4 Unique Ways You Can Achieve Uniform Body Weight and Growth in Chicken
The pride of every poultry farmer is to achieve uniform body weight and growth in chicken, on his poultry farm.
Most importantly the main objective of all poultry farmers is to produce high-quality birds either day-old chicks, broilers for meat production, layers for egg production, or noilers for both eggs, and meat production.
Producing them with uniform body weight and growth rate is an in-depth process that cannot be overemphasized.
Customers are always very excited each time they see healthy-looking birds particularly with uniform body weight and growth rates.
Not just the customers even the farmer himself would always be happy and delighted seeing his flock having a uniform body weight and growth, and are looking very healthy and appealing to the eyes.
Achieving uniform body weight and growth rate are some of the most important factors that would single you out as a good, experience,d and successful poultry farmer.
It would also help boost your sales and also increase your profit margin as a poultry farmer.
Customers and chicken consumers love to see a healthy, attractive, and uniform flock.
It gives them the impression that you have put in a lot of hard work in raising your birds.
A lot of factors would be discussed that would help you as a poultry farmer to understand the importance of uniform body weight and growth rate.
Read also: Six major components of poultry Nutrition
At the same time avoid uneven growth, and why you should always aim for uniformity among your flock:
1. POOR MANAGEMENT ISSUES SHOULD BE AVOIDED IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE UNIFORM BODY WEIGHT AND GROWTH RATE.
Stocking birds in high density in a pen (poultry house) with limited space and ventilation itself is a recipe for uneven body weight/growth rate.
And for the rapid spread of diseases, caused by both bacterial, protozoal, and viral infection.
Disease such as coccidiosis, apart from the death it can cause infected birds if proper care and medication are not given. It is capable of causing serious economic loss.
It has a way of slowing down the growth of affected birds, leading to uneven growth among the birds.
Good litter management is one of the best ways to prevent a lot of poultry diseases.
Although affected birds may recover in the long wrong, the disease may affect their ability to maintain uniform body weight and growth rate, except serious measures are taken to address the situation.
In order to avoid this situation, serious management issues have to be addressed.
Such as providing enough space for the birds and avoiding unnecessary excessive moisture on the litter.
Poor litter management provides a perfect breeding ground for disease-causing organisms to thrive.
It is very important that we provide a conducive environment for our chickens to grow. And at the same time achieve uniform growth and body weight.
QUALITY OF PARENTS STOCK
Uniform body weight and growth have a lot to do with the quality of your day-old chicks.
Sourcing your day-old chicks from different farms probably with different ages would always result in poor uniform body weight and growth rate.
The quality of the parent stock you are sourcing your day-old chicks from also matters a lot.
It is very important that you source your day-old chicks from a reputable farm (hatchery), known for high standards that meets all the required regulation and standards of the poultry industry.
2. ENSURING THAT ALL YOUR CHICKS HAVE EQUAL ACCESS TO FEED, WATER, AND NUTRIENT AT THE SAME TIME.
In order to have uniform body weight and growth, it is very important that each baby chick, from day one, have access to quality feed, clean clear, drinking water at the same time.
Many feeders should be provided so that all birds will have a bite of all the nutrients at the same time. This would ensure that there is no problem with selective feeding.
Selective feeding is a situation whereby some chicks will consistently be picking a particular component or nutrients to the detriment of other poultry birds.
This is the more reason why some poultry experts have a special preference for crumbles and pelletized feed because all the ingredients are caked together compared to mash, especially for growing birds.
Although feeds presented in mash form are also very good for layers and already grown-up birds.
One of the simple ways to combat this is to provide enough feed and feeders that would be accessible to all the birds at the same time.
3. ADEQUATE BROODING ENHANCES UNIFORM BODY WEIGHT AND GROWTH
Brooding is a very important stage in a chicken life getting it right or wrong would determine the type of future your baby chicks are going to have.
Whether they are going to have uniform body weight and growth rate or uneven body weight and growth
Worst still be infected with a different type of disease as a result of a poor immune system
Quite a number of very important factors are to be considered when brooding day old chicks such as:
The quality of air in the pen (poultry house) is ammonia-free.
Day-old baby chicks cannot regulate their body temperature at least for the first three (3) days.
In this situation they should be provided with adequate warmth, and care at least for these few early days of their lives, this will enable them to have a very good start in life.
Provision of an additional source of heat that should be properly regulated and monitored so as to avoid overheating.
Because if they are overheated it may lead to poor feed intake and heat stress, which may affect their ability to achieve uniform weight and growth rate.
They also need good relative humidity and quality air in their pen. The litter should always be kept dry and moisture-free.
When you squeeze a good litter on the palm of your hand, it should fall back freely not caked.
The accumulation of ammonia gas should be avoided at all costs, it can weaken their immune system, thus encouraging retarded, and uneven growth.
Only healthy chicken can have a normal growth rate and uniform body weight.
Day-old chicks need at least 24hours of light the first three days of their life once they are out of the incubator.
This would increase activity, a lot of energy will be exerted thus helping them to keep warm.
Bright light will enable them to have access to feed and water at the same time, round the clock.
It would also help them develop a good body frame, and the skeletal that will support their growing body.
Their stamina and agility would also improve within a short time which would give room for the achievement of uniform body weight and growth.
To achieve uniform body weight and growth rate revolves around getting it right from day one.
And adhering to strict management practices like providing adequate feed and feeders for the baby chicks to avoid unhealthy competition.
Where the weaker chicks are left for growth retardation, and the stronger ones continue to consume the nutrient in the feed.
Thus becoming bigger and stronger, this should not be allowed to continue.
Aggression and any form of stress should be avoided at all costs in the early days of a chick’s life.
This can be achieved through adequate provision of good lighting system feed, feeders, clear clean drinking water, regulated temperature, adequate ventilation(fresh air), and good litter management.
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