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What You Need to Succeed in Broilers Farming in Kenya

What You Need to Succeed in Broilers Farming in Kenya

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Published by Nelson Kimathi
A beginers guide to rearing of broilers in Kenya.
A beginers guide to rearing of broilers in Kenya.

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Published by: Nelson Kimathi on Jul 03, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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What you need to succeed in broilers farming in Kenya
Many people are interested in broilers farming in Kenya. Broilers are meat birds oftenreferred to as fryers in some places. They are bred to grow fast so that they are ready for the dinner table between 4 and 10 weeks of age. Currently in Kenya there seems to be ahuge demand for broilers which may not be satisfied any time soon. But the catch is toknow the market, i.e. whom are you producing for?Broilers are sold between 1. 5 and 3 kg live weight depending on consumers’ preferencesand market demands. Finding out the market outlets should be the first task beforeinvesting in broiler production. You ought to make marketing arrangements with localhotels, restaurants, cafeterias, groceries, and other regular users before rearing broilers for sale. This will ensure timely and regular orders for the birds and that no birds are leftunsold.Sell graded or classified birds because proper grading or classification attracts differenttypes of consumers. This will also enable the consumers to make purchasing decision on bird size at hand. Broilers are judged on cleanliness and the valuable meat areas i.e. large breasts and thighs. They should also be appealing when dressed out, which means theyshould not have any skin wing imperfections or broken feathers. After dressing place themin seal bags and only show the broilers that look perfect.Don’t forget to keep records of your expenses. It may cost more to raise broilers than to buy them at the supermarket, but the recreation and satisfaction derived offset the higher cost. In addition, manure and litter from broiler production can be used as organic manure.
Housing preparation
Before bringing in the chicks, the whole house should be disinfected and brooder rings placed in the house.
Brooder ManagementBrooder house:
Brooder house should be draft-free, rain-proof and protected against predators. Brooding pens should have windows with wire mesh for adequate ventilation.Too dusty environment irritates the respiratory tract of the chicks. Besides dust is one of the vehicles of transmission of diseases. Too much moisture causes ammonia fumes whichirritate the respiratory tract and eyes. Good ventilation provides a comfortable environmentwithout draft.
Sanitation and hygiene:
All movable equipments like feeders, waterers and hovers should be removed from the house, cleaned and disinfected. All litters are to be scraped andremoved. The interior as well as exterior of the house should be cleaned under pressure.The house should be disinfected with any commercial disinfectant solution at therecommended concentration. Insecticide should be sprayed to avoid insect threat.Malathion spray/blow lamping or both can be used to control ticks and mites. New litter 
should be spread after each cleaning. The insecticides if necessary should be mixed withlitter at recommended doses.
Suitable litter material like saw dust and paddy husk should be spread to a length of 5 cm depending upon their availability and cost. Mouldy material should not be used. Thelitter should be stirred at frequent intervals to prevent caking. Wet litters if any should beremoved immediately and replaced by dry new litter. This prevents ammoniacal odour.
Brooding temperature:
Heating is very much essential to provide right temperature in the brooder house. Too high or too low a temperature slows down growth and causesmortality. During the first week the temperature should be 95°F (35°C) which may bereduced by 5°F per week during each successive week till 70°F (21·10C). The brooder should be switched on for at least 24 hours before the chicks arrive. As a rule of thumb thetemperature inside the brooder house should be approximately 20°F (-6·7°C) below the brooder temperature Hanging of a maximum and minimum thermometer in each house isrecommended to have a guide to control over the differences in the house temperature. The behavior of chicks provides better indication of whether they are getting the desiredamount of heat. . When the temperature is less than required, the chicks try to get closer tothe source of heat and huddle down under the brooder. When the temperature is too high,the chicks will get away from the source of heat and may even pant or gasp. Whentemperature is right, the chicks will be found evenly scattered. In hot weather, brooders arenot necessary after the chicks are about 3 weeks old. Several devices can be used for  providing artificial heat. Hover type electric brooders are by far the most common and practical these days. The temperature in these brooders is thermostatically controlled.Many a times the heat in the brooder house is provided by use of electric bulbs of differentintensities. Regulation of temperature in such cases is difficult although not impossible.Infrared lamps are also very good for brooding. The height and number of infra-red lampscan be adjusted as per temperature requirement in the brooder house.
