Brooding and Rearing
The brooding period is a very critical time and can be a time of high mortality, if proper management is not used. The brooding arrangement must protect chicks from predators and inclement weather . The arrangement should be sanitary, dry and well-ventilated. The floor pen must be rough enough to provide firm footing for the chicks. Not to cover the litter with slick materia or newspaper , as chicks would develop “spraddle legs” which is fatal.
The temperature at chicks level should be 31.1 to 33°C in the 4- by 5-feet pen foe the first two weeks. Gradually reduce heat upto 23.5°C from the third to the eight week. At 6-8 weeks of age, chicks can be left in range outside in good weather, but shelter at night. They can be managed in groups of 25 to 50 birds.
General Management Tips
- Provide adequate shelter in pasture plots.
- Pens should protect adults and older juveniles from extreme
climate such as snow, ice, heavy winds, cold rain and sleet.
- temperaturer should be located inside shelter to condition birds to enter the shelters freely.
- Feeder and waterers should be in open type and adjustable so that they can kept at chest height of the birds. Clean the waterers daily.
- Caretakers should spend time with chicks and young tame- them.· Move gently among the birds, taking care to avoid the possibility of frightening and hand-feeding of tidbits o juveniles is recommended.
- Never make overcrowding in the pen. First few days provide sanitised water along with anti-stress agents.
- Ensure proper mineral and vitamins in the feed for healthy growth of chicks and to void leg deformities.
- Do not handle the birds during hot hours,as Birds get immediately excited. Hence calm and quite environment in the pen is required.
- Never keep the sharp objects, pebbles accessible to the birds. Birds are mischievous and grab anything that comes in their vicinity.
- Spraddle condition of the legs that is commonly seen can be managed by holding the legs together during the initial 72 hours of chicks. This can be done particularly in the incubator.
- Commercial feed is absolutely essential.
- Birds require at least 1 acre floor space with six feet high chain link fence.
- Birds produce hide, leather or feather are sold at high price.