houses; poultry; Zimbabwe; rodents; broilers; feathering; broiler

Poultry production: Broiler basics

Question: I would like to start a broiler operation on my cattle farm. I have 4 broiler houses measuring 120 m x 12 m, with a slope of 1.5 m down the side of each.

The size of your broiler houses leaves you with 1 440 m², which can accommodate 17 000 day-old broilers, with a recommended maximum stocking density of 12 broilers/m².

The 1.5 m slope you describe could pose a problem with the drinker systems, but this can be resolved quite easily.

Before you start your broiler operation you should attend to the following:

  • The houses require sufficient feeders and drinkers.
  • Suitable curtains – that close from the bottom upwards – need to be purchased and installed.
  • A sufficient supply of clean potable water is needed.
  • The brooding area requires lights as well as an efficient heating system.
  • The ceiling in the brooding area should be insulated.

You will also need to ascertain the market for the broilers. There are producers in the area who may ask you to grow for them on contract, but you also need to establish whether or not good-quality broiler chicks are readily available in your area.

Also read:
Feeding the modern broiler
Water tips for broiler chickens
What causes poor body weight in broilers?
Raising broiler chickens without electricity
Get to grips with feed conversion in broilers
Up broiler performance with these simple steps

  • This article was written by Dr. Mick Versfeld and first appeared in Farming SA.

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