Brooding of Day Old Chicks is an integral part of poultry production, and in fact, some farmers only specialize on Brooding, than after the brooding stage they sell out to other farmers who can’t go through the stress of brooding day-old chicks.
On the contrary, I see brooding so interesting, even till the end of getting birds to a table size (sellable size). It’s like giving birth a newborn and see it grow healthy and strong, of course, every parent love the same experience. isn’t it?
I know your answer is YES!
If you are among those who see brooding to be a tedious task, or you are among the categories already practising it but facing some challenges, or any form of challenges, this page, should be able to boost your confidence on Day-old Chicks Brooding Management routine
As we all know already, that the overall success of the flock depends on how well we conduct our brooding stage of the birds.
We shall be discussing on the practical chick management and brooding guide and its role in achieving efficiency in poultry production.
What is Brooding
Brooding is a process of using any of the brooding equipment such as charcoal, electric bulb, gas cylinder, infrared etc, to provide the required brooding temperature to the chicks and ensure adequate management practice (care and support) to the chicks.
Benefits of a Good Brooding Management
Good brooding management has numerous advantages on the overall performance and productivity of the flocks.
The following are some of the benefits of a good brooding;
- Chick Comfort and Adaptability; a good brooding in the first three days of life will help the chicks to be comfortable and adapt to the new environment as quickly as possible which will help the chicks to start feeding and eating well immediately.
- Increase in Body Weight; one of the importance of good brooding is that, it increases the weight gain of the chicks. A good brooding will enable the chicks to feed and drink constantly. Chicks are to increase their weight gain four times their initial weight.
- Feed Conversion Ratio; a good brooding will improve feed conversion ratio of the chicks as the feed will be properly digested and well utilized.
- Chicks will be Free From Diseases; a good brooding and proper management skills will make the chicks free from infectious disease caused by bacteria or fungi. Here bio-security should be strictly adhered to avoid transmission of diseases.
How to Recognise a Bad Day Old Chicks
It is very important to know how to recognize a bad chick at day one, so as to prevent high mortality during the few days of brooding also you can return them as reject.
The following are the signs of bad chicks;
- Deformity of any form
- Unhealed naval
- Vent opening
Note….you can confirm if the chick is active or strong by placing the chick back on the floor and if it stands up within two seconds, then the chick is active and strong.
Practical Steps to a Successful Chicks Brooding
Knowing fully well that we handle our day-old chicks just like every other responsive parent would handle is own newborn kids. Day-old chicks are so tender and need maximum care and monitoring. Therefore, If you want to achieve a successful brooding phase, ensure you put all the under listed procedure into practice. The procedures include;
- The brooder house, equipment, drinkers, feeders should have been properly washed and disinfected and the brooder house should be fumigated two weeks before chicks arrival.
- Three hours before receiving the chicks, the brooding pen should be spread evenly with woodshavings about 3-5cm. The brooder guide should be used to prevent mortality.
- Heat up the brooder house to about 30-32 degree Celsius for the first day and continue to adjust the temperature as you observed behavioural change on the chicks.
- Note that when the chicks cluster together it means they are feeling cold when they run away from the source of the heat to the walls, it means the heat is much but when they are evenly distributed in the house it means the heat is ok.
- On arrival of the chicks to the farm, they should place immediately to the brooding house, any observed sign of bad chicks should be removed and return as rejects. Fresh drinking water containing multivitamins should be served to the chicks.
- After 2 hours of arrival, serve the chicks with super starter mash or starter crumbs. This should be done ad libitum for the first one week.
- Provide the chicks with constant light for the first one week and subsequently reduce it by one hour weekly.
- Avoid overstocking of the brooder house, strictly adhere to the carrying capacity of the pen.
- Always be vigilant, observant and monitor any changes within the flocks and report cases to your veterinary doctor for advice.
- The vaccination time table must be strictly adhered to.
Now you have known the Day-old Chicks Brooding Management, You can give it a try by purchasing at least 50 day-old chicks.
It is 100% possible to complete a brooding stage without losing a bird. All depends on the following;
- Where you source your birds.
- Your brooding practices and experiences.
So with this page, you understand what is expected of you as a farmer.
In case you still have questions or contribution, please use the comment box/form below. I’m always available to attend to any issue arose.
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