Brooder space:
Brooder space of 7 to 10 sq inch (45-65 cm2) is recommended per chick.Thus a 1·80 m hover can hold 500 chicks. When small pens are used for brooding,dimension of the house must be taken into consideration as overcrowding results in starve-outs, culls and increase in disease problems.
Brooder guard:
To prevent the straying of baby chicks from the source of heat, hover guards are placed 1·05 to 1·50 m from the edge of hover. Hover guard is not necessary after 1 week.
Floor space:
Floor space of 0·05 m2 should be provided per chick to start with, whichshould be increased by 0·05 m2 after every 4 weeks until the pullets are about 20 weeks of age. For broilers at least 0·1 m2 of floor space for female chicks and 0·15 m2 for malechicks should be provided till 8 weeks of age. Raising broiler pullets and cockerel chicks inthe separate pens may be beneficial.
Water space:
Plentiful of clean and fresh water is very much essential. A provision of 50linear cm of water space per 100 chicks for first two weeks has to be increased to 152-190
linear cm at 6 to 8 weeks. When changing from chick fountain to water trough thefountains are to be left in for several days till the chicks have located the new water source.Height of the waterers should be maintained at 2·5 cm above the back height of the chicksto reduce spoilage. Antibiotics or other stress medications may be added to water if desired.All waterers should be cleaned daily. It may be desirable to hold a few chicks one at a timeand teach them to drink.To start of, feed is placed in the feeder lids or plastic feeder trays in the ratio of one per 100chicks. Feed can also be spread on paper placed on the floor to encourage young birds toeat. Gradually remove the feeder lids or trays, replacing them with the adult feeders. By thetime the birds are ten days old, all the lids and trays should have been removed. Normally, broilers are brooded in a portion of the house until a certain age before beinggiven access to the entire house. The house should be divided so that 33% of the cage isdestined for chickens in their two to four week age period. The 66% remaining space isdestined for the broiler chickens in the four to eight week age period. The floor has litter made of straw, wood shavings, or some other material that absorbs moisture, keeping the birds clean. Have enough floor space for each bird to at least one square foot from age sixto ten weeks. After ten weeks they will need at least two to three square feet per bird.Don’t provide perches for broilers. They are not developed to perch, and a perch can alsocause deformities in the legs and breast.
Feeding broilers
The three common mistakes in feeding are: inconsistent feeding, overfeeding, andunderfeeding. Broilers need quality ration. Ready mixed feeds that are recommended for growing lots of meat on these broilers are available at local feed stores. You can mix your own feed for say twenty five broilers, but in most cases it is not any cheaper and can bequite a bother to mix thoroughly when you can buy it already mixed. Always follow themanufacturer instructions on the feed and avoid mixing feeds from several millers, addingother protein sources and mineral salts as this changes the balance in the feed therebyaffecting performance. Consult your nearest livestock extension officers if you need helpon how to vary the feed.During the first three weeks broilers need a feed that consists of twenty to twenty-four  percent protein. The broiler starter crumbs/mash is excellent during this period. At four tosix weeks the broilers are placed on a broiler finisher mash which gives them an increasedenergy level and also reduces the protein level. Some people give pellets to broilers fromsix weeks until it is time to slaughter. Mix the two rations so that the change is gradualduring the changing period of the rations. An abrupt change is stressful to the birds and canaffect performance. Vitamins can be provided during this time to reduce the stress.Provide up to 2 weeks 5 cm and from 3 weeks to finish 10 cm linear feeder space per bird.

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