Experts believe that after the first week of brooding, poor poultry management is responsible for any bird's death. If this assertion is true, then you should pay more attention to how you monitor, manage, and control your farm. From day-old, your new flock need proper care and attention from you. Also, you need to maintain an optimum environment for your poultry to survive and reach their maximum genetic abilities. Although there are several ways to curb this menace, below are the top 7 poultry management mistakes to avoid.
Increased Brooding Temperature
At the early stages, poultry needs a consistent supply of heat. Since they cannot produce their heat requirements, they need an external source. However, when it exceeds their body limit, it becomes dangerous. Chicks require an air temperature of 32-33°C for their first seven days and relative humidity of 40-60%. Reduce this gradually over several days until you achieve 21°C.
Furthermore, high temperature dehydrates your birds, causing them to lose appetite. They end up taking more water, which inhibits their growth and weakens their immunity. This poultry management mistake may also lead to pasted vents. In this case, the birds find it difficult to eject waste from their bodies. Besides, penkeep helps you to precisely pinpoint your temperature range automatically, even in your absence.
Reduced Brooding Temperature
It serves as a corollary to the first point. Cold stress, the technical term for a situation where the degree of cold is unbearable for your poultry, is another popular poultry management error. When your birds are feeling cold, you see them huddling together. After some time, they start to suffocate because of stale air. Furthermore, chilling reduces the immune system of your birds, making them susceptible to diseases. Always ensure that your birds are not clustering unnecessarily. If you notice such behaviours, introduce a heating system to provide them with some warmth.
Feed or Drink Toxicosis
It refers to weaknesses or illnesses due to poisoning. Toxicosis often leads to paralysis, loss of appetite, decreased productivity, and death. Some of these toxins may come from feed constituents. Watch out for traces of aflatoxins in your feed. Meanwhile, turkeys and ducks react rapidly to them.
When the ammonia level in your poultry house becomes unbearable, it irritates your birds and may affect their immune system. Other sources of poison include lead from paints, insecticides, and excessive salt intake. To eliminate this poultry management mistake, change your litter frequently. Also, you may install Penkeep to monitor the air quality and inform you of increment in real-time.
A majority of poultry farmers use the deep litter housing system. Wood shavings, sawdust, newspaper, and concrete are some of the bedding materials. They can build up harmful microorganisms quickly, especially when they get wet. Besides, chicks may mistake sawdust for feed. When they ingest significant quantities, it blocks their olfactory channel. It may also lead to severe gastrointestinal problems. After some time, they die. You can avoid this poultry management error by changing your bedding materials often and using larger litter particles.
Although not often mentioned, starvation is a severe poultry management mistake. Sometimes, chicken feeds become so expensive that more impoverished farmers cannot afford them. Other times, feeds may be scarce. Starving birds, whether deliberately or unknowingly, cause a significant drop in productivity. It also increases their mortality rate. To counter this management error,
- Raise birds according to your capacity. Rear the ones you can manage conveniently.
- Seek financial partners. Poultry business requires significant capital. To secure investment, you need comprehensive farm data. FS Manager helps to capture, calculate, and call up essential farm data without stress.
- Buy feeds from local feed mills. If pre-packaged feeds are too pricey, consider domestic ones. However, you need an effective feed formula.
Poultry sustains injuries, just like humans. Unlike humans, however, they cannot verbalize their pains. By the time you see any symptom, it might be incurable. Moreover, prevention is wiser, cheaper, and better than cure. While moving the birds for vaccination, de-beaking, or sexing, be careful. Encourage your workers to treat the birds with care to avoid such poultry management mistakes.
Increased Relative Humidity
Relative humidity (RH) refers to the amount of water vapour the air can take at any time. When the RH level is high, the environment is humid. That is, there is more moisture in the air. Conversely, when the RH level is low, the atmosphere is dry, and there is little moisture in the air. High RH causes shivering, frostbite, sickness, and reduced immunity in birds. If you delay in resolving the situation, it often leads to death. To avoid this poultry management error,
- Ensure the poultry house has sufficient ventilation. Place larger windows on opposite sides of the room for enhanced cross-ventilation.
- Be sure there is no leak on the rooftop to prevent water seeping inside the poultry house.
- Clean the litter regularly to prevent the buildup of moisture and ammonia.
- Install Penkeep to know the RH level of your poultry house every minute.
- Use FS Manager to identify the RH pattern of your poultry environment so that you can make better, data-driven decisions.
Every farm manager dreams of achieving a 100% bird survival rate. Nevertheless, making managerial errors can make this desire a miracle. Take note of the top 7 poultry management mistakes to avoid. Moreover, follow the highlighted solutions to achieve an even lower poultry mortality rate.
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