Poultry series: management of day old chicks to maturity in poultry farming

We've been on a series on this FARM and
we have discuss various aspect
of poultry farming.

 Today we will share together how to handle and
take care of poultry birds from a day old chick to maturity.

How to start a hatchery poultry farm, incubation of eggs - production of chicks in poultry.Part 1

IN our last post we talked about Incubation and Hatching, there are some
required operations that must be carried out after hatching of egg to
chicks which includes;

- Sexing of chicks into male and female. -
Drying of chicks (so that they will stand upright and be fuly formed).

- Intra-ocular (I) NDV vaccinations.

- Sorting out and disposing abnormal chicks.

- Packing of normal and healthy chicks.

- preparation  of the brooding house. Rearing of poultry is the sum total of all the
processes involved in bringing birds from day old to maturity.

Brooding is the term used for the total management and care for the
chicks from the 1st day of their hatching till they reach maturity.

 MUST READ: Major farm birds you can consider in a poultry farm business

rearing, brooding management in
poultry and housing system;

1. Clean and wash brooder house,
disinfect brooder house. 

2. Repair any broken of damaged floors,
roofs, light facilities and windows.

3. Spread wood shavings around
the floor of the brooder house, to ensure warmth and good beddings for
the chicks.

4. Make sure there is a reliable heat source.

5. Stock
adequte chick starter feed to the chicks at all time.

  6. Wash,
disinfect and clean dry feeders and drinkers.

  7. Keep handy all
neccesary medications to the chicks. Example: anti-stress and

 8. Adequate netting of windows and roof to keep away
flies, rodents,  its adviced that you make the brooding space inside a
poultry house for protection purpose.

9. The temperature range of a
brooder house should be within 35 - 39 degree before the chicks

10. Long distance transportation from hatchery to brooding
house is not adviceable it can lead to over-stre in the chicks and

11. Place a foot dip with disinfectant at the entrance of
brooder house to enhance proper sanitation.

 12. Make available
feeders and drinkers  source of heat, starter chick mash feeds and

13. Provide adequate ventilation and water regularly.

Meet with veterinary and medical consults for regularly vaccination
for the chicks.

15. Clean the feeders and waterers regularly and
replace with new feed and fesh water.

16. Ensure that old chicks are
allowed to rest very well, well fed and are given anti-stress vitamins
on arrival.

17. Regular change of beddings (once in two weeks) to
avoid build-up of disease organisms or ammonia.

18. Debeak the chicks
during 1st four weeks if they are pullets (Layers).

19. Deworm at six
weeks (for broilers).

20. Isolate or cull sick and infected birds to
save oters from ben infected aswell,

21. Ensure post-mortems are
carried out on dead chicks as soon as possible.

  Its very important
to make available good housing system in poultry - In order to protect
birds against adverse weather condition.
 - Protect birds against

 - it heps to keep birds in age groups for proper handling
and effective management.

 - Its a good measure to protect birds from

- proper housing enhances maximum productivity in the poultry

- Good housing helps to increase the efficiency of feeding and
feed utilization.

- It also facilitates management and veterinary

The house where the chicks are transfered into AFTER HATCHING
is called BROODER HOUSE this is where they receive extra-heat and are
brood under a controlled environment.
From the 7th to 20th week, the
birds, are now called GROWERs'  ther are either raised in a deep
litter house or in a battery cage. From the 21st week, the layer birds
are seperated into their laying pen.

Top major areas to focus your poultry farming business on, to make money

 FEEDING: All categories of poultry birds require balanced diet for proper growth and development.

Their ration is enriched with proteins, carbonhydrates, vitamins and
 Clean water is kept in drinkers while dees are kept in the
feeders for birds.
  Feeding of the chicks: 
The feed given to the
chicks is called the Chick's mash which contains high protein of about
18% to promote the rapid growth of the chicks.
The feeds are provided "AL-Libitum" which means: the feeds are always in the feeder for the
chicks to eat.
Feeding of the Growers: 
The feed given to growers is
called Growers' mash.
The feed is low in protein 13% and is given to
the birds from the 7th - 20th week of age.
The birds are placed on
Restricted feeding. This means that the feed given to the growers is
not always in the feeders because it is regulated or caculated to
prevent excessive growth and delya the matuirity.
Feeding of the
layers: the feed given to layers is called Layers' mash.
The feed is also high in protein 16% for proper growth and egg formation. In
addition, the diet or mash is high in bone meal or oyster shell which
provides calcium and phosphorus for the formation of the egg shell.
Lack of these minerals results in cracking of the eggs or soft-shelled

Health care and sanitation: for proper growth and production of the
brds, high level of health and sanitation must be maintained from day
old chick till maturity of the birds.
Administration of drugs,
vaccination and sanitation must be carried out.
THe vaccination
programme of the poultry includes:  apart from this vaccinations,
other drugs are given to the birds through water to either prevent or
cure diseases and infections.
To ensure cleanliness of tehe poultry
house health of the birds the following measures should be observed:

- Sick or dead birds must be removed from the Building. - Visitors
should not be allowed into poultry houses (this is mostly observed in
big commercial farms).

 - the buildings should be disinfected

READ THIS: How to start a commercial poultry farming business in Nigeria!!! - Introduction to Poultry farming

 - Water bath containing chemicals should be provided where
visitors and workers must dip their legs inside before entering into
the poultry house.

- Drinkers should be washed thoroughly. - Wet
litters and mouldy feeds should be removed.

- External parasites like
lice, should be controlled by dipping birds in solutions containing
chemicals to destroy parasites.

 - Internal parasites should also be
controlled by regular deworming with certain chemicals to kill

 In our next we will be sharing more on production aspect of
Poultry farms like Layers (egg production) and Broilers (Meat and
stay tune to Green healthy farm.

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