It’s a painful thing to see your broilers dying after 4 weeks, a period when they must have cost you a lot of money. It almost feels like a spell is cast on them. Going to your chicken pen now becomes a dreadful experience. Well, let’s talk about why this happens and how to prevent or control it.
Contrary to what most people think about the business of poultry, chickens don’t just die, and they are not as fragile as we often think. The problem is that a lot of diseases can go unnoticed for days. Often times, the chance of chickens’ survival depends on the farmer’s experience and attention to detail. If you are able to notice a disease in good time, the chances of controlling it is very high. Now, let me share some of the reasons why your broilers are dying after 4 weeks.
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Mother Antibody Wanes
Baby chicks inherit some antibodies from the mother hen through the egg. This forms one of the major defence mechanism against diseases in their first few weeks. Normally, by the time these antibodies wane, the chicks are expected to have developed their own immunity. But what if they happen to have a weak immunity due to some reasons? Then they may become victims of some opportunistic disease pathogens. This is one of the reasons your chickens may start dying after 4 weeks, even though they have been fine all along.
The Vaccine is Killing Them
Vaccines are expected to protect your birds from infections, but when administered at the wrong time, it can cause be disastrous. Okay, let me say it this way. It is a taboo to vaccinate your broilers when they are sick. This is because their immunity will be weak and unable to achieve the desired immune response. I know you might say, my chickens were not sick before I gave the vaccine, but are you double sure? Sometimes they are already incubating a disease and the signs aren’t obvious yet. This is one of the reasons you must prevent coccidiosis and eliminate Chronic Respiratory Disease (CRD) before giving the booster doses of ND and IBD.
Heat stroke can be another reason why your broilers are dying after 4 weeks of age. At this age, if fed well, they must have been up to 1.6KG – 2.0KG, and can barely cope with excessive heat. The secret is to reduce their feed intake during the day time. Let them have all the feed they can get in the cool of the day and at night.
Weak Liver or Liver Damage
High protein diet is good for chickens but too much protein subjects the liver to intensive work. And the last time I checked, not many broiler farmers care for their chicken liver the way they ought. The process of protein metabolism gives off some toxins that the liver has to manage. This gives the liver a lot of work to do, and continuously loading your chickens with too much protein for growth may in turn impair their liver. When your chickens are reaching the 4 week mark, it’s good time to administer liver tonic to restore vigor to their liver. Don’t forget that a healthy liver is needed to fulfil the purpose of broiler – to convert feed to meat.
In order to maximize profit in broiler farming, you need to be able to keep your birds healthy from day old till they reach target market weight. I hope that this article makes you a better broiler farmer and puts more money in your bank account. Please feel free to leave a comment and share the post to others, you might be able to help the next farmer.