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Home Farming Tips  Stock Broilers For Christmas Season

 Stock Broilers For Christmas Season

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The country and region will need broilers around Christmas, which is two months away. It is the time to stock.   

If well kept, the broilers should be ready for sale by the 5-6th week when they weigh 1.7-2kgs. 

The average cost for a broiler of that weight is sh15,000. If you lost 10 of the 500 birds, and then sold 490 at sh15,000, that gives you sh7.35m. 

If you subtract the running costs of sh4.1m for feeds, sh1m for stocking and sh100,000 for water, you have a profit of between sh1.5m and sh2m in just eight weeks. You then rest the house for two weeks and restock again. 

Set up the structures 

As you set up the structure next week, book the day-old chicks because some suppliers take one to two weeks to deliver. 

To have commercial viability, start with at least 500-day-old birds. The average cost per day-old broiler is sh2,000, which means that you need at least sh1,000,000 for 500-day-old broilers.  

Spacing is about 11 to 13 broilers per square metre per bird. So you need a structure that is about 20×20 feet to accommodate them. 

The size of the structure expands with the number of birds that you are stocking. 

Broiler structures are not as expensive as those for layers. You can use cheap wood shavings to set up the sides –up to around three feet high, and then roof using iron sheets (if you can afford them) or papyrus. A structure for 500 birds can cost you between sh1-3m to set up. 

This is, however, a long-term structure that will be used over many years, so do not count it as part of the running costs.  

As broilers live close together, the floor should be covered with about 6 inches of liter (wood shavings) to absorb the droppings.

The litter must be kept dry at all times. Also, make sure that the house is well-ventilated because chicken need a lot of air for breathing.  

You then have to disinfect the house seven days before the arrival of the chicks. You also have to clean and disinfect all the equipment-that includes feeders and drinkers. You must also ensure that you have got enough charcoal to warm the stoves. 

Equipment needed 

For every 40 birds, you need 1 drinker, this means that for 500 birds, you need 13 drinkers. Drinkers cost starts from sh15,000 depending on the quality so this means that you need at least sh195,000 to buy the drinkers. 

For every 20 broilers, you need 1 feeder. This means that for 500 birds, you need 25 feeders. 

Feeders cost from sh10,000 depending on the quality, so this means that you need at least sh250,000 for this item for every 500 birds. These can be used over several years too. 

Brooding 

You need to pick a section of the house and construct a brooder in which the chicks will first be kept. You are advised to use hardwood or boards. 

It should be 2ft high, the length and breadth depend on the number of chicks you are stocking. 

However, each brooder should not hold more than 300 chicks. 3-6 hours before the arrival of the chicks, put on the heat to attain a temperature of around 30 degrees Celsius. You can measure the temperature using a thermometer. 

Then, you are ready to stock. You also need to make a glucose solution in a ratio of 1kg of sugar to 10 litres of water. Then place the drinkers and feeders around the heat source. 

Vaccinate 

On arrival, count the chicks, make sure that all of them have been vaccinated against new castle disease and gumboro, then record the starting number and then put them around the heat source. 

You then let them drink water for at least two hours before feeding them. 

Feeding 

It is important to stock all the feeds required through the six-seven weeks on the day you stock the day-old chicks. In total, a broiler feeds on 3-5kgs in its seven weeks lifespan. 

This means that you multiply 5×500 to get the total amount of feeds required. At the moment, pelleted feeds cost sh1,650 per kilogram on average and with 500 birds, you need at least sh4.1m to buy all the feeds.  

For a start, give them a broiler starter mash and maintain a steady temperature for the first 14 days. Then broiler grower for the next 15 days and turn to broiler finisher. 

As the chicks grow, increase spacing. The brooder can be removed after 3 weeks and then revert the chicks to normal heating. 

Bio-security 

Remember to disinfect whoever is visiting the house and keep away all unessential visitors. Do not let grass and bushes overgrow near the chicken houses because they invite rodents that not only feast on the feeds, but may also carry diseases. 

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