Disease prevention and control
Remember following points to prevent diseases in broilers.
A hygiene programme is fundamental to successful broiler production. Following control and preventive measure should be taken for healthy broiler production.
- Start with disease-free chicks.
- Vaccine chicks against Ranikhet and Marek’s disease at the hatchery.
- Use effective drugs in the feed, or a vaccination programme to prevent coccidiosi.
- Keep feed free from aflatoxin.
- Do not allow visitors or attendants inside the broiler house unless they wear disinfected boots and clean clothing.
- When there are several age groups on the farm, always care for the youngest birds first while performing daily routine works.
- Rework built-up litter. When built-up litter is used, all caked and wet litter should be removed and replaced with fresh, clean litter before chicks arrive.
- Cover floor with clean litter at least 3 in. deep after each clean out, Wood shavings, rice hulls, straws cut into small pieces are suitable litter materials.
For keeping good hygienic condition in broiler housing following managemantal practices are followed
1-Poultry house temperature
On the first week 95o F is quite comfortable. This may be reduced at the rate of 5o F weekly until 7 o F is reached on the sixth week.
When chicks circle, wide, it is too hot. If they tend to crowd, under the hover it is too cool. In either case, adjustment is needed immediately.
2-Ventilation of Broiler house
The main functions of ventilation are to maintain Oxygen, keep CO2 at low level, remove dust or moisture and ammonia from the house and maintain required temperature.
Air movement requirements are best determined by observing bird comfort, litter condition, and odour build up. If necessary exhaust fan may be used.
3-Lighting for Broilers
Use of night lights, about 15 watts to each 200 square feet of floor area during early growing period.
Growing chicks in semi-darkness by using red bulb keeps the chicks quiet, prevents cannibalism, and may have a slight effect on feed efficiency.
Most broiler growers provide light in the brooder 24 hours a day throughout the entire growing period.
One 60 watt bulb for each 200 square feet of floor space.
4-Floor space requirement
Broilers will require from 0.8 to 1.0 square of floor space per bird.
In addition to preventing cannibalism, debeaking usually lessens mash feed wastage. Electric debeakers are now available and chicks are debeakers when only one day old.