A healthy broiler chicken

Diary of Two Broiler Chicken Farmers in My Neighborhood

Diary of  Two Broiler Chicken Farmers in My Neighborhood

For every broiler chicken that looks attractive, healthy, and beautiful underneath it is serious hard work, sacrifice in both human resources, and financial input.


Most of my friends and some of my family members are usually excited each time they come to visit my farm.


They are usually fascinated by the size and how my broiler chicken look. Looking well-fed, healthy, neat, and beautiful.


And almost immediately they decide on starting a poultry farm or keeping some birds at home, without fully understanding the nitty-gritty of how it works or how things are done.


The birds may look beautiful, healthy, well kept, but underneath those healthy heavy appearances. Lies serious hard work, meticulous and concerted planning, and efforts by the farm owner or chicken breeder.


To feed them to maturity or slaughter stage, you just don’t treat them anyhow just because they are animals. They also deserve care and treatment at any time they are sick.

A healthy broiler chicken

A healthy broiler chicken

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Diaries of the Two Broiler Chicken Farmers

About two months ago two of my neighbors Amos and Femi approach me to help them with the supply of broilers chicks, day old to be precise which I did.


The birds were supplied from the same source i.e the same farm, the same day.


After over two months of rearing the chickens (broilers) Femi approaches me that his birds are not growing.


They are having retarded and stunted growth, but what kept baffling me was that the birds where supplied on the same day, the same time with that of Amos.


The good news was that Amos birds were doing very well at almost nine (9) weeks old they are already weighing 3.8kg while Femi birds were barely weighing 1.8kg.


Something went wrong which I unraveled and explained to Femi to make amends in case he wants to stock in new birds in the future. I observed the following conditions from his farm.





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Over Heating the Broiler Chickens

The birds were supplied during the heat periods or hot seasons that was around March. March and April are usually the hottest season of the year, particularly in the Middle belts of Nigeria, West Africa.


Depending on the states but in Niger State within those periods the temperature is normally between 330C to 380C during the day. It can fall to between 260C to 320C which makes it very hot during the day time.


With that high temperature he does not need any additional heat for the day-old chicks because the temperature is already above 330C during the day.


All he needs at night is to protect the birds from draft air that is capable of causing harm to them.


One mistake I observed from Femi’s farm and the handling of his baby chicks was that he placed those chicks in an enclosed room with no proper ventilation.


The doors and windows are always closed, when I asked him why closing the doors and windows in this very hot weather.


He explained that he is afraid of losing his chicks to some predators, such as cats so he has to keep the room closed, and already the temperature is very high.


READ: Broiler Heat Stress Management, How To Effectively Manage it.


Effect of Overheating the Broiler Chicken

The implication of the high temperature on the birds is enormous. This includes poor feed intake, panting with more water intake, the birds would be uncomfortable.


This may result in having pasty butts amongst the baby chicks, affecting their growth rate significantly. With poor feeding, less ventilation the rate of growth, and weight gain would be adversely affected.


While Amos built a standard chicken pen with enough ventilation and constant water supply, during the heat periods.


Broiler chickens need enough ventilation adequate supply of water. And some anti-stress medication such as vitamin C, good multivitamins.


To relieve them of stress or caution the effects of heat. All this was not provided by Femi, all he did was to stuff his birds in a single room with no proper circulation of fresh air.


And of course these activities will slow down the growth rate of his broiler chickens.


Broiler chickens

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Feeding the Broiler Chickens

At each stage of a broiler chicken’s life, there is a specific amount or quantity of feed needed to attain a certain weight.


If you provide less than required feed for your broiler chickens, of cause you will not get a favorable result at the end of the day. That is one unfortunate thing I Notice with the way Femi handles his chicken.


He is not feeding them adequately he virtually feeds them once a day with a small quantity of feed.


That is not the case with Amos, Amos is always feeding his broiler chickens with enough feed with the right kind of nutrients and a well-balanced diet. That is the more reason why his broiler chickens are distinctly big.


And their growth rate and weight gain are far better compared to that of Femi who is in the habit of feeding his broiler chickens sparingly.


With fewer quality feeds, of course both of them cannot expects the same results at the end of the day.

birds drinking water

Birds drinking water

Handling Multiple Tasks at the Same Time

Femi has a major problem, his problem is that he is keeping different livestock at the same time he is keeping quiet many poultry birds. I observed that he is struggling to feed all his livestock.


In other words he doesn’t have enough resources to feed them properly. He is doing too many things at the same time and in most cases farming doesn’t work that way.


But on the other hand, there is nothing bad in doing so many things at the same time, as long as you have both human and the financial resources to do so.


In the vain it is also good, and better you have some level of concentration, not doing so many things at the same time. Especially if you are not financially buoyant. Starting small and watching your farming business grow is a very good idea.


Amos actually distinguishes himself by following the rule of the game concentrating on what he can handle. By cutting his coat according to his size and have only broiler chickens to feed.


He did not multitask himself by keeping other livestock like goats, sheep, and cows. He was able to concentrate to have the desired results.


READ: Why You Should Avoid Cutting Corners in Poultry Production


Broiler chicken

Under Estimation

Most newbies in poultry farming will say they want to keep 400, 800, 1500, and 2000 birds, without fully understanding the cost implication of what they are about to start.


Buying 500, or 1000 birds is not an issue, but sustaining and feeding them to maturity or point of lay is the problem.


And that is where most farmers who underestimate broiler chicken farming run into problems Femi is not an exception.


He did not take his time to calculate the total amount of feed needed. And when his broiler chickens began to consume more quantity of feed, he ran into trouble. He couldn’t meet up, and at the same time he has other obligations to feed his other livestock.



  1. dennis May 29, 2020
    • Bnet May 30, 2020

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