IF you have decided to start a small scale farm raising chickens for meat, then you need to get it right the first time.
Since well the business is capital intensive, then farmers should do everything correctly so as to avoid losing their investment.
Farmers will tell you that raising your first batch of chickens can be tricky but with the right information, one can be successful.
Onderstepoort based Alfa chicks, suppliers of day-old chicks, shared the following are a few important aspects to look after:
For optimal management, housing has to be correctly designed and built.
This will enable you to farm with minimal labor and losses. Important points here are:
• Sloping smoothly sealed off floors.
• High enough roof for free movement and good ventilation.
• Size and direction of the house.
• Design and operation of curtains for good ventilation.
• Distance between houses and from any area where bacteria is breeding.
• Amount and kind of drinkers and feeders.
• Brooders and heat sources for small chicks.
• Footbaths in front of doors to prevent the spreading of bacteria and viruses.
Disinfection and cleaning of houses before and while chicks are in houses must be done correctly, and with the correct remedies. The physical cleaning comes first – then the clinical cleaning.
The vaccinations of the chicks are important to prevent virus-related diseases like Newcastle.
Feed must be of a very high standard, make sure that all the right additives like growth stimulants and Anti-coccidioses remedies are in every lot fed to the chicks.
The right kind and the right amount of vitamins and antibiotics must be administrated.
This is the most important aspect and there must be someone who cares to do it. This includes cleaning of houses, temperature control, medicines, ventilation, vaccinations, and all other aspects in connection to chicken farming.
Remember – always one-age chicks under one roof. Never have more than one group. For more information, contact Alfa Chicks on www.alfachicks.co.za or 012 561 1205 or 087 985063