Brooding Day-old Chicks During Wet and Raining Season Successfully
Brooding day-old chicks successfully during the wet and raining season could be a bit of a challenge for many farmers.
In view of this, extreme wet and cold weather might not be the right time to brood day-old chicks especially for beginners in the poultry industry.
With a lot of passion and dedication, success can be achieved during this period of the year.
Read also: Hot weather management of poultry
This is due to the fact that it comes with so many challenges. If not properly handled can discourage new farmers.
And even make some quit poultry farming altogether. But if all the necessary precautions and measures are taking. It can be the best period to raise day-old chicks.
The following tips will help you raise day-old chicks during wet and cold weather successfully:
ENSURE THAT YOU PROVIDE ADEQUATE ROOF OVER YOUR BABY CHICKS
Making sure that your roof is not leaking, you may have a roof over your baby chicks, but making sure is not leaking is another ball game altogether (very very important).
Some weeks ago I visited a friend’s farm that has over 700 broiler chicks on his farm. Due to carelessness and lack of constant or close observation on his farm.
He lost over 200 baby chicks as a result of coccidiosis within 4 weeks of their arrival.
The cause of the chick’s mortality may be due to dampness and wet litter, where he housed or kept his chicks was leaking.
And he did not take notice of what was happening, over time the litter provided a better breeding ground for oocyst to thrive.
Sporulation generally occurs in damp, wet, humid conditions between 220C and 330C Degrees Celsius. This gives room for coccidiosis to flourish, as a result of the contamination emanating from the litter.
Which is caused by the water droplets mixing with the litter given rise to sporulated oocyst (egg parasites).
Now when the birds feed on this contaminated litter contaminated by oocyst it becomes a serious problem leading to coccidiosis.
Which would have a devastating effect on your poultry farm. Allowing your roof to leak coupled with the wet weather is never a good situation for raising baby chicks.
At this stage, their immunity is not yet strong as the older birds.
To avoid this pitfall, mortalities, or any serious disease on your farm endeavor to keep your litter dry and moisture-free at all times.
It will go a long way in reducing the incidence of diseases on your poultry farm.
PROVIDE YOUR DAY OLD BABY CHICKS WITH WARMTH
Day-old baby chicks need a lot of warmth and care at least a temperature of about 350C for the first week of their life and arrival.
Afterward, you will be reducing it by 3°C each week until the brooder temperature is the same as the ambient temperature.
And in addition, note that their house should be kept warm 24hrs prior to their arrival. And should also be provided with bright light for at least the first three days
These will enable them to see and feed very well so that they can have good starts and also stay healthy.
Do everything humanly possible to protect them from draft air in the first few days of their life, until at least when they can regulate their own body temperature.
It will take them at least three to five days before they can start to regulate their own body temperature. Before these, you are to provide them with enough warmth and care as mentioned earlier to keep all of them healthy and alive.
Read also: Top management guide for broiler production
GUIDING THEM AGAINST DISEASES THAT ARE MOSTLY PREVALENT DURING THESE SEASONS
As mentioned earlier wet and cold season comes with its own challenges and diseases.
There are a number of diseases that are most prevalent during the rainy season. Diseases such as fowl pox especially in tropical and temperate climates where you have a lot of mosquitoes especially in the wet season.
Chickens suffer from fowl pox most during the wet season.
It is normally, advisable to vaccinate your baby chicks between the ages of 6 and 7 weeks old to guard and protect them against fowl pox disease.
Newcastle disease has also been found to be endemic between the periods of June & July and November & December.
These periods are both wet and cold seasons especially in most West African countries such as Nigeria.
Newcastle disease is a viral infection and is highly infectious and contagious capable of causing devastating effects on birds.
And poultry farms thereby resulting in serious economic loss and discouragement to farmers.
Vaccinating your birds and protecting them against this disease is the only way to stay in business and make a substantial profit.
AVOID OVERCROWDED CONDITION ESPECIALLY DURING WET AND RAINING SEASON
Provide your birds with enough space so that the litter will be dry and healthy for your chicks.
Too many chicks in a small space may result in wet litter. Which breed pathogens that cause diseases and death to chicks.
Overcrowding will always make your litter to be wet and unhealthy for your chicks and will lead to stressful condition.
Dry and healthy litter should always be your priority at all times.
PROVISION OF DRY AND HEALTHY FEEDS AT ALL TIME
Due to the high relative humidity in the atmosphere and constant rainfall during the raining season.
You will discover that, if the feed is not properly stored or is exposed to dampness they begin to form molds.
And molds breeds toxins and diseases that are harmful to birds whenever they eat such feeds.
It is highly advisable to always use fresh feeds that are also dry, which is not stored for long periods of time
Birds always love it when their feed is fresh and smells good, healthy devoid of dampness and molds.
PROVIDE ADEQUATE VENTILATION FOR BROODING DAY-OLD CHICKS SUCCESSFULLY
During the wet and rainy season provide adequate ventilation in your poultry farm. To avoid stuffy atmosphere and the building up of ammonia gas in the poultry pen.
Stuffiness and lack of ventilation and the presence of dirty build up litter can generate a high level of ammonia which is not good for the health of chickens.
It weakens their immune system and creates rooms for other diseases to flourish. And infect your birds thereby resulting in serious economic loss to you as the farm owner.
It is capable of generating an irritating burning effect on your eyes if you are very observant.l
This is why it is very important to keep your litter dry and provide cross ventilation (inlet and outlet air)
The construction of your poultry house should be in such a way that there is free movement of air, especially for tropical hot climate.
Like I will always advise farmers, that are new or want to start poultry farming if you cannot adhere strictly to the points explained above.
The best time to start poultry farming is in a season that is favorable for instances in West Africa particularly in Nigeria, we have a dry and wet season.
During the dry season, we still have heat season. You can start your farm during the heat season. You don’t have to heat your baby chicks to keep them warm.
The weather is already hot most temperatures within that period of the year are normally between 280C to 390C.
Depending on the region or state. And of cause, you won’t have a problem of too much wet or cold affecting your baby chicks. Thereby reducing mortality to the barest minimum.
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