Broiler Farming, How to engage in profitable production.

Introduction to Broiler farming.

The broiler chicken is a popular and widely accepted meat bird that has provided quality animal protein. And a means of livelihood to countless individuals and families around the world.

 

Either on a smaller scale or on a larger industrial scale. The broiler meat is highly palatable meat due to its tender nature.

 

Broiler production is a good business venture anybody with a passion for poultry production and is willing to work, can embark on.

 

As long as you are willing to adhere to the stringent management and biosecurity measures, inherent in the production process.

Broilers

Broilers

 

You can also read: How to ensure good hygiene and bio-security in your poultry farm

Day Old Chicks

Never compromise quality for cheap, affordable broilers chicks. Because at the long run your decision to go for quality broiler chicks will be greatly rewarded.

 

By their size, growth rate, and the general broiler performance.

 

You should purchase your day-old chicks from a reliable accredited hatchery or. Where the parent stocks are well managed.

 

Broiler chicks from different hatcheries vary greatly in terms of quality. And this will be a determining factor in the success of your poultry farming business venture.

 

A good quality chick should be clean after hatch. The broiler chick of one day should weigh between 35 to 40 grams. It should stand firmly and walk well, be alert, and active.

 

It should be free of deformities with the yolk sac fully retracted and have a healed navel with bright eyes.

 

Buy your stock from accredited hatcheries that have a comprehensive history of vaccination and health management schedule. With stringent bio-security measures for the parent-breeding flock.

 

Get information from successful farmers around. On best management practices, and where they purchase their chicks from. As they will usually have firsthand information and experience with hatcheries that hatch good and quality day-old chicks.

 

When you have purchased the day-old chicks. You need to transport them carefully, usually, on an enclosed van with a well-controlled inlet ventilation system.

 

To protect the birds from wind, rain, and the sun en route to the farm. To avoid high mortality due to stress, as the day-old chicks are tender. And must be handled with Tender Loving Care (TLC).

 

You might also like to Read:

Poultry farming why some people fail

Paralysis, Lameness in Broiler Chickens, Causes, Prevention and Treatment

9 Reasons Why You Have Poor and Stunted Growth in Broiler Chickens

 

Brooding/First Seven Days

The first week of a broiler chick’s life is a critical determining factor in the success and profitability of the entire broiler production process. And forms the basis of its health and good performance for its entire life on the farm.

 

The idea is to ensure that the chicks begin to eat and drink at the same time. Immediately they are placed on their shed and throughout the brooding period.

 

 If a large percentage of chicks start to eat and drink even a few hours later than their flock mates. Then the consequences can be detrimental to your profit margin.

 

With severe unevenness which will have severe consequences on the general performance. Though this may not become apparent until the birds are 14-21 days old.

Having an uneven flock is a nightmare to manage, both in terms of ventilation and drinker heights.

 

Therefore it is essential to ensure great care and to employ the following management practices before and during the brooding/the first seven days of a broiler’s life.

  • Remove and scoop the previously used litters and wash the house equipment properly.

 

  • Use germicides to clean the poultry equipment, spray sanitizers on litter, and entire poultry house.

 

  • You should clean the water pipelines thoroughly.

 

  • Fumigate the poultry house with suitable cleaning agents.

 

  • Allow the poultry house to dry very well, and the smell of the various cleaning agents should stop, before introducing the day-old chicks.

 

  • Provide adequate feeding trays and enough drinkers for the chicks.

 

broiler day-old chicks

Day-old chicks

Brooding the Broiler Chicks

Brooding needs to be performed. In an area where drafts, predators, unsupervised children, and cats, snakes, and stray dogs can be excluded.

 

Preheat the sheds 2 to 3 days before placement. So that when the chicks arrive the concrete is 28 to 29 oC and the bedding is 32 oC across the shed.

 

Remember that the majority of the broiler chick’s body will be in contact with the floor. And failure to have adequate floor temperatures will mean the chicks are likely to huddle together. and this will impact on their feeding pattern.

 

Place chick guard for the first week to avoid.
  • Draft air.

 

  • To keep chicks near heat.

 

  • And to guard the chicks towards water and feed.

 

  • Stopping them from wandering around.

 

When the chicks are seven days old, the brooder guard can be removed to provide the chick’s freedom to move around.

 

The temperature should be monitored with a thermometer at the broiler chick level and by observation of the broiler chicks’ behavior and response to a heat source.

 

Cold broiler chicks will huddle together under the heat source; hot chicks will move to the outer limits of the brooder guard; comfortable chicks will spread out evenly throughout the pen.

 

In the first week, the feed has to be spread on paper sheets. Aside from the drinkers and feed tray to encourage quick feed intake by the chicks. Feed space using paper has to occupy 50% of the floor space.

 

The first feed application on paper should be 50 grams/chick. Thereafter, topping up of feed on the paper and a gradual move to the feeders as the chicks become smarter, bigger, and stronger.

