Brooder Week 5 – Learnings and Look Ahead

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:

  1. 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
  2. The vet provided also supervised and carried out vaccinations as per the recommended schedule
  3. Focused on building immunity in the first 3 weeks, now growth and development of the pullets
  4. 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
  5. Adjusted the chick and duck mash formula, to provide the necessary energy levels and texture for easy feeding.
  6. Provided recommended levels of feeders and drinkers to reduce bullying and contention for deed
  7. 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)
  8. 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:

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