Have you thought of how you will handle your first chicks? Just like any other newborn, a young chick is extremely delicate. It could easily die due to poor living conditions. As you look to start your first brooding program, know that five things matter the most. These are temperature, quality of air, sanitation, food and water. If you provide all of these and ensure the quality of each is great, your chicks will survive their first weeks of life.

Why is brooding essential?

A newly hatched chick is usually too weak to survive the cold. To increase its odds of survival, you should try brooding. In addition to offering artificial heat to keep the chicks warm, brooding supports their other needs. If excellently executed, brooding management can reduce your chicks’ risk of suffering the Early Chick Mortality and boost the development of their digestive system.

Requirements for brooding

  • The first thing to do is to separate your brooding houses from the usual kienyeji chicken farming This is necessary because chicks are too weak and susceptible to diseases that adult chickens might have.
  • Next, clean and sterilize the entire brooding housing to ensure it is properly suited for the young ones.
  • Examine the brood ring and heaters to ensure they are working perfectly.
  • Attach the curtains to the open sides of the brooding house to increase insulation.
  • Before the arrival of your chicks, spray the house again to sterilize it further.
  • Also, place a foot bath at the doorway. Ensure that the bath is sanitized with ominicide, TH4 or lime powder.
  • When chicks arrive, give them clean and pure water that has some glucose.

 

The Brooder Guard

A circle can be designed with an eighteen-inch cardboard sheet, a coffee wire and an aluminium sheet. If you have 50 chicks, the circle will occupy up to 20 feet (in diameter) of your brooder guard.  It will consume more space as the number of chicks increases. Make sure that your brooder is properly made prior to sterilizing it. As for the ring, get a custom-made one. Then cover it with wood shavings or straw and ensure you attain 4 inches of thickness. Cover the litter on the floor with newspapers and then place the artificial heat source in the middle of the brooder ring.

Chicks’ management

The morning after the arrival of your chicks is so important. Before anything else, touch each bird’s crop to make sure it is not empty. If the crop feels soft and flexible, it is a sign that the chick ate and drunk successfully. A hard crop is an indication that a chick is dehydrated and needs to drink water immediately. When the crop looks distended and swollen, it is a sign that the chicks drunk excess water and ate inadequate feed. So you should provide more feed.

How to feed chicks wisely

The best thing to use is feeder trays. One tray is enough to host 100 chicks at a go. Place your trays between the main feeder and drinker to act as supplemental feeders. Trays will be so helpful for the first seven to ten days.

Temperature and light management

During the first two to three days of placing your chicks in the brooding houses, provide a consistent light source. If possible, continue lighting the house for the first 7 days to help your chicks feed and drink water all through the night. The right brooding temperature is gauged at the edge of the hover and about five centimetres above the litter surface.  To make proper temperature adjustments, observe the chicks in the coolest time of the day.

If you have no thermometers, use your own observations. When temperature levels are okay, the chicks will be in the brooding ring. If the house is windy, the chicks with amass in a corner and make endless noise.  In case your little birds are feeling too cold or too hot, they will flock together under the broiler that is around the edge of the brooder ring.

Final tips

Make sure you count all your chicks when they get delivered. If you want to know where you can find kuloirer chicks for sale Kenya, give us a call. Remember to dip your chicks’ beaks in water before placing them in the brooder ring. Then, watch them as they try to drink more water by themselves. Once they have drunk enough water, place their feed in the trays. Monitor their crops every two to three hours during the first 72 hours. Remove wet litter and dirty newspapers every single day to maintain proper hygiene.