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Recommended Management Practices for Broilers

The essential conditions for broiler rearing are similar to that of the pullet chicks that have been discussed. In our previous articles, However, the following should be noted as the management practices for broilers chickens:

Recommended Management Practices for Broilers
White broiler chicken in a Poultry Farm

Poultry House Temperature: Broiler chicks require a higher starting temperature of about 35oC which is gradually reduced to environmental temperature.

Ventilation of Broiler House: A higher rate of ventilation is required in the house because broilers have a higher stocking density than pullet chicks.

The main functions of ventilation are to maintain 02, keep C02 at a low level, remove dust or moisture and ammonia from the house and maintain the required temperature. In the tropics, the house should be free of internal fittings and partitions that may impede straight-through ventilation.

Lighting for Broilers: Many operators use all night lights during the early growing period. A low light intensity of 1.076 lux or less is adequate for broilers after an initial light intensity of about 10.76 lux is necessary for the first few days. The birds require only enough light to see the feed.

Read More: Best Broiler (Table Birds) Production Guide

Broiler Feeds: Broilers require higher levels of certain nutrients like protein with amino acids and energy than pullet chicks. A starter ration is having more protein about 22% and less metabolizable energy 2,900Kcal than the finisher ration, about 20% and 3000 Kcal ME/kg.

The finisher diet containing increased levels of fat and xanthophylls pigments aids in the development of the uniform yellow skin color.

Sexing: Broilers may be sexed by vent, color, or rate of feathering. Males attain market weight faster than females of the same age.

The latter grow more slowly and need less protein than males. Males convert feed to meat more efficiently than females. Females also show less response to chemical growth promoters than males.

Floor Space Requirement: Broilers require a floor space of 0.06m2 from day-old to market age. This stocking rate is mainly to ensure maximum profit from floor space and also to restrict extensive movement which is accompanied by the wasteful dissipation of energy by the birds.

Broiler Health Programme: A health program is fundamental to successful broiler production. A suggested disease prevention and control program is as follows:

  1. Start with disease-free chicks
  2. Use effective drugs and vaccines
  3. Keep feed free from aflatoxin
  4. Only people wearing disinfected boots and clean clothing should be allowed into the broiler house
  5. If there is more than one age group on the farm, the younger batch should be attended to first while performing daily routine work.
  6. Cover floor with clean litter at least 5cm deep after each clean-out.

Debeaking: In addition to preventing cannibalism, debeaking lessens mash feed wastage. Chicks are debeaked at one day old. However, if management is standard, the feed is adequate and well balanced and the light is dim, it may not be essential.

Read More: Best Practices in Management of Breeders for Maximum Performance

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