Rear the Chicks Safely, Earn the means greatly !!! BLOG SHURUWATAGRI
Updated: Feb 9, 2022
As we all have seen little yellow chicks. Chicks are very small in size, therefore it is critical to take care of them. However, raising baby chicks is quite easy as it requires little appliances and a small place to put but slight negligence is put baby chicks in danger and results in mortality rate can rise and might face a huge loss in poultry. At this point of the period, the most important needs of baby chicks are warmth, protection, feed, and water.
Brooding: Brooding is a process of rearing baby chicks. In newly hatched baby chicks, the thermoregulatory mechanism takes 2 weeks to develop till then they cannot maintain their body temperature properly. If not proper upkeep, they may be subject to chilling.
Rearing: Rearing baby chicks refer to raising baby chicks after brooding until sexual maturity.
There are two types of brooding:
Natural brooding: It is done by the mother hen. It is the easiest and most effective way of brooding if only a few chicks are to be raised. For brooding purposes, Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire, Plymouth Rock, Cochins, and Silkies are the good mother.
Artificial brooding: It is done with the help of some equipment and by human supervision. Artificial brooding is efficient for raising large numbers of chicks.
Elements used in brooding:
For artificial brooding, some equipment is used called a brooder.
Brooder includes :
The Heating sources provide heat to the chicks to regulate their body temperature.
Different types of heating sources are there:
Charcoal stove/ kerosene stove is used where electricity is not available. In Gas broader, natural gas, LPG, or methane are used. The heating element is hung 3 to 5 feet above the chicks. The electrical brooder is used to provide heat uniformly in a large area. One electric brooder is sufficient for 300 to 400 chicks. The battery brooder is used for small floor space. It has multi-tier cages.
The work of the reflector is to spread the heat uniformly to every end of the housing. Reflectors are usually called Hovers.
There are two types of Hovers Flat type hover Canopy type hover
Brooder guard is used for two purposes, it keeps the chicks close to the heating source, feed, and water and another to reduce the quantity of draft reaches to the chicks. For making a brooder guard we can use a cardboard sheet, wire mesh, and mat for surrounds the brooding area.
The dimensions of the brooder guard should be 30-45 cm wide strip and 8 to 12 ft. length to make a 2.4 to 3.6 diameter ring.
After 5 to 10 days, the brooder guard should be removed according to the season. The corners of the sheds are must be rounded while removing the brooder guard to avoid mortality due to huddling.
Methods of Rearing baby chicks :
Temperature: The initial temperature requirement is similar for all poultry species.
24 hours before the arrival of baby chicks, check the brooder for proper temperature. A few hours before the arrival of chicks, switch on the heating source to maintain the optimum temperature.
The initial temperature of the brooder should be 30 to 34 °C which is reduced by 2-3°C per week until it reaches 21°C. After six weeks of age, the temperature should lie between 18 and 21 °C.
According to the behavior of chicks find out whether the temperature provided to the chicks is correct or not and then go to maintain the optimum temperature for chicks.
Broilers. 0.75 – 1 sq. ft. Per bird
Leghorns and bantams. 1.5 – 2 sq. ft. Per bird
Heavy breeds. 2.5 – 3 sq. ft. Per bird
Turkey. 3 – 4 sq. ft. Per bird
Gaming birds need double or triple of turkey's area.
Feeder and watered space
Feeder space varies with feeder type and the age of the chicks.
Age(weeks). Area( inch/bird)
3-8. 2.0- 3.0
>8. 3.0- 6.0
Lighting: Lighting intensity helps chicks to adjust to a new environment and to find their feed and water sources.
20 lux bright light should be provided to the chicks for 3 days of age. After 3 days, light intensity should reduce by 5 to 10 lux. It is considered that if you can read a newspaper, it will be prime light intensity.
Ventilation: Chicks are needed fresh air. Depending on the housing system proper ventilation should be made. Fans and inlets are made in commercial barns. Fans thrash the air out, through the air, dust, and ammonia are removed from the barns. Inlets let fresh air in.
Floor Covering: Fresh litter is used to cover the floor area. Litter keeps the brooder clean, it soaks moisture from chick droppings and also saves chicks from damage due to slipping on wet surfaces. For litter, straw and wood shavings are used.
The depth of litter should be 3-4 inches. The old newspaper may use to spread upon litter material. The newspaper should remove after every 3 days.
Feeding and Watering: Adlib feeding should be provided to the chicks from 0-8 weeks of age. Chicks are provided with a starter feed with at least 18% protein. The feed should include, amino acids, prebiotics, probiotics, yeast, vitamins, and minerals. You can sprinkle maize or Rava or crumble feed on the newspaper.
For the first 2-3 days, provide electrolytes, glucose, and vitamins with drinking water to overcome stress. Water should be clean, fresh, and at room temperature. It is useful to moist the beak of chicks after arrival and leaves them under a heating source. The height of the feeders should be adjusted regularly even with the back of the chicks.