 

Recommended for you:

Brooding Day-old Chicks During Wet and Raining Season Successfully

Brooding Day Old Chicks and General Management.

Broiler Heat Stress Management, How To Effectively Manage it.

 

Lightning their shed

The light should be provided 24 hours a day for broilers. Twenty-four-hour light (natural or artificial) increases feeding time and weight gain and improves feathering in broilers.

 

40-watt bulb, hung about 6 ft. above the chicks, is needed for each 200 sq. ft. of open space. It is a common practice to expose the chicks to short periods.

 

Approximately 20 minutes of darkness once or twice a day. This will prevent panic or piling if the electricity goes off during the brooding period.

 

READ ALSO:

Diary of Two Broiler Chicken Farmers in My Neighborhood

Broiler Heat Stress Management, How To Effectively Manage it.

8 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting Poultry Farming

 

Management and Stocking Density for the Broiler Chicks

It is recommended that litter materials used in the shed should be either wood shavings or rice husks. Sawdust should be avoided because it can easily form cake or swallowed by the young broilers.

 

Due to its smaller particle nature. Which can easily impact or block their digestive and respiratory system.

 

To avoid the caking of litter due to the high moisture level in the shed. Stirring litter should be carried out on regular basis usually in the mornings to reduce heat stress especially in a hot humid climate.

 

The services of a certified veterinary personal. Should always be employed when you noticed any reduction of feed and water intake.

 

The sick birds should be quarantined and isolated immediately for prompt medical attention.

 

Death birds should be disposed of far away from the poultry farm premises. Preferable burnt or buried.

 

Stocking density should be approximately 25 kg/meter by slaughter time. In a hot climate, it is preferable not to exceed the above density.

Broilers in their Shed

Broilers

Providing Adequate Ventilation for the Broiler Chicks

The shed /house should be provided with extended verandah or roof, especially in a hot tropical climate to avoid direct sun rays. And heat in the shed, thereby preventing heat stress.

 

The poultry house should be designed with cross ventilation. For allowing fresh air to circulate inside the house by providing wire mesh net on two opposite sides of the shed. In an extremely hot climate it is strongly advised to use a fan, especially in larger operations.

 

READ also:

All You Need In Order To Succeed In Poultry Farming

8 Proven Ways On How to Starts and Maintain A Poultry Farm

4 Solid Tips on How to Effectively Manage Farmworkers

 

Feeding/Drinking Water

The quality of feed used contribute to a greater extent to the success of any broiler operation. So it is imperative to source for a good quality feed from a reputable feed mill for your broiler farming operation.

 

Ask questions, make inquiries from experience, and successful farmers. On the type of feeds they use or where they source their ingredients for their feed formulation.

 

Usually, birds eat a lot in the morning and evening hours of the day. For those living in a hotter climate. Coldwater with electrolytes should not be taken lightly because it helps to reduce the extreme effect of the weather on the birds.

 

There should be adequate provision of clean water 24/7 to the broiler birds to avoid dehydration and heat stress. Water should be gotten from a clean source to avoid health issues.

 

Feed the broiler chicks “starter” diet soon after they hatch. Continue feeding the starter feed until they reach 6 or 8 weeks of age.

 

The starter diet has the highest level of protein a chicken receives during its lifetime. As the chick matures. It requires a lower percentage of dietary protein and a higher level of energy.

 

After the chicks reach 6 or 8 weeks of age, feed them a “finisher” diet till slaughter.

Minimum requirements Protein% Calcium% Phosphorus%
Starter 1- 6 weeks 22 0.9 0.5
Finisher 6 weeks to market 12 0.8 0.5

 

Vaccination

Days Vaccine Route of Administration
6 – 7 Ranikhet disease(F1 OR B1) Eye drop or nasal drop
14 -16 Gumboro (intermediate) Drinking water
21 – 22 Lasota vaccine (intermediate) Drinking water
30 – 32 Gumboro disease (booster ) Drinking water

 

 Marketing/Sale of the Broiler Chicks

READ: How to Market Your Farm Produce, Best Strategy to Adopt.

Broilers are mostly consumed in high quantity in restaurant, eateries, wedding ceremonies, birthday parties, get together, barbecue.

 

And in most parts of Africa, during festive periods such as Christmas, New Year Celebrations, and the Muslim festivals such as ‘Eid El- Fitri’ and ‘Eid El-Kabir’.

 

It is important as a farmer that you should target such occasions and make contacts with owners of restaurant and eateries outlet in your area and location so that you can be supplying them on a regular basis.

 

You can also negotiate a particular price with the middlemen. They will purchase from you at a wholesale price and resale to other consumers at a retail price.

 

Although dealing directly with the consumer is more profitable to the broiler farmer, than using the middlemen.

 

Been consistent in producing quality broilers will guarantee you a stream of loyal customers over time.

Leave a Reply

Pin It on Pinterest