Rearing broilers is easy but tactical. You must have the required technism to successfully rear broilers.
In this article, We’ll give you helpful tips on broiler housing and rearing.
We’ll start with; selecting your breed of Broilers.
Choose healthy breeds that have been properly vaccinated. If you want to start with chicks, go for day-old chicks, sorry quality day-old chicks. The number of chicks you buy will be dependant on the farm size.
Prepare a vaccination plan and get a vet:
Before your chicks arrive, they should be vaccinated against common diseases in poultry. Get a vet to check on their health regularly and vaccinate them when necessary.
To house them:
When choosing a house for your Broilers, I recommend a totally enclosed house because it will provide maximum comfort and improve feed conversion.
Though it is more expensive to construct than a simple cheap chicken coop, it is more preferable. Good comfort will enhance better performance.
The following factors should be considered when setting up the poultry house – Cost, land, house type, ventilation and wind flow, electricity, and water supply.
If you want to go for a large scale poultry business, then you have to budget high. About 4000$-5000$- which is between 1.5 – 2million Nigerian naira, is what you need to set up a large poultry farm. But if you’re starting on a low scale, the budget will be lower.
The land where you will build the poultry house should be next. You have to choose a land suitable for farming. Also if you’re going for a large scale poultry business, a big plot of land will be required. You can also clear your backyard if you have sufficient space and you want to start a back yard poultry farm.
Type of house for broilers
There are different ways to set up the poultry house.
You can use a deep litter system where the litter is spread on the floor for bedding for the chickens.
You can make use of insulated roofs to protect them from heat and cold.
If you’re using deep litter, you have to keep it in good state always. It should not be too dry and dusty to prevent respiratory problems and should not be too wet either, in order not to breed pathogens.
Litter materials can be groundnut hulls, wood shavings, paddy husks or chopped paddy straws.
Another type of housing is the cage method. You can house your Broilers in a cage which has to be coated with plastic materials underneath to avoid breast blisters on the broilers.
This housing system reduces cannibalism, risk of Coccidiosis, and expenses on litter.
Nevertheless, research says a deep litter system is better as it will provide Broilers good comfort. If the litter is kept in good condition always, you won’t have to worry about your broiler’s health.
Proper ventilation is an important factor in broiler housing.
For new chicks, the house should be properly enclosed with solid sidewalls to provide better insulation.
Open side walls can affect light control and the temperature will not be balanced.
Make use of dropped ceilings too in order to improve ventilation and serve as insulation to protect the chickens from heat and cold.
To keep oxygen at correct levels, you can use minimum ventilation fans which should be made to run on a 5 minutes cycle.
Maintenance of proper temperature is necessary for proper growth. Chicks do not have the ability to maintain proper body temperature until they are about 13-14 days old, so the temperature of the poultry house must be properly regulated for the chicks to survive.
Heating lamps, forced air furnaces, radiant tube heaters, or radiant brooders can be used as a heating system for the poultry house.
A good temperature should be between 80-90degree Fahrenheit.
To ensure that the cooling and heating systems are balanced, you can make use of circulation fans which will mix the coll and provide warm air. An advantage of warm air is that it will help to keep litter dry.
There are different types of light you can use in the poultry house.
You can use incandescent bulbs, fluorescent bulbs, or Mercury vapor.
All of them have their own level of efficiency.
If you need a lasting source of light, go for fluorescent or Mercury vapor.
You can install this system if lighting in a totally enclosed poultry house. It is best because you’ll be able to make use of intermittent lighting without interference from sunlight.
Intermittent lighting will help the chickens to get accustomed to the darkness just in case there’s a power failure. It will also help to reduce excess feed intake and encourage more water intake. This can help to balance feed and water intake if it was not balanced.
A stable source of light should be ensured. You can run the lighting with a quality and reliable generator. That is if there is no constant light supply in your area.
You can also install solar energy for the poultry house. The solar installation will require space, sunlight, and will cost a lot. But in the long run, the expenses will be recovered.
Solar energy will reduce the cost Of running electricity with a generator.
But it is very much dependant on the climate as sunshine is required to run solar panels and if it is not available, the solar system will shut down.
In all, choose a very reliable source of lighting for the poultry house.
For better growth, give your Broilers feed rich in fats, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
For day-old chicks, give them quality pre-starter feeds until about 2 weeks old.
From three weeks old up to four or five weeks, introduce starter feeds.
Thereafter, you give them finisher feeds, especially for those to be marketed.
Clean water should be provided daily for your Broilers to stay healthy and dehydrated. Water systems like borehole can be set up.
When your Broilers have reached the marketable stage, you can advertise them online, tell friends and people you think will have need of it.
If you want to sell them fresh or roasted, measures should be put in place for their slaughter.
Have a successful broiler business!