LIFECYCLE OF DAY OLD CHICKS TO POINT OF LAY
This programme is to educate owner and manager on the weekly activities on the farm following arrival of day old chicks. It is a 16weeks duration programme right from day old to point of lay (pullets who are about to begin their first lay) for 5000 birds.
Brooder house must be cleaned, washed and disinfected, also the building fumigated 2weeks before the arrival of the birds. Holes should be blocked, bushes cut down and the environment cleaned. The Pen is demarcated with dividing boards, the part of the poultry house for the brooding is covered with tarpaulin (washed and disinfected) to minimise heat lost while still maintaining good ventilation. Two brooding sections will be most effective. Good dip system (containing disinfectant diluted with water in the right proportion) should be provided as a means of biosecurity measures. Dried woodshavings should also be spread on the floor. 125 tray feeders and 100 drinkers should also be washed and disinfected. A source of heat and 24/7 light must be provided. Drinkers are washed everyday. Always ensure a clean dip solution everytime. Maintain good hygiene on the farm. Dispose dead birds properly.
NOTE: Always purchase your birds from a good hatchery. Before collection of birds ensure that the chicks have been given mareks vaccine.
Day 1: Pre- heat the house prior to chick arrival. Put little feeds (chick mash) in trays at a time to avoid wastage; vitamins, antibiotics (according to directive from hatchery) and glucose should be put in water. Water and feed is ad-libitum (continuous). The chicks are let out and allowed to eat. Each pack is counted and record kept. 24 hours attention is needed for the next 72 hours to minimize mortality. Chicks are observed to ensure they are all feeding and getting enough heat. Overcrowding is prevented by moving chicks apart if they gather together. Overheating is avoided with the use of room thermometer. If chicks crowd together under the brooder the temperature is too low, if chicks are close to the surrounding the temperature is too high. Proper ventilation is significantly important. After 24hours check the crop to see if the birds have taken feed. Weak birds are culled to be given special attention. Proper disposal of dead birds must be done. Dry litters must be maintained throughout the brooding period. Birds should take 11g/birds/day feed hence 15bags of 25kg per week.
Anticoccidial vaccine (optional) is given at day 5 or 6 depending on endemicity or if there is previous report of anticoccidial resistance drug (consults your Vet before use).
NOTE: subsequent use of Antibiotics should be supervised by Veterinary Doctor.
On day 9 they would be given their first gumboro (IBDV) vaccine. In the morning they are denied water for about 2hours. Provide more drinkers. The vaccine is brought into the farm about 9am, use about 2/3 of the water they drink daily, first mix the water with milk and then add the vaccine and mix together. They should finish the water in 1 hour. After that, multivitamin is given for the next two days to reduce stress. Brooding heat is maintained, light is allowed through the night to prevent stampeding and suffocation. Feed intake will increase to 17g/birds/day hence 24 bags per week. Space should be increase the more.
On day 14 they would be given lasota vaccine. Same method as above.
On day 18 chicks are given their second gumboro vaccine. Same method as above. Mortality near zero. Heat and light increase feed consumption which is now 25g/birds/day hence 35 bags per week. Heat in the day is reduced. Water contamination increases hence more observation. At the end of the week, d tarpaulin can be raised a little bit up on a sunny day and then pull down at night.
Feed intake increase to 32g/birds/day hence 49 bags per week. Close observation of faeces for chocolate brown feces or blood in faeces which could result from wet litter or contaminated water. If such condition is observed coccidiosis should be treated by giving coccidiostat for 5 days. A little elevation should be given to feeders and drinkers to avoid contamination. Give water ad-libitum. Maintain proper ventilation. The birds will be feathered at this point. At the end of the week, the heating in the pen house shall only be on a cold night or early in the morning. Ventilation is increased. Space should be increase the more.
Birds will begin to fly around showing much activity, climb on drinkers, defecate into water and feed. Space should be increase the more. Birds now take 37g/bird/day hence 52bags per week. Feeding trays and drinkers are gradually changed into larger ones.
Lasota can be repeated at this week (same method as above). Good plumages are observed. Heat is completely removed. Rationing of daily requirement necessary in four equal times. Tarpaulin also removed. Birds now take 42g/bird/day hence 59 bags per week.
Fowl pox vaccine can be given this week. Multivitamins given in water during the vaccination and 2 days after. They would consume 46g/bird/day hence 64 bags of feed per week.
Birds are now fed on grower mash. Birds will now be taking 50g/bird/day hence 70 bags of feed per week. The feed is ration into three. All the feeding trays must have been changed into larger feeders and drinkers into bowls.
Birds can be debeaked at this week. Give vitamins in water. Feed intake is 54g/bird/day. Water is given ad-libitum. Birds now take 76 bags of feed per week.
Feed intake is increased to 58g/bird/day hence 81 bags per week. Water is ad-libitum (non- stop).
Birds will be taking 61g/bird/ day hence 85 bags per week. Feeding and daily activities is routine.
Routine activities are done. Feed intake is 64g/bird/day hence 90 bags per week. Birds can be moved to cage at this week (optional). Feeding and watering turn automatic. Labour on birds reduced. Birds can also be dewormed at this week.
Feed intake is now 67g/bird/day hence 94 bags of feed per week. Water is given ad-libitum.
Birds now take 70g/bird/day hence 98 bags of feed per week. Water is still given ad-libitum. Good hygiene is still maintained.
IB+ND+EDS (3 in one) vaccine can be given at this week. Multivitamins given during vaccination and continued 2 days after. Feed intake is increased to 73g/bird/day hence 102 bags of feed per week.
Feed intake is now 76g/bird/day hence 105 bags per week. Birds can now be moved to cage in preparation for laying.
Dr Alaba Bukola
Farmergiant Nigeria Limited.