Uniformity in broiler chicken will directly affect a farmer’s profit whether he is aware or not. Broiler chicken uniformity is measured based on the variation in the weight of the same flock/batch of broiler chickens. In order to be a successful broiler farmer, you must be aware of this trick and do everything possible to increase uniformity in your broiler flock. Before I show you the many factors that affect uniformity in broiler chickens, I will like to tell you why it is important that your birds are relatively uniform in size and weight. Two farmers can stock 200 broiler chickens at the same time, but if for one reason or another, one of them fails to adhere to the tips I want to share, he will have the least turnover, even if he is using the best feed in the world.
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Why This Knowledge is a Plus for You
As simple as this is, many farmers are unaware and are unable to maximize their profit in the business. So that you can maximize your own profit, it’s high time you started paying attention to the little details that bring massive income for you. Let me quickly show you some factors that affect uniformity in broiler chickens, and how you can use them to your own advantage.
It Begins with Brooding
The problem of unevenness in the weight of your broiler flock starts from their brooding. If a farmer can manage to get good uniformity in broiler chickens for the first 4 weeks of their life, the rest will be easy.
How Lighting Affects Uniformity in Broiler Chickens
From the chick stage to market stage, lighting is an important aspect of the life of a broiler. During brooding, proper lighting allows your broiler chickens to have equal access to feed. And for the records, feed is what your broilers need to grow. If some birds are left in an area of low lighting while others have access to sufficient light, unevenness cannot be ruled out. This is why you must ensure that you distribute your light source evening across the pen. Also, replace bad bulbs as soon as you notice because this is paramount to your profit in the business.
Cold Due to Poor Bedding/Litter
This is applicable for those using the deep litter system. If the floor of your pen is not evenly covered with the litter material, some of your chicks will be exposed to bare floor. This will result in cold, and they will sit on the floor in an attempt to generate heat for themselves. Even if these cold birds eat, they will end up using a good amount of the feed to generate heat. The interesting thing is that many farmers overlook this part, and doing what is right will put you ahead of them. Here’s what you should do to improve the uniformity of your broiler chickens. Make sure to get enough wood shavings or any other litter material and spread throughout the pen. Don’t leave any bare floor, it is bad for your chicks.
Cold Due to Poor Heating
This is very similar to the last one mentioned. If you fail to give your broilers the required heat, or the heat is not circulated properly, you will be compromising the uniformity of your broiler chickens. Always make sure to place heating devices at strategic positions to aid even circulation of heat. Also, when you notice that some chicks are crowded together, it might be because of low heat. So, go straight to your thermometer to check. Don’t let cold steal your profit.
How Inadequate Feeding Affects Uniformity in Broiler Chickens
It is only normal for some chicks to be stronger than others. However, you can help the weaker ones grow fast by providing sufficient feed. If you fail to provide sufficient feed for your broiler chickens, the stronger ones will eat first. Leaving nothing for the weaker ones. The longer you practice this evil, the more the gap in their weight and sizes, and the more you lose your profit. Here is what to do. Always provide enough feed for your birds to promote uniformity in weight and size of your broilers.
How Sorting Affects Uniformity in Broiler Chickens
Sorting is not a term that is limited to fish farming, it is important in broiler farming as well. Male broilers are know to be more aggressive than the females when feeding. They also have the tendency to cheat the females, hence, the need to separate the males from the females. You might ask, “at what point should I separate them?” I would say you can separate them as soon as you introduce the grower mash, which is usually at the beginning of their fifth week
How Poor Orientation of Broiler House Affects Uniformity
The normal orientation of your broiler pen is East-West orientation. That is, the sides of your broiler pen MUST NOT FACE THE SUN RISE AND SUN SET. If it does, the amount of solar radiation in your pen will be high. Now you want to ask me how this will affect uniformity in broiler chickens. I am glad to answer that question. The sun will heat up the broiler house, and the drinkers, making the water in the affected drinkers hot.
Now, not all the drinkers will be affected. But the broilers drinking from the affected drinkers will not be encouraged to drink. This will in turn affect their feeding as they will not want to eat as well. Meaning, while some of them who drink cool water are eating, the rest of them are panting and praying for rain. Well, I hope they even survive the heat. If they do, they will not grow evenly.
How Diseases Affect Uniformity in Broiler Flock
A lot of poultry diseases begin in the gut and will naturally affect feeding. That is, when your broilers have these diseases, they don’t eat well. Now, I will like to remind you that most diseases begin with only a small fraction of the flock. While others are healthy, some are sick, and not eating well. As a poultry farmer, failure to tackle/combat these diseases promptly may affect their growth significantly. In fact, some diseases will stunt the growth of your broilers for life.
How Poor Ventilation Affects Uniformity in Broiler Chickens
Yes! The dangers of poor ventilation are numerous and poor uniformity in broiler chicks is one of them. Poor ventilation in your broiler house will lead to increased Co2 and less oxygen (O2). Because oxygen is necessary for every aspect of your chicken’s life, the inadequate supply will affect growth. This means that with poor ventilation, you are preparing for uneven growth in your broiler flock. Solution is – use appropriate housing, hang curtains when necessary, and always provide cross ventilation.
So, you have just read some of the possible factors affecting your flock’s uniformity. Now the most important part is this. If you fail to practice the above, you might be a victim of one of the following.
Consequences of Uneven Growth or Poor Uniformity in Broiler Chickens
- Poor market value of your birds: inability to achieve uniformity in the growth of your broiler chickens will hurt you. Some of your birds will reach target weight before the rest, and you will either spend more time fattening or sell off. You will lose some money either ways.
- Delayed Sales: People who buy in large quantities will most likely refuse your offer. At best, they will select the big chickens if you fail to achieve uniformity in your broiler chickens.
- Delayed Cropping and stocking: If you practice an all in – all out system, you will have to delay your cropping because of the birds that fail to reach target weight. This will delay your next stocking
ALSO READ: 4 Natural Growth Promoters for Broilers
I am very sure that you do not want to be stuck, and you want maximum return on your investment. If that is true, then you will treat uniformity in broiler flocks as important.
I hope I have been able to help you discover where you might be getting it wrong. If you have any other idea, you can share in the comment section below.