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.
  • Brooding.
  • Ventilation.

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:

day old broiler chicks

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Pros

  • Can be easily clean when dirt.
  • They may be hung or sit on the ground.

Cons

  • 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:

Day old chicks
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Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • None.

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!

Classicfarmz

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