Growing broiler chickens is a very profitable home business, which has recently gained considerable popularity. Broilers are easy to maintain and pay back the costs of the breeder, if properly approached the case. How to grow broiler chickens at home, where to keep and what to feed, will be discussed below in the article.
Why breed broiler chickens?
What is a broiler? This is a breed of chickens that has an active growth rate, development, and also quickly accumulates muscle mass. Broilers are always larger than simple thoroughbred chickens, the weight of their carcass is about 20-30% more. Broilers call all young chickens or roosters, which is grown on the face.
It is more profitable to breed broiler chickens
The benefits of growing broiler chickens are obvious. They grow very quickly even on simple food, although the choice of food plays a small role, but more on that later. By 2 months of life, these birds reach 1.5-2 kg in weight and go to slaughter. At the same time, broiler meat is valued higher than meat of simple young chickens or adults. It is very gentle, soft, refers to dietary products and is prescribed for healthy children and the elderly, for various diseases and during the recovery period.
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Before purchasing the first batch of poultry, the breeder must realize that growing broiler chickens can be profitable or unprofitable. It largely depends on the choice of breed or cross. A broiler should be distinguished not only by high meat indices, but also by egg production, if the breeder plans to replenish the offspring all the time. If the bird gives only a lot of meat, and there are almost no eggs, then the incubator will have to buy eggs, and these are additional expenses.
Choice of breed of chickens
Broilers have a special character and similar external features.
- The weight of an adult chicken reaches 4.5 kg, and that of a rooster, 5.5 kg.
- The body is compact, horizontal.
- Egg production is small, but, as a rule, layers are good mothers.
- Their legs and wings are short.
- The character is peaceful, not aggressive.
- Growth is fast.
Important! If the seller assures that the broiler, which he sells, gives a lot of meat and eggs, then you should look for another seller. Such a "perfect" bird, unfortunately, does not exist in nature!
If we analyze the reviews about those or other breeds of chickens that were raised for meat not in poultry farms, but in villages and farms, then it can be noted that only some crosses and purebred breeds are recommended by experienced breeders. Among them are: "Rhode Island", "Dominant", "Tetra", "Smena 8", "Ross 308", "Loman Brown", "Kuchinsky Jubilee", "Adler Silver", "Plymouth", "Cobb - 500" .
The first bird herd may consist of chickens or adults. It all depends on the breeder. If there is a desire to immediately begin to fatten offspring, then it is worth buying young and leaving several individuals for breeding. If you have time, you can buy chicks and raise healthy parents for future broilers.
Before buying you need to inspect the chicks
Important! When buying a broiler, you must inspect the bird. She must have whole legs, wings, down is developed. Color must match the breed. The bird must be clean, not dirty!
It is worth buying broilers either on poultry farms or from bona fide breeders, preferably acquaintances who will not deceive! The age of the bird is also crucial. If young animals are purchased, and not adult birds, it is recommended to stop the selection on at least 10-day-old chickens. Up to 10 days chicks often die, they are simply inappropriate to acquire.
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Broilers can be raised seasonally, with a winter break or all year round. In the first case, the arrangement of a high-quality chicken coop with wall and floor insulation, and sometimes heating, is not necessary, since the bird is bred from spring to autumn. In the second case, you need to build a good chicken coop, where it will be warm all year round, including winter.
Keep broiler chickens on litter
Important! Some breeders believe that a warm room is important only for chickens that are rushing (to increase productivity). However, even broilers who are fattened to the face, need heat. In a cold room, they often get sick, and the taste of meat from stress and bad conditions is always bad.
Growing broiler chickens is possible in cages or more traditional method, on the litter in the hen house. Both methods have their advantages, and here it is worth making a start only on the scale of the business, the breeder’s personal preferences and the nature of the hens (not all breeds and crosses can be contained in cages).
- When keeping chickens on litter, it is worth monitoring its quality. It should be: loose, clean, dry, hygroscopic (sawdust, bedding with bacteria). The layer of sawdust must be at least 10 cm! The temperature in the first weeks for chicks should be about + 26 ... +33 degrees Celsius. After a month, it is reduced to +20 degrees and maintained until the moment of slaughter.
- When growing broiler chickens in cages, it should be ensured that no more than 20 chickens per square meter! Cages are equipped with everything necessary for poultry (feeders, drinkers). To save space, they are often placed on each other (wall). The optimum temperature on each tier in the first days of the bird’s life is + 34 ... +35 degrees Celsius. It is higher than with the content on the litter, as the birds can not run and "disperse the blood." From the third week you can reduce the temperature to + 22 ... +25 degrees.
Regardless of whether birds live in cages or on bedding, drafts and dampness are excluded in the hen house. Humidity should be within the normal range (60-65%), not very high, but not low. The room is also equipped with lighting, feeders, drinkers, nests, perches, window (for ventilation).
Broilers are considered inexpensive in terms of feeding. And yet it is worth noting that it is impossible to feed them anything. It is on the feed that meat gain and quality depend! As a rule, in small farms chickens are fed with simple food, not with mixed feed, because the latter are too expensive, and cheap ones do not give the same proper effect as expensive ones. It is much easier to give simple food to the chickens: grain, mash, mineral supplements, greens. This is the best and profitable option.
In the early days you need to properly feed the chickens.
- In the first three days of life, broilers are fed like other chickens: boiled yolk and white (chopped), milk, cottage cheese. From 1 to 7 days of life, broilers should eat 8 times a day. The first 2 weeks the chicks are given boiled water or dogrose decoctions.
- From the third day you can drive chopped greens (nettle, alfalfa). If this period is in winter, you can replace the greens with grass flour (up to 5 g per day per chicken) or germinated grain (barley). Germinated grains can be up to 15% of the daily diet, and natural greens - up to 20%.
- From the 5th day, mineral additives are introduced (bone meal, chalk, crushed shell). Up to 3 grams of these products are given per chick per day. From the second week they feed broilers 6 times a day.
- Starting from the 15th day, you can enter vegetables (ground carrot). The pieces should be such that the chickens can bite them properly and do not choke. Grain (oats, millet, wheat, barley, corn) becomes part of the daily diet. All grains are well ground, especially hard barley and corn! Grains in the diet should be at least 60%.
- From 21 days of life, chickens should start eating boiled potatoes. He is 20% of the diet, cereals should be up to 40%. The rest: mineral mixtures, carrots, greens. Feeding chickens is reduced to 4 times per day.
- From the second month, the abundance of protein products is replaced by succulent, herbal food.
You must always check for fresh water in the drinker. If it is dirty, change it. In winter, the water should be at room temperature (up to +25 degrees), not cold, but not hot!
What are broilers sick of?
When growing broiler chickens at home, special attention should be paid to the issue of disease prevention and vaccination, as well as running worms. If this is not done in the hen house, epidemics can quickly begin to develop, and poultry meat will become inedible.
Broilers are very painful
The most critical periods in terms of disease for broilers are 1-5 days of life, 20-25 days and 35-40 days. This is the time of development of gastritis, cuticle, enteritis and other problems. Chickens also often suffer from such diseases as hypovitaminosis, dispersion, bronchopneumonia.
In order not to think about the symptoms and treatment, it is necessary to prevent the development of diseases. The first thing a breeder needs is to consult a veterinarian. He will talk about important and additional vaccinations, how to give drugs for worms and how often. It is worth noting that broiler meat is accepted for sale only upon presentation of all necessary papers, including the expert opinion on the health of poultry. So it is not recommended to neglect the treatment of chickens or the prevention of disease.