, less feed is required to attain market weight. Therefore broiler feeds usually contain lots of energy and protein. Protein is needed by growing birds while energy is required to drive the processes of life.
When talking about protein requirements, it is much more of the protein quality or amino acids; rather than the total protein content, which is more important. Birds may not perform well if the levels of critical amino acids such as lysine methionine and cystine are limiting in the rations.
This is regardless of whether the proportion of total protein is adequate or inadequate. Minerals and vitamins are also required for maximal performance.
The common types of feeding systems are:
- Tube feeders for day old broiler chicks
- Troughs that is suitable for day old broiler chicks
- Pan feeders
- Flat chain feeders – automatic – manual – automatic – automatic
Optimum salt level is vital as under supply of this ingredient can result in pecking which can lead to cannibalism. Thus, in practice, when a problem of pecking is encountered, addition of salt in drinking water at a rate of 1 table spoon per 5 litres of water for 2 to 3 days usually solves the problem.
Most producers of broilers practice two phase feeding (feeding of starter followed by finisher rations) instead of three-phase feeding (starter followed by grower and then finisher).
In practice, allow for 1 kg of broiler starter feed and 3kg of broiler finisher feed. The nutrient specifications for both starter and finisher ration These feeds are available as complete rations from feed manufacturers, or as concentrates (those which contain the protein, vitamins and minerals) and then the farmer will have to add the energy component, usually maize.
Sorghum, barley, wheat and millet can also be used as partial substitutes for maize in broiler rations. Feed maxi-packs, which supply the minerals and vitamins, can also be used by producers who can supply their own maize and soya-cake, as shown in Table 4b.
Large-scale producers may find it cheaper to make their own feed on the farm.
All they need is to be able to source the individual ingredients and then engage a Nutritionist to formulate appropriate rations. Complete on-farm mixing of feed reduces the overall.
Water is very important for the survival of day old broiler chicks
Generally it should be available at all times. Day old broiler chicks can be started with water founts (15 four-litre founts per 1000 chicks).
These should be placed close to heat sources and between feeders. The founts should be cleaned and sanitised at each filling.
It is important to use fresh water that has been sanitised to kill some material that can cause disease such as algae and fungi. At 4-5 days old, the water founts should be gradually moved towards automatic waters and can be removed at around 10 days.
By this time, the birds should have adjusted to drinking from the automatic waterers. Allow at least 2 cm linear watering space /bird.
Where dome water are used, there should be at least 7 per 1000 birds. The height of watering equipment should always be adjusted as the birds grow such that the top edge should be level with the backs of the birds.
The general water consumption rate is 2-3 kg water for every kg of feed consumed. of Flock vaccinations are sometimes done through drinking water.
If this has to be done, water sanitizers and disinfectants have to be discontinued, as they may be harmful to the vaccines. Instead, powdered milk (115g per 40 litres) may be given before the introduction of the vaccine. This helps to limit the adverse effects of the vaccine and prolongs vaccine life. The milk will also neutralize any traces disinfectants and sanitizers remaining in the water and equipment
Day old broiler growing is normally done under 23 hours of continuous light and one hour of complete darkness.
This is regardless of whether the type of house is windowless or open. The dark period helps the birds to adjust to some dark conditions, or should there be a power black-out.
This is especially important in situations where power failures are frequent.
If the birds are unaccustomed to darkness, they may pile up, stampede and die when sudden darkness comes. Research carried out recently in closed buildings has shown that intermittent lighting of 1-2 hours followed by 2-4 hours of darkness during a 24 hour period significantly improves feed efficiency and reduces electricity costs.
Therefore broiler producers, who have facilities that enable light control, may find this technique quite appealing.
During the first 2 weeks, chicks need a light intensity of 40-60 watts per 20 m2.
Such a light intensity helps the young birds to get a good start from the feed and water. From 2 weeks onwards, light intensity can be reduced 15 W/20m2.
High light intensity after 4 weeks of age should be avoided because it can act as a growth suppressant. It may also result in carcass bruising due to over activity by the birds. It is important that light bulbs should be well distributed in the poultry house. Burnt bulbs have to be replaced and all bulbs should be cleaned frequently. Dirty on bulbs reduce light intensity, increase electricity cost and fire risk.
