Broiler is a breed which grow very fast and mature within 4 and 10 weeks of age. Broiler birds are kept for meat.
Ensure the house for broilers is spacious, well ventilated, well lit and free draining. The house should be sited in a strategic place where it’s accessible from all parts of the farm. The area should be fenced to keep away the predators such as the mongoose.
Brooder and brooder management
- Clean the house before bringing in new flock, clean the roof, walls and then the floor.
- Clean and disinfect the feeding and watering equipment thoroughly to avoid re-contamination.
- Remove all old litter from the house as it might be harboring pests and disease pathogens.
- Remove all feed from the troughs and water from watering troughs to avoid contamination.
- Provide a brooding heat. light bulbs or charcoal Jiko can be used
- Regulate the temperature within the brooder by installing minimum-maximum thermometer at the height of the chicks to monitor the temperature within the house and at the chicks’ level.
For one day old chicks spread clean feeds on the newspaper before the chicks learn to feed from the troughs. Feed the chicks with starter mash/chick mash for the first 3 weeks then introduce broilers mash in the 3rd week. The introduction of broiler mash should be done gradually to avoid stressing the birds. Stressed birds have retarded growth and they may not acquire the right weight at the right time.
|1 -21days||Broiler starter/crubs|
|Day 21-slaughter||Broiler finisher/pellets|
Equipments provided should be easily accessible without feed wastage through spillage and contamination. Provide adequate feeder space as recommended below for proper growth of the birds.
|1-10 days||Chick trays||50 chicks per feeder|
|10-21 days||Chick feeders||50 chicks per feeder|
|21 days-slaughter||Tube feeders||50 chicks per feeder|
Normally birds will consume 4 to 5kg per bird to reach slaughter weight in 5-7 weeks. Slaughter weight is normally 1.5-2kg Life Weight (depending your market). Farmers should check feed loss into the litter by using proper feeders and filling feeders properly.
Provide clean water all the time; avoid dirty water as these pre-disposes the birds to infections. In case of gastro infection the birds should be provided with neoxyl-vitamins that contain elements which have cleansing effects.
|Age||Water trough type||Spacing|
|1-21 days||Chick drinkers||80 chicks per drinker|
|21days to slaughter||Adult manual drinkers||50 birds per drinker|
|Automatic drinkers||80-100 birds per drinker|
|Nipple drinkers||8-10 birds per nipple|
The birds are attacked by fleas, majorly found on the wattles around the head region and lice found in the body under the feathers. The bird’s house should be dusted using suitable chemicals such as selvin.
Parasite control is important since their injury to the skin predispose the birds to secondary infections.
Deworming: De-worm the birds two weeks time after they are introduced into the brooder. The medicine should be dissolved in clean water and presented to the birds.
- Disease management in birds is a key aspect to poultry farmers either for commercial or small scale farming
- It’s advisable to follow the vaccination program to avoid total loss as some diseases are fatal and can cause total loss. Ensure the route of vaccine administration is correct and should be done by trained person.
|7-8||Newcastle and IB||Eye drop|
|21-22||Newcastle and IB||Eye drop or drinking water|
- Stress in birds is caused by several factors eg lack of feeds, water, high or low temperatures, overcrowding etc.
- Provide enough feed for the birds, provide water all the time, regulate temperature in the bird’s house and avoid overcrowding.
Vice is an abnormal behavior exhibited by few birds within a given flock. The major vice in broilers is cannibalism where some birds peck on others
Cannibalism is caused by factors such as overcrowding, feed stress, keeping birds of different ages together, idleness and bright light in the bird’s house. Can be controlled by avoiding overcrowding of birds, provide enough feeds, keep birds of the same age together, hang vegetables in the house to keep the birds busy, spread grains on the floor, cull perpetual cannibals, avoid bright light in the poultry house-should be dim (bright light makes the birds toe to shine, looking like grains and the birds start pecking-in the process some birds become cannibals)
Note: Farmers should not keep broilers if they do not have a ready market. After broilers reach their market weight they should be sold out otherwise the farmer will incur losses.