Tips for raising Day Old Chicks

DOUBLE YOLK? You just got lucky!
13th December 2018

   

Hatchery

There are well known chicken distributor supplying healthy birds across the country, you need to get this information from other farmers who are doing well with breeding, get recommendations and if possible look at the review on all the farms suggested.

Price

The purchase price would eventually be added to the total cost of production, so it is advisable to search for lowest price to buy your day old chicks without compromising on quality.

The overall expenses must be taken into consideration because most people are looking at the short term investment until they get their first egg (24 weeks) forgetting that  by the time they drop they will still have to lay continuously for another 3 months before they breakeven.

Brooding – Time

Many articles and most of the research on birds laying would suggest that birds start to lay between 18 – 24 weeks. And this is absolutely correct however I have heard of too many cases  where pullets lay after 24 weeks. compared to the amount that lay within this time period.

When we talk about Time, we need to consider the seasons, It is common that chicken raise during the dry season tend to have better chance of surviving having lower mortality that the ones raised in rain and cold season. Small chickens do do well in cold weather and a lot of expenses goes on heating the house and treating them.

Space

6 birds/msq, 10 bird per drinker is the average measurement for each bird to get the required space, food and drink needed.. you will need to multiply the feeder and drinker by  number of bird you have, this will vary per size so be ready to increase the space given as time goes on. And also be prepared to sort the birds by separating to size after week 6 or earlier if you notice big difference in sizes, lack of of uniformity will result in the big ones picking on the smaller ones.

Debeaking

Beak trimming should be done as early as possible,I would suggest after the first week, Although debeaking during this period will not prevent pecking entirely because it will grow back , but by doing it will get the  birds use to it cut down risk of mortality when done at later stage.. Beak trimming causes difficulty in drinking and feeding hence the trimming is a delicate operation and should be done by an experience person or veterinary doctor.

Do not beak trim when birds are not healthy or when reacting to vaccination.

Add vitamin to the drinking after debeaking.

Make sure trimming blade is hot enough to allow easy and smooth operation.

Housing

Either you use wood shaven or newspaper whatever you decide to use, you will notice there are different types of problems we encountered when using these method, for example the wood shaven is said to cause problem for the birds, because they will pick from the floor and some wood shave are sprayed with chemical, Newspaper spread on the floor I believe is difficult to clean because. What ever flooring method you use make sure it is easy to clean and make sure it stays dry has we flooring can be devastating for the stock.

“You must control the entries and restrict to the minimum the number of people coming in and out of your farm and they must enter your farm, make sure protective clothing is worn by all staff and visitors. Disinfect boots before entry and do not allow strangers to enter the where the are house.

Light

Normal lighting program should be minimum of 15 hours, The way the  building is constructed is very important, dark building will require more lights so all this must be taken into consideration. Light should be switched on about 3 hours after lights out in order to: Encourage feed consumption and growth in pullets.

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