Functional tips for feeding broiler breeders in production with chain feeders.
As broilers become ever more feed efficient, good management practices in managing the parents are even more critical. Here are just some of my tips for feeding broiler breeders in production with chain feeders.
· Ensure there is adequate feed space. There should be a minimum of 15cm (6 inch) per bird, slightly more is even better. The days of being able to manage with 12 or 13cm are gone.
· The time to distribute feed to all the birds should be under 4 minutes. The best results I have seen have distribution times around 2 minutes.
· Use high speed motors, 36 m/minute (120 feet/minute).
· Use variable speed drives on the motors to allow for a “soft-start” to the system, minimising breakdowns and prolonging life of the equipment.
· The first run should be at maximum speed to minimise the feed distribution time, subsequent runs can be slower. The important thing is to ensure the track doesn’t become empty between runs.
· Allow at least 30 minutes after walking round the house before feeding. Otherwise, the birds will follow you round and be unevenly distributed around the house.
· The first run of the chain should be in the dark, with the lights being turned back on when the feed is all the way round.
· Birds see the hoppers as “mother hen” and will naturally migrate towards them just before feeding time, having more than one can help with bird distribution.
· Always observe birds feed, you will learn a lot and identify any issues very quickly.
There are also options to use a “signal” with lights or sound to pre-warn the birds it is near feed time and allow them to line up against the track. I have seen very good results with light signals but they must be started in the rearing period to train the birds.
A lot of time, money and effort goes into getting the birds uniform in the rearing phase. This can often be lost with poor feeding practices in the production houses.
#broiler #broilerbreeder #poultry #poultryfarming #AGriConsultancy
Contributed by Andrew Gibson
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