May20 , 2022

Broiler Production: Best Poultry Farm Management Practices

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Broiler Production: Best Poultry Farm Management Practices

The first step is sourcing your day-old chicks from the right hatchery. There is an increasing demand for day-old chicks by poultry farmers and this creates a loophole for unwarranted practices within the hatchery business. So, one needs to be very careful when sourcing day-old chicks.

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The pen is prepared before the arrival of chicks which is known as LITTER MANAGEMENT.

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Floor and Litter Management.

The farmer needs to have a clean environment before chicks arrival. If you have a new pen, you need to put new litters in the form of wood shaving (not sawdust). If you have an existing house, remove all litters, wash with detergents and bleach. Make sure every corner is well-washed. After placing the litter, spray with insecticide (DD force or sniper) and disinfectants. Lysol is preferable.

Equipment sanitation

Wash your chick drinker and tray thoroughly, possibly with detergents and disinfectants if you have used them previously. Subsequently, use ordinary water to wash. If you use detergents, it may not be properly rinsed and may affect the quality of drugs and vaccines.

Read also: Advantages of broiler chicken Farming

Temperature management during brooding

This is very important. You need to take total charge of the internal temperature of the pen. Enclose the pen with tarpaulins or transparent nylon. It creates a warm, comfortable environment. The transparent nylon will also help to light up the pen during day time. There are standard temperature requirements, but most importantly, you need to constantly check the temperature at the roof and at the level of the birds. If the roof temperature is more than the level of the birds, you need to bring up the curtain to avoid heat stress which will not make the chicks to eat.

The farmer also needs to preheat the room to a required temperature at the level of the birds. It is possible you heat the room and you are sweating and when you bend down at the level of the birds, it is very cold.

Please take note: you can heat with gas brooders or charcoal or kerosene stove. When using charcoal or kerosene be careful of smoke.

There are different types of houses for rearing poultry birds and this is explained below

 

There is the closed system – this is used by big industrial chicken farms and it is fully automated in terms of temperature control, humidity control and so on. Feeding and drinking system is fully automated too. You have one person taking care of about 50,000 birds. It is a very good system but more expensive.

We also have the open house system and it is what the facilitator concentrated on. You need to regulate temperature and so on with charcoal, and feeding is manual, etc.

Broiler unlike pullet, do not need so much heat. Depending on the weather condition, the supply of heat to the broiler house should be a maximum of 3 days. They also need a bit of chilly weather to help increase food consumption.

Lighting

For the first 3 weeks, they need an average of 23 hours of light. It helps to feed, drink and also run around and generate metabolic energy. 1 or 2 hours is alright for sleep. The farmer can supply light through the night with solar lamps if there is no electricity on the farm as this helps to save cost. The transparent curtains will help in lightening during the day time

Read also: 5 basic mistakes to avoid in Poultry farming business

Feed and Feeding

A good and palatable feed is the key. When buying your feed or producing one, check your raw materials for anti-nutritional factors. Most importantly, check for moulds. If the feed is caking or too dusty, don’t buy. Check the expiry date as well. The poultry farmer needs to be critical when buying feed.

Give the birds feeds in bits – possibly every hour and here are some reasons why:

  • It will help stimulate the appetite of the chicks.
  • It will help you have interaction with the chicks.
  • It helps to do a cleanup of their feed so there is nothing the rodents can feed on

Drugs and Vaccines

When the birds arrive, you can place papers on the floor. It helps them not to eat litters. You can also broadcast the feed on the paper to help them feed as close as possible.

Speak to a vet in your area to cross-check your vaccination schedule, because it varies from location to location depending on the prevailing disease outbreaks. For example, in some areas, farmers give Lasota every 3- 4 weeks. Confirm what works in your farm location.

Please check the vaccine expiry date before use, also confirm the cold chain. Always take a vaccine carrier along to buy vaccines. It is not advisable to put your vaccine in the freezer.

Use of feed grade anticoccidial is very important if you are milling your poultry feed yourself. Also, ensure adequate ventilation and be sure to always breathe fresh air in the pen. Try as much as possible to avoid wet floor in your broiler pen. If the pen is wet, it will be difficult to treat coccidiosis, which is a major broiler problem.

You can buy solar lamps to help with lighting to supply a minimum of 23 hours light in the pen. The more the birds have access to light, the more they eat and gain weight.

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