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Animal Husbandry > Chicken

Growing chicks

Care of growing chicks

The brooder and artificial heat should be removed after about 6 weeks of age. Cull and dispose of unthrifty and sick chicks. Floor space should be 0.095-0.19 m2 floor space per bird. From 8 weeks of age, place the birds on a grower feed. A formula that can be used is given below..

Composition of grower ration

Ingredients Percentage
Yellow Maize 43
Groundnut cake (expeller) 8
Gingelly oil cake 5
Fish meal/dried unsalted fish 6
Rice polish 16
Wheat bran 20
Salt 0.25
Mineral mixture 1.75
(Source: Kerala Agricultural University)

Average feed consumption of egg type birds during growing period

Age in weeks Feed consumed (g/bird/day)
10 53.0
11 58.0
12 60.0
13 60.0
14 60.0
15 62.0
16 62.0
17 65.0
18 70.0
19 75.0
20 75.0
(Source: Kerala Agricultural University)

Feeding and watering

The number of feeders has to be increased, so also their height from the floor. The feeder space requirement for growing chicks is 10 cm per bird (considering both sides of the feeder). If tube feeders are used, provide one tube feeder of 25 kg capacity for 50 birds. The level of the mouth of feeder should be in line with the back of the bird or slightly high. Water should be available at all times, the water space requirement being 2-2.5 cm /bird.

Disease control

The birds should be vaccinated as detailed in the schedule for vaccination. Deworming should be done routinely as detailed earlier.

Debeaking: Debeaking prevents cannibalism and feed wastage. It is an established procedure for poultry management, usually carried out by means of thermocautery by using electric debeaker. It is important to remove only 1/3 of the upper beak and slight cutting only of the lower beak. Debeaking can be carried out between one day and six weeks of age. Debeaking may have to be repeated sometimes before the pullets are placed in the layer house, say at about 16 weeks of age. Birds under backyard system are not to be debeaked. If indicated broiler chicks may be debeaked during the first week. A trained person should carry out debeaking.

Dubbing: Dubbing may be resorted to in day old chicken belonging to breeds, which have larger/lopped comb.

Light: During night hours, light is not required for egg type growers.


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