What is common with Successful Poultry Farmers Part 1
1. Strong Work Ethic
Poultry farming is not easy work. To some degree, you are your own boss and you can decide when you want to start and finish your day in the poultry houses. However, successful growers see their birds early (5–6 a.m.) and see them late (9–10 p.m.). They also see them multiple times in between.
Raising poultry is not a 9 to 5 job. You will not be successful as a poultry grower working a 9 to 5 schedule. Rest assured that something is always happening in one house or the other that requires your attention. The quicker you address that issue and put things right again, the more successful you will be.
You do not need to “live” in your poultry houses. However, you do need to start early and check for any issues that may have developed overnight and address those issues quickly. You also need to check the flock late and, if there are issues, address them at that time. A water leak or a feed line not working at 9 p.m. needs to be fixed at 9 p.m., not the next morning. Too much of an “I’ll fix that later” attitude can put you out of business. A strong work ethic is a major difference between successful and not-so-successful growers.
READ ALSO: 7 management tips you must not ignore
2. Willingness to Spend Time in the Poultry House
Do not let the controller grow the birds! Too many growers put too much faith in their controller and expect the controller to grow the birds. However, the controller is a tool—you are the grower! Successful growers are very good at understanding their birds, their equipment, and their individual houses.
As mentioned earlier, you don’t need to “live” in your poultry houses, but you do need to spend enough time there to understand everything. First and foremost, you must understand what your birds are telling you. Yes, your birds are telling you many things, and, therefore, you must learn to speak their language as quickly as possible.
The same spiel applies for both new poultry growers and college students who are poultry science majors: a 5-gallon bucket is the best friend you have in the chicken business. You should take that 5-gallon bucket into the poultry house, turn it upside down and sit on it, and watch your birds and learn how they act at different times of the day and under different conditions at different ages. How do birds respond when they are too hot or cold, feel a draft (your birds do not like drafts), or are out of feed and/or water?
It’s best to never run out of feed or water, but if you grow birds long enough, it’s bound to happen at some point. Feed mills break down and well pumps go out. That’s just part of life on the farm—usually the part everyone forgot to mention to you. It’s also important to know how birds behave when everything is fine. If you watch them long enough, you will know how they react to different situations and recognize when something isn’t right. They will tell you when they aren’t happy; you just have to learn how to understand their language.
Also be aware that, even though your houses may all be lined up side-by-side, every house will act differently, even though you may have the same program in every controller. Each house will have its own unique way of ventilating, heating, and cooling. You must learn how each house differs from all the others and adjust your settings for each house based on the characteristics of that house.
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