Caring for chicks
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CTA. 2004. Caring for chicks. Rural Radio Resource Pack 04/2. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57419
Bob Akinwumi, who keeps layer hens, describes the feeding and disease control methods he uses in raising day old chicks.
Caring for chicks Cue: When rearing chickens, either for eggs or meat, most poultry farmers buy young chicks, often called ?day old chicks?, from a hatchery. These young birds are very vulnerable, and must be protected by the farmer against cold and disease. In particular, the chicks must be kept completely separate from adult birds on the farm, and if possible, people working with the adult birds should not enter the chicks? ?brooder house?. This will help to ensure that no diseases are transmitted to the chicks. Farmers must also pay attention to vaccination, feed and water requirements, so that the young birds grow strong and healthy. Bob Akinwumi is a poultry farmer who keeps layer hens on his farm in Nigeria. Tunde Fatunde spoke to him about how he cares for his day old chicks IN: ?For the day old chick ? OUT: ?. we do not mix.? DUR?N 5?36? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Bob Akinwumi was talking to Tunde Fatunde. Transcript Akinwumi For the day old chick you have to carve out a space that is well protected against cold. So that you put in your day old chick here with some heat source to give them the warmth for two weeks. If you go to acquire, which most of us do, from the hatchery, some hatcheries may be as far as a thousand kilometres away because some of the day old chicks come from Europe, from France for example. You assume that these birds have been put under certain stress so immediately after their arrival they are treated against stress by giving them a solution of sugar and water. Fatunde What next? Akinwumi Now the next day what we do by experience is we do not start the day old chick with the chicken feed. We crush some maize and give this to them because we realise from experience the day old chick are very susceptible to constipation when they are introduced to the new feed immediately. So you keep them on maize only. Fatunde For how long? Akinwumi Just for a day. Fatunde And then what next? Akinwumi On the third day you introduce your normal feed, the starter feed. The starter feed is different from the growing feed because they are richer in protein. And when you have the adequate formula you can put this together yourself. Fatunde So what do you do yourself? Akinwumi You go to the market to buy the ingredients like maize which is about 60% of your feed mixture. You get the Soya bean cake, cotton seed cake, these are to boost the protein content. You add some fishmeal, which you also get from the market. You add some pulverised seashells or animal bone, crushed animal bone to improve the calcium content of your feed. You add some salt for the mineral and then you put in some additives which are already premixed from the pharmacy shop, from the veterinary shop. Fatunde Now you do that for what space of time? Akinwumi The starter feed is for just a couple of weeks between the second day to about two weeks after. Two weeks after they are removed from this special room where they are kept warm and put in your normal rearing deep litter shed and then you can start them off with your growers feed. Fatunde What do you mean by grower feeds? Akinwumi Grower feed is the feed they feed on to develop before they start laying which is also a little different in formulation to the starter. Fatunde Yes what is the difference and what is grower feed?????. Akinwumi The difference is that the birds can now tolerate?.. Fatunde They can easily digest? Akinwumi They can digest easily the cotton seed which you do not put in a larger quantity for the day old chick. Fatunde Now lets talk about diseases. These day old chicks, are they susceptible to diseases? Akinwumi Yes poultry is very very susceptible to diseases and there are many kinds of diseases. Fatunde Yes and what are these diseases? Akinwumi The common diseases around here are the Gumboro, the Newcastle, the Infectious Bronchitis which is the infection of the breathing system. There is the coccidiosis which is easily transmitted from one bird to the other through their droppings and the fowl pox. Fatunde Do you have to wait for these diseases to manifest themselves or you go ahead and do preventive? Akinwumi Usually a poultry farmer should prevent his birds [getting sick] from day one. Fatunde Ok now what are these???.. Akinwumi As soon as the day old chicks come in from the second day onwards there is a table to be followed, a table that tells you the kind of vaccine that should be used periodically for your birds to prevent them from contracting these common diseases. Fatunde Yes and is it you who applies these vaccines and drugs or do you do it with the help of??.. Akinwumi Yes, yes they are easily applied because most of these vaccines are - some of them are injectable - but you can also go for liquid that you can push into their drinking water and makes it very easy. Fatunde Do you also boost the immunity or you boost the energy of these day old chicks with vitamins? Akinwumi Yes what you usually do in poultry, since you are subjecting your birds to all kinds of vaccines it is assumed that these vaccines are another source of stress for the birds. So to help the animal to overcome this stress every time you introduce a vaccine you cover it up by giving them vitamins. Fatunde Have you had any cause to mix old and new birds together? Akinwumi No this is never done. Fatunde Why? Akinwumi We avoid doing this in my farm because usually you find out that the old birds have the tendency of claiming the landlordship of the area where they are and therefore the tendency is to attack the new birds. That?s the first thing. The second thing will be, it will not be advisable if even if they are tolerable because you risk transferring of infection from the old birds to the smaller birds, or to the new birds. Fatunde So you don?t do it? Akinwumi We do not mix. End of track.