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

Poultry production: Possible reasons for poor feathering in chickens

Question: My chicks don’t have any feathers on their chests or backs. They are 42 days old today and have to be slaughtered. Can you tell me why this has happened? Could you please give a table that indicates what their weight gain should be today?

Poor feathering could have many causes:

  • Some breeds are slow feathering.
  • Deficiencies in the feeding ration can result in poor feathering – this would apply to vitamin B complex and some of the amino acids.
  • However, commercial broiler rations contain the recommended levels of the nutrients needed for optimum performance.
  • If you brood the broilers too hot then poor feathering can result.
  • The chicks should start off at 32°C and the temperature should be 21°C at 21 days.
  • Ensure that there is always fresh air moving through the house.
  • Each broiler breed has a table of body weights that can be attained if the broilers are correctly managed.
  • The weights listed in the table below are generally being reached by most farmers.

Also read:
Poultry production: How to check the general health of your chickens
Poultry production: Raising broiler chickens without electricity
Poultry production: What causes poor body weight in broilers?

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

share this