Engormix/Poultry Industry/Technical articles

Broiler Farming

A Pocket Guide to Broiler Management

Published on: 7/11/2012
Author/s : Farhan Ali, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (BZU Multan)
Broiler Farming
Broilers are chicken raised specially for meat production. Broilers are typically the cross bred of Plymouth Rock and Cornish. Poultry meat is an important source of high quality proteins, minerals, and vitamin to balance the human diet. 
Advantage of Broiler Farming
  • Initial investment is a little lower than layer farming.
  • Rearing Period is 6-7 weeks only.
  • More Number of flocks can be taken in the same shed.
  • Broiler has high feed conversion efficiency.
  • Faster Return from the investment.
  • Demand for poultry Meat is more as compared to other meat. 
Important Principles of Sound Poultry Housing
Selection of site for poultry farm
  • Poultry farm should be well connected with roads.
  • Electricity and water should be available at reasonable cost and easy.
  • High land with loamy soil should be selected for poultry farm as they provide good drainage.
  • Poultry farm should have enough space for further expansion.
  • Poultry farm should be located in the open space as it provides good ventilation. 
  • Proper ventilation require for the movement of fresh air into the building and removal of stale air out of the building in such a way to produce healthy atmosphere in all parts of the house.
  • Wire mesh is fitted on the upper side on the wall of all sides to provide proper ventilation.
  • Wet liter due to poor ventilation is often predisposing facto for outbreak of cooccidiosis and other helminthes infestation.
  • Cross ventilation arrangement is best. 
Floor Space
  • The requirement for floor space may vary according to age, size, breed, type and number of birds.
  • Floor should be strong, durable, and free from dampness with smooth surface, having no cracks and crevices easy to clean disinfect and Rat free.
  • Floor of poultry house should be 1 foot high from soil level.
  • Cement concrete floor is the best.
  • Poultry birds feel discomfort in damp floor and are being attacked with various diseases such as cough pneumonia ETC. 
Houses should be in the East-West direction lengthwise 100-150feet. Windows 1 foot high from floor. Distance between two shed at least 50 foot. The width of house should not exceed more than 30-35 feet. Houses should have concrete floor. Shed height from 10-12 feet. Roof is necessary to protect broiler from rain and direct sunlight. 
  • Broilers are generally reared on deep litter system.
  • The floor of the house should be disinfected by phenyl, bleaching powder or lime water before placing litter material.
  • The floor of the house is covered with litter material such as saw dust, rice husk, wheat straw, wood shavings, dried leaves etc.
  • The depth of litter should be about 3-4 inches
  • Cover the litter with paper for first few days so that chicks may not eat the litter material.
  • Litter is used for the purpose of keeping birds clean and comfortable. It absorbs moisture from the droppings
  • The litter should be free from mould, injurious materials and reasonably free from dust.
  • Litter should be kept in good dry condition by stirring and turning at frequent intervals.
  • Remove wet litter if any and add fresh litter material.
Picture Gallery
A Pocket Guide to Broiler Management - Image 1
Before Chick arrival
  • Houses, surroundings areas, equipment must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
  • Cover the dry floor with litter 3-4 inch of shaving, saw dust, Rice hulls.
  • Prepare and setup the brooder guard.
  • Place feeder and waters in a circle around the brooder.
  • Operator the brooder for at least 24 hour before chick arrival the temperature should be reduced 5 degree each week until the chicks are 3-4 week old.
  • Fill the feeders and waters a few hours before the chicks arrive. 
After chick arrival
  • Introduce chicks to feed and water.
  • Observe chick closely and routinely.
  • Keep feed and water available to the chick at all times.
  • Provide fresh, clean feed and water.
  • Provide plenty of fresh air without draft.
  • Keep the litter dry.
  • Adjust brooder light if needed.
  • Once the brooder or heat lamp is removed provide another source of light. 
Broilers need a source of heat to keep them comfortable .For The first week the chick environment need to be in the range of 90-95F reduce the temperature gradually five degree each week until the broilers are 3-4 week-old or until the temperature is 70F.
Brooder is like round umbrella of 3 feet.3 bulb are use of 40 t0 100 watt are change according requirement. One brooder use for 250 chicks. A cardboard (brooder circle) can be use to keep the hicks near the heat source .Brooder guard should be 1.5 feet at height and 6-7 feet length.
A Pocket Guide to Broiler Management - Image 2
Essential requirements for brooding
1) Operating heat source at least 24 hour before the chick arrival.
2) Electric heat lamps or Gas heater are good and popular source of heat.
3) At the first 7 days reduce the brooding temperature(90- 95F) gradually by 5 F each week until the broilers are about four weeks old ( 70- 75F).
4) If chicks too warm they can become dehydrated .this may lead to death or delay grow.
5) Use thermometer to check the pen temperature and by observing the chicks response to the heat source. Cold chicks are huddle together under heat source. Hot chicks are move to outer limits of the brooder guard. 
Light should be provided 24 hour a day for broiler.24 hour light (Natural / Artificial) will increase the feeding time, increase weight gain, and improve feathering in broiler. First 15 days in every brooder 40, 60,100 watt bulbs are used according to requirements. 
Feeders and waterers
  • Keep the feeders and waterers clean all the times.
  • The feeders should be kept at height that is level with the birds back height.
  • Feed consumption is directly related to water consumption so adequate water is necessary to optimize growth. 
Types of drinkers
  • One drinker for 50 chicks
  • After 4 week automatic drinker is used one automatic drinker for 100-150 chicks. 
Types Of feeder
I. Linear feeder: one linear feeder for 50 Birds.
II. After 4 weeks round feeder is used one round feeder for 25 birds. 
Provision of feed to Broiler
2 types of feed are provided.
i. Broiler starters (ration No 4) Broiler starter crumbs (Ration No 14) give at 4 week of age which provides 22-23% protein and 3050Kcal energy.
ii. Broiler finisher ( Ration N0 5) Broiler finisher crumbs ( Ration No 15) are given at 5th week up to sale of birds which provide 20-21% protein and 3150 Kcal energy 
How Do We Keep the Germs Away From the Poultry?
  • Limit visitors on your farm and restrict their direct contact with the flock.
  • Keep free-living birds and mammals away from your flock as they may transmit disease agents to your flock of birds.
  • Store feed so that it is bird-proof, insect-proof, and rodent-proof.
  • A changing room should be made available at the entrance of the site and must be used by everybody
  • Entering the farm (change of clothes). It is better if a shower is installed.
  • All workers and visitors must wash hands and feet with soap before entering into the poultry house
  • Must change cloth and foot wear?
  • Clean and disinfect footwear before enter
  • Vehicle should be left outside the farm area.
  • Ideally, it would be best to keep your pets away from the flock to prevent possible disease transmission
A Pocket Guide to Broiler Management - Image 3
Broiler vaccination schedule
A Pocket Guide to Broiler Management - Image 4
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