Monday, July 15, 2024
Poultry

Methods, Facilities, and Equipment Required for Rearing of Chicks

The subject of discussion is still focused on raising poultry chicks successfully to guarantee sustainable production and income. The emphasis in this unit is the rearing of chicks.

Rearing of Chicks

Rearing is the care of chicks from about seven weeks of age to the point they begin to drop eggs, i.e. point of lay. It can also be described as the care of growers. Rearing is critical to the overall success of the poultry industry because it ensures that the development of the birds at this stage of growth is satisfactory.

Facilities and Equipment Required for Rearing of Chicks

Most of the facilities and equipment required to rear chicks are derived from those needed in brooding.

1. Poultry Housing

Houses for brooding can be constructed to serve this purpose and are so designated. They can also be designed to fit the rearing of chicks. When constructing a house, the following should be noted:

Foundation

A strong foundation is required. Depending on the nature of the soil, digging should be done to a depth of between 0-5-7m or more. After digging a basement a layer of concrete should be poured into a depth of 4cm. To control the effect of termites, an anti-termite chemical can be poured on top of this basement.

Floor: Floor space allowances adequate for broilers and pullets are shown in Table 3.2.

Table: Floor Space Requirements per Bird for Chickens of Different ages (m2)

Ageof Bird (wks)Broiler

Floor
Pullet Cage(cm2)
0-60.0460.046277
6-100.0740.074310
10-15 0.093355
15-20 0.140484
20-72 0.230643

Walls: Walls may be built up with cement or mud blocks. If it’s to be open-sided, provision should be made for the erection of pillars at 1.3 to 1.6m apart. The solid portion of the wall should be one-third to half of the total height of the wall. Young chicks require a warm environment up to about 6 to 8 weeks of age.

Thereafter, the height of the wall need not be higher than 0.8m. Many small sizes and semi-commercial poultry farmers brood and rear the birds in the same house. It should be noted that the same open-sided house suitable for adult birds may be adapted for brooding chicks by covering the open sides with plastic sheets to conserve heat for the young birds during these first few weeks of life.

Read Also:  Parasitic Diseases of Poultry: Symptoms, Control, and Treatments

If a separate brooder house is available, then the solid portion of the wall of the house for growers (8-20 weeks) and layers (21 weeks and above) should not be more than 0.8m. If battery cages are to be used for growers or layers, the solid wall should not be higher than 0.8m. The height of the walls of the broiler house may be about 0.5 of the total height of the eaves.

 Methods, Facilities, and Equipment Required for Rearing of Chicks
Grandfather and grandson looking at chicken’s at hen house

Roof: Roofing materials such as zinc and aluminum roofing sheets are good for poultry houses. Thatched roofing is not encouraged because of problems like fire and cleaning etc.

A roof overhang of about 0.91m is required to prevent rain from entering the house through the open sides of the wall. A higher roof tends to make the house cooler if a ceiling is not provided.

Doors: Doors should not be less than 0.9m to facilitate easy movement of staff, equipment, birds, and manure. A footbath of disinfectant is essential at the foot of each door.

Store: Provision should be made for a space in the house to keep equipment, feed, and other items for use in the house.

2. Feeding and Watering Troughs

These are used to feed and water growers. They are larger than the ones used in brooding. They provide more space per bird.

Feeders may be longitudinal or conical in shape while a linear feeding space of 2.5m and depth of about 7.5cm is adequate for about 100 chicks from 0-6 weeks, the feeding space should be doubled for broiler chicks from 4-10 weeks, and pullet chicks from 6-14 weeks.

Also, for this age and beyond, the feeder should be about 15cm deep. This means that 100 chicks would need one 1.25m long feeder up to 4-6 weeks of age and two wider and deeper feeders for 100 birds up to 10 or 14 weeks of age. Beyond 14 weeks, 3 of such large feeders will be required for 100 pullets or layers.

Feeders should be constructed with lips to minimize feed wastage and be fitted with rollers at the open end to prevent birds from jumping in and contaminating the feed with their feces. Most feeders are metallic or wooden troughs. However, there are also tubes or hanging feeders.

The commonest form of drinker available is the water fountain which may be made of galvanized iron, aluminum, or plastic. The plastic if not handled with great care is not durable. It easily breaks. The iron type becomes rusty.

The aluminum type is rust-resistant but expensive. They come in different sizes of between 2 to 6 or even 8 litres and are usually conical or cylindrical. While two chick size plastic drinkers of 2 litres capacity per 100 chicks are adequate between 1-4 weeks of age, thereafter bigger waterers should be used like two waterers of 10-15 litre capacity for 100 birds up to 20 weeks.

Three of such waterers per 100 birds should be used thereafter. In general, feeders and waterers are often constructed in two standard sizes. One for chicks and the other for older chickens. In addition, they are designed to minimize feed wastage and water spillage and to prevent the chicks from jumping into the feed or water and contaminating it.

3. Miscellaneous Equipment

In addition to the list above, the poultry farmer would require items like buckets, brooms, shovels, wheelbarrow, water storage tanks, weighing scale, office space, and equipment.

Read Also: Impact of Factory Farming to Modern Agriculture

Agric4Profits

Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with several years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. Agric4Profits.com - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. WealthinWastes.com - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error

Enjoy this post? Please spread the word :)

0
YOUR CART
  • No products in the cart.