The objective in the first three weeks of poultry farming is to ensure there is maximum survival for your chicks. Here are some tips on chick placement that will help you achieve maximum survival rates:-
What to Do at the Collection Point
- Count all the chicks in order to ensure that the number is right.
- Ensure that the chicks are uniform. They should be alert, active, and should be free of any deformities or sign of infection. Their navels should also have been fully healed.
- Ask the hatchery for relevant information about the vaccination of chicks. For example, have they been vaccinated? What is the vaccinated program or schedule for the broilers, layers, kienyeji, Kuroiler or Rainbow Rooster depending on the kind of day old chicks which you are purchasing?
Transportation of the Chicks
- The chicks should be transported in a vehicle that is well-ventilated but it should not be windy inside.
- The chicks should be protected from direct exposure to some if the elements including rain, sunshine or chemicals.
- When loading the chick boxes for transportation, ensure that the circulation of air is not interfered with and the lower boxes are not squashed.
- The chicks should be transported direct from the hatchery to the farm with no unnecessary stops. Remember that the time period between hatching and placement in brooder should range from 6-12 hours in order to avoid putting unnecessary strain on the chicks.
Arrival at the farm
Remove the chick boxes carefully from the vehicle and place them in your housing structure which should have been prepared in advance. Remove the chicks carefully from the chick boxes and place them in the brooder rings. It is ideal that the chicks are placed inside the brooder ring within 6-12 hours after they have hatched. The longer you take with chick placement inside the brooder ring, the more the chicks are going to be adversely affected.
RECORD KEEPING FOR YOUR POULTRY FARMING
- Before you even bring the chicks, open a record book where you will record all the happenings in the poultry farm. Check our Kienyeji Chicken Farming Manual for information on the various kinds of records that you need to keep for your poultry farm.
The record keeping in your poultry farm will help you calculate your expenses, losses, revenues and profits. Your records should include the following:-
- Records of type of feeds the chicks are consuming
- Batch number
- Feed expiry date
- Daily feed intake
- Daily mortality
- Daily egg production
- Vaccinations and Cost
- Other expenses
WEIGHING YOUR POULTRY
The chickens should be weighed on a weekly basis. Do it at the same time and on the same day every week. If you are doing broiler farming in Kenya, weighing will let you know when your chickens are ready for the market. If you are doing commercial layer farming in Kenya, weighing your hens every week will let you know when they are about to begin laying eggs.
Keep vaccination as well as medication records for your flock. Some of the information that should be included in the vaccination record include the following:-
- Age of the poultry during vaccination/medication
- The drug or vaccine used
- Mode of drug/vaccine administration
- Batch number
- Expiry date
These records will guide the veterinarians a lot when they are coming to examine your flock. It also helps them to prescribe quick solutions for problems affecting your poultry.