In broiler production, specially formulated feed for every stage of the bird’s life is one of the pillars of success. For optimal growth and profits, small-scale farmers can rely on the Meadow Feeds range to ensure their broilers receive quality nutrition as their requirements change.
Small-scale broiler production is an incredible opportunity to produce an affordable protein source in the shortest possible time – a full cycle takes only six weeks.
Success in this business rests on three equally important pillars: chicks, management and feed. In addition to this, it is very important to purchase chicks from a reputable supplier. This will facilitate a good start, as you can be assured you are dealing with quality birds that have been selected for growth when they are fed quality feed.
It is also advisable to place chick orders well in advance to ensure that first-grade birds are received. But even the best-quality chicks and feed will not guarantee success if the broilers are not properly managed.
As chicks grow and develop, their nutrient requirements change. For this reason, feed is specifically formulated for different stages of the bird’s life. A combination of crumbs and pellets are fed for optimal growth and better feed conversion. The Meadow Feeds Budget range is fed as follows:
■ Meadow Budget Starter crumbs are fed to chicks from Day 1 to Day 18, with a total intake of about 800g to 1kg per bird over that period. Starter is formulated for optimal skeletal and organ development, which is the basis of future growth.
■ Meadow Budget Grower pellets are fed to birds from Day 19 to Day 32, with a total intake of 1.2kg–1.5kg per bird for the period. Grower is formulated for optimal organ and muscle development.
■ Finally, Meadow Budget Finisher pellets are fed from Day 33 to Day 42, with a total intake of 1.5kg–1.8kg per bird. Finisher is formulated for optimal muscle and feather development.
For a house with 1 000 birds, at least 20 feeders and 20 drinkers are required. However, in the first seven days, chick paper with additional feed on the floor is also needed, as this gives the chicks easy access to the feed. It is essential that chicks have access to feed and water as soon as they are placed in the house, and the paper helps the chicks find feed quickly and easily.
A second advantage is that it limits wastage, as the feed is kept separate from the bedding or direct flooring. Never fall into the trap of trying to save on feed costs by diluting the balanced feed with other raw materials such as maize – this will result in poor growth and increase the risk of birds developing coccidiosis.
Once mortalities and a loss in weight have occured, your profits from the cycle will decrease significantly.
In order to optimise profitability, the birds need to reach their maximum bodyweight at market age. That is why it is essential to purchase feed only from a reputable supplier and market-leading manufacturer.
The Meadow Feeds range of commercial broiler feed is carefully formulated to ensure that broilers receive all the nutrients they require in order to reach their full genetic potential.