The most important part of the project is proper planning. This stage addresses how much capital is required for the development of infrastructure and to purchase the chickens, feed and other running costs.
Land and chicken runs
Whatever the size of the project, it must be run on adequate land. The chicken run infrastructure must be spacious and ventilated to accommodate the targeted number of birds. Overcrowding subjects chickens to stress and high mortality. You should allow 0.1m squared per bird.
Farmers may have the privilege of choosing between barns, chicken runs or hutches. Whatever the preferred shelter, you must provide wood shavings or an alternative floor covering to provide comfort and warmth for the birds.
Farmers would be advised to spare a piece of land on which to grow supplementary chicken feed. Those running projects in their backyards should buy stock feed from reputable sellers. The farmer should grow crops such as wheat, maize and soya beans for stock feed supplements.
The project should have access to safe water and cleaning equipment. Chickens need fresh water and thorough cleaning of runs.
Broiler chickens are best reared in confined buildings, which are well lit. Keeping the birds confined protects them from diseases.
Letting the birds run free has adverse effects on the meat and the birds take longer to mature. Those confined to buildings should only be fed specific, recommended feeds.
Farmers are advised to have stipulated night visiting hours. This will keep stock feed supplies topped up throughout the night. There might be a need to change their drinking water too.
The farmer might be required to add vitamins and minerals to the water to reduce stress during the early days of the birds. Water containers should be placed reasonably close to the feeding pots.
The feed should be provided as prescribed according to age.
From day old to two weeks of age the birds should be fed with Broiler Starter or Broiler Concentrate which has 41 percent crude protein. (Supply as per specifications).
Chickens aged between two and four weeks should be provided with Broiler Growers Mash or Pellets which have 20 percent crude protein. Growers concentrate has an average 40 percent crude protein.
From five weeks of age to slaughter the birds should be fed on Broiler Finisher Mash or Pellet of 19 percent crude protein content. They can alternatively be fed on the concentrate with 49 percent crude protein.
A single bird needs an average 1.7 kg of complete feed up to maturity age. Well looked after broiler chickens would normally be ready for the market between the ages of five to six weeks.
The cheap way of marketing chickens is by word of mouth. Large scale chicken farmers can advertise the chicken meat and birds in the media.Post published in: Agriculture