- Poor heat distribution in the brooder.
When there’s inadequate heat, chicks collect around the heat source in search for warmth… and all of them pile up on each other and die
Solution: correct the heat, put enough heat sources in the brooder, and use a thermometer to monitor Brooder temperature.
USE OUR CHACOOL BROODER for easy brooding
- Lights: when light are off, all birds get stranded and do not know where to go….. so all these birds may collect in one place and die from there!
Solution: during the first two weeks of brooding, have a light backup to support in case the Nefa go off. All the brooder should be brightly lit , and in case its time to switch off lights, workers should do what we call “bedding”
*bedding : we mean, workers staying in the brooder as they touch/ pass their hands through the birds to make sure no one is sleeping on the other. This is done for about thirty minutes. Do not just get out of the house after switching off the lights.
- One farmer left the brooder door open, and there was a lot of wind entering the brooder, so all birds went and stayed in the opposite corner! 10% died that day.
- I remember in 2016, at some farm, the lazy boys had feed sacks on their backs and were conversing on the corner of the house…. it was morning time, and the birds were very hungry….. do you notice that birds can smell the feed? All imagine 300 birds at 10 weeks dying from that corner… poor boys didn’t know that the birds had collected in the corner!
- Still on light, our own Farm has a story to tell. My wife lost 68 birds ….. she entered when the boys had switched off light, And from her curiosity she wanted to have a look at this first batch of birds with a phone torch! All birds followed the light source and died exactly at her feet!
- Noise from bucking dogs and vehicles…
Any way that noise scares away birds and try to run into hiding
For this reason, that’s why we cut off all corners from the brooder using plywoods
IMPROVING APPETITE IN CHICKS
We very well know chicks cannot differentiate btn feed and non feed stuff!
That’s why we put brooder paper to avoid chicks eating litter….. once the crop fills with feed, then the brain is informed that this was feed.
So its upon you the farmer to attract birds to peck on the feed.
Increase their appetite by :
- Sprinkling feeds on the brooder paper for the first 24 hours
- Do not introduce feeders when the birds are still in the first one week!!!!! only use trays where birds can easily reach.
3.never feed them on big particles of feed! They should either be small crumbles like galdus starter or fine texture mash
- High temperatures force birds off feed
- Putting water very near to heat source will chase away the birds
- Farmers should not raise drinkers on bricks when chicks are below 1 month.
- Adding butacal to the water for chicks in the first 7 days improves appetite, reduces mortality, fights stress, and improves growth and immunity. *WEAK AND THIN BIRDS?
Why don’t you do sorting of chicks before taking them?
For me, once I see that a box of chicks has mortality or very weak birds, I just know that am taking problems…. therefore I do sorting, and of course manage such brooders in a different way…. To me such brooders are a special case!
Sorting involves removing chicks with abnormalities from the boxes, and asking for replacement.
Poor quality chicks are always weak, a bird is not able to turn if placed facing upside down on the palm, less than 35g in layers, twisted beaks, some eyes may not be seeing, the navel oozing out water, three legs, and more of these signs…….
So do not take rejects to your farm!
SOME OF THE DISEASE SIGNS YOU MAY IDENTITY IN THE BROODER
- Black and brownish diarrhea in the first few days
- Birds becoming weak in the legs, unable to stand, just falling on the floor = mostly e.coli, or salmonella.
- Eyes having mucus = poor ventilation, Smokey charcoal, e.coli
- Blocked vents with poop stuck on the behind = Too much heat, big feed particles, very hot water
- Swollen crop = birds have eaten litter/husks
- Cough, sneezing = poor ventilation, poor quality charcoal, poor quality litter.
Note: once you see any challenges in your birds, avoid self medication by calling a vet to give you better directions on how to handle such challenges.