A key successful broiler rearing starts with having a systematic and efficient management program in place. This program must start well before the chicks arrive on site. As part of a management program pre-placement house preparation provides a basis for an efficient and profitable flock of broilers.
The following checks need to be made:
After confirming that the equipment capabilities meet the number of chicks to be placed, install the necessary brooding equipment and check that all equipment is functional. Ensure that all water, feed, heat and ventilation systems are properly adjusted.
Verify that all heaters are installed at the recommended height and are operating at maximum output. Heaters should be checked and serviced an adequate time before preheating commences.
The thermostat should be placed at bird height and in the centre of the brooding area. Temperature ranges should be recorded daily and not deviate by more than 2 degrees Celsius over a 24 hour period.
Floor temperature check:
Houses should be preheated so that both the temperature (floor and ambient) and humidity are stabilized 24 hours before placement. To achieve the above target preheating needs to commence at least 48 hours before chick placement.
Chicks do not have the ability to regulate body temperature for the first five days and thermo regulation is not fully developed until 14 days of age. The chick is highly dependent upon the manager to provide the correct litter temperature.
If the litter and air temperatures are too cold, internal body temperature will decrease, leading to increased huddling, reduced feed and water intake, stunted growth and susceptibility to diseases.
At placement, floor temperatures should be at least 32 degrees Celsius with forced air heating.
Litter temperature should be recorded before each placement. This will help to evaluate the effectiveness of pre-heating.
Minimum ventilation check:
Minimum ventilation should be activated as soon as the preheating begins to remove waste gases and any excess moisture.
14-16 drinkers/ 1000 chicks should be provided within the brooding area. All drinkers should be flushed to remove any residual sanitizer.
• Remove all water remaining from cleanout prior to filling
• Feed should be provided as a good quality crumble
• Do not place feed or water directly under the heat source as this may reduce feed and water intake.
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