MANAGEMENT OF BROILERS
The desired weight at earlier age with efficient feed conversion ratio (FCR) with minimum mortality is prime objectives of broiler rearing. The management system used for commercial broiler rearing is probably more standardized nowadays than any other arrangements in poultry production.
They are preferably reared on deep-litter to prevent bruising of muscles due to cages. A trend of growing lighter broilers of 1.25 to 1.35 kg at 37-40 days age has become common in recent years. The FCR is highly economical at this early age which ranges from 1.9 to 2.10 depending on breed, season, disease incidence and management on farm. The management in respect of brooding, feeding, watering, litter management, lighting and disease remains same as that of layer chicks with little variation for floor space, feeding, vaccination and other managemental practices.
This is the type of bird in chicken, which requires minimum floor space. A floor space of 450 cm2 upto 4 weeks and 750-850 cm2 from 5-7 weeks is sufficient to achieve maximum performance. Inadequate space will lead to slower growth, increased respiratory ailments and sometimes cannibalism also. Therefore, floor space allotment plays an important role in growing efficient broilers.
Broilers are fed special feeds to cope up their faster growth. They are offered broiler starter mash from day old to 4 weeks of age and broiler finisher mash from 5 weeks onwards till disposal. These are high energy and high portentous rations when compared to layer and breeder diets.
Only few vaccinations as recommended in the schedule in the ‘Practical Manual for Avian Production and Management’ serves the purpose of rearing broilers under normal conditions. However, the vaccination schedule can vary from area to area depending on the disease prevalence.
Debeaking and Deworming
Usually these are not required due to short span of life.
Separate Sex Rearing
Broilers are straight run chicks that is they are not sexed at day-old age, while supplying to farmers for commercial broilers farming. However, visual sexing is possible at four weeks of age by earlier appearance of combs in case of males. Some of farmers adopt separate sex rearing from four to five weeks onwards to take the added advantage of faster growth in males for earlier disposal by 5-6 days to enhance profitability.