Ventilation – Day old broiler chicks
Good ventilation is important for the growth of healthy birds. It supplies oxygen and removes carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and ammonia (NH3) from the houses. In addition, it controls the amount of moisture, thus helping to keep litter dry and NH3 levels below 25ppm. Ammonia build up in broiler houses predisposes birds to respiratory problems, partial blindness and depressed growth. In closed up type of housing, ventilation should be designed to achieve a room temperature of between 21-27°C. Drafts should be avoided in semi open houses but it is important to maintain good air movement. Bio-security, hygiene and vaccination
Bio-security are measures put in place to prevent disease coming into the poultry unit or preventing the spread of diseases within the poultry unit. Always practice an all-in-all-out system for broilers and after a batch has been through a house, the house and ancillary equipment should be thoroughly scrubbed, washed out with water, disinfected and fumigated.
It also includes controlling human traffic and vehicles into the poultry unit, provision of protective clothing for workers and visitors, rodent control, rest period between bathes, routine vaccination and prevention of pollution.
A strict bio-security program should always be in place.
Good management should substitute the use of treatment drugs, especially for coccidiosis, necrotic enteritis, internal parasites and colisepticaemia – E. coli.
For broiler flocks exceeding 1000 birds, it is economic to vaccinate against the following diseases:
Newcastle Disease – at day-old, spray in hatchery; and day 22 in drinking water
Infectious Bursal Disease / Gumboro disease – day 12 and day 20, drinking water
Infectious Bronchitis – optional, day-old, spray at hatchery. Mass vaccination through the drinking water is the most common method of administering vaccines to day old broiler chicks.
When this method is used, the water sanitizers and disinfectants should be discontinued as these can neutralize or inactivate the vaccines.
The addition of dry milk at 129 gram per 40 litres of water prior to the introduction of the vaccine is a common practice.
This assists to prolong the life of the vaccine and bind any contaminants or residual disinfectants in the water. Veterinary advice should also be sought in situations of a disease outbreak.
Handling of dead birds In large scale poultry operations,
There will always be some deaths that will inevitably occur despite the producers’ intention to keep the numbers down. The day old broiler birds will die mostly from disease or some other causes.
It is therefore important that these dead birds be disposed of in a manner that does not expose the remaining birds to infection.
There are two acceptable methods of disposal and these are
Incinerator for day old broiler chicks:
This is the most preferred method for day old broiler chicks although it is very expensive. It is very handy in areas where burial of dead birds is likely to pollute underground water sources.
The incinerator should have the capacity to meet the needs of the farm as well as any future expansion programs.
It should be located down wind from poultry houses and residences to avoid fumes. Whenever some birds are incinerated, it should be made sure that the carcasses are burnt completely white ash. Incomplete burning may result in some pathogens forming spores and then survive high burning temperatures.
Disposal pits for day old broiler chicks:
This is a less expensive alternative to incinerators. The pits should be located in a place where there is good drainage. The other good thing about pits is that there is no use of chemicals and no odor will emanate from well-designed pits.
Various specifications for the pits can be used but generally they should be at least 2m deep and 2.5m2 at the surface. The top should be covered with at least 30 cm of earth. The bird repository should be tightly covered always to keep the odours of decomposition inside.
Withdrawal of feed before slaughter Withdrawing need from day old broiler chicks along with transportation to processing plant an ave considerable effect n the dressing percentage.
Live shrink between 8 hours withdrawal time and 20 hours as een estimated o be about 3.0%. Dressed carcass quality may also be far affected beyond eperiodsssiit withdrawal Nevertheless, the feed has o be withdrawn at some point before slaughter. This helps to avoid contamination of the carcasses with intestinal contents during evisceration. The general rule is that feed should be withdrawn approximately 6 to 10 hours before birds are to be slaughtered. However, water should be available for as long as is practical.
How much is day old broiler chicks
If you ever wanted to know how much is day old broiler chicks then i would advice you to meet with someone who is already in the game in your community and ask them how much they buy chicks.
So if we should start listing price for all countries here we can’t cover all. We advise you to meet up with someone who is already in the game to guide you through.
Conclusion on how to take care of day old broiler chicks
We have discussed on how to take care of day old broiler chicks right from hatchery to harvesting time. We also recommended some of the products we have used and found to be okay for raising a day old broiler birds.
I think with the information provided, you can successful raise a day old broiler chick without much issue.
What are your thoughts on how to take care of day old broiler chicks? Don’t forget to share with friends and family!