After ordering for your day old chicks (pullet or broilers), the usual excitement or i call it anticipation for there arrival is not strange or unusual. But do not let this excitement over shadow your preparation, there are quite a lot to be done in order to ensure successful brooding.
Below is a list that i call seven pillars to success full brooding of day old chicks.
- Create a brooding room
- Provide Heat source
- Provide enough Drinkers
- Provide Enough feeders
- Bedding materials
- Availability of feed(Starter mash or pellet)
- Anti stress, multivitamin and antibiotics
Create a brooding room
The brooding room is very essential in the first few days of the life of your chicks, this space area is created in such a way as to conserve heat for the birds and the temperature is advice to be a little above normal room temperature, the brooding room must be disinfected properly before the arrival of the birds.
Provide Heat Source
There are several means of providing heat to your brooding room, you can use the old conventional abatcha stove which you must monitor to avoid smoke and excess heat, the electric bulb, with high enery wattage like the 200 amps is also advisable.
But if you life in a location with constant power supply i advice you go with the electric room heater which will reduce cost of heat generated, remove the risk of respiratory disease and likewise, heat generated can be easily monitored
Another heat source, that i must mention is the gas breeder, it is another excellent heat source with no risk of respiratory disease and of course heat generation can be monitored.
Ensure adequate drinkers
The issue of availability of neat portable drinking water cannot be overemphasis on the arrival of the birds, we advice that you make available at the ratio of 1: 25, for the conventional four (4) litre drinker that normal come in color white with red lid. In case where you have used drinkers, we advise they are properly disinfected days before the arrival of the birds.
Bye ratio 1:25, we mean for every 25 chicks there must be at least one drinker, so if you are stocking 100 birds, you need at least 4 drinkers.
The small size feeders are advisable for the first 2 weeks of life, they are designed to allow chicks easy access to the feed without necessarily entering the feed tray. On the very first day of arrival we advise that you spread some feed on the bedding or on a cardboard paper depending on the material you use for the bedding, which we will discuss in brief in the next paragraph.
Day old chicks need bedding just like older birds, ranging from maize shaft, rice brown to newspapers are used as materials for bedding.
For the first 3 days of arrival of the birds, we advice that you use newspaper for your bedding material and sprinkle starter mash on the newspaper.
This is to assist the birds get use to their feed and be able to easily different between feed and bedding, there by reducing waste in the early days of the chicks.
Chick starter feed
You must feed your new chicks with high quality feed, there are reputable companies that produce feed with good ration, like wise you can mill your own feed but for the starter ration you must ensure you have high protein content.
For startup farmers, we strongly recommend commercial feeds from reputable firms, in Nigeria, we have Topfeed, Amo feed, Vital etc
Anti stress, multivitamin and antibiotics
Availability of anti stress, coming last on our list does not make it the list on our priority, on arrival of the birds we advice that their first water in take should contain some form vitamin c or paracetamol to help relieve them of stress from the long journey.
There are various form of anti stress, always administer anti stress before administering the usual antibiotics or any other vaccination on arrival of the birds