The chicks are now 5 weeks in the brooder, with a mortality rate of 0.4%, weights less than the management guide (which are based on environmentally controlled conditions) but within range and closing fast, weight uniformity distribution of over 70% and improving.
This post is about lessons learnt in this flock and what we have done differently:
- Hired brooding services from a poultry focused service provider who provided a worker for the brooder and a vet who visited regularly: 3x per week in the first two weeks, 2x a week later, currently at 1x per week
- The vet provided also supervised and carried out vaccinations as per the recommended schedule
- Focused on building immunity in the first 3 weeks, now growth and development of the pullets
- Weighed the birds to provide benchmarks for the growth, but only used the data for tracking so did not adjust diets to bring up the weights
- Adjusted the chick and duck mash formula, to provide the necessary energy levels and texture for easy feeding.
- Provided recommended levels of feeders and drinkers to reduce bullying and contention for deed
- Bio-security improvement: started leveraging powdered construction lime for initial disinfection and at entrance to the brooder, disinfectant spraying every week on the premises and proactively spraying inside the brooder with a high mist disinfectant (selected not to have any major side effects for the birds)
- Collecting data on feed and water consumption on a day-to-day to better understand the changing patterns – increase in feed consumption is at 4g per bird per week
As always a selection of shots from brooder: