One of the things that will guarantee the successful growth of your poultry farming business is how well you take care of the chickens.
If you are a poultry farmer, then it is essential for you to know how to take care of chickens so that they grow properly and stay healthy.
Chickens are very delicate animals, as a result, you must provide basic care.
This article highlights some basic routines poultry farmers must follow to ensure the proper growth of the chickens.
The routines have been divided into daily and monthly chicken care routines.
If you are ready for it, let’s dive right in.
How to take care of chickens daily
As part of your duty to take care of your chickens properly, you need to attend to them daily.
By attending to them daily, you get to provide the chickens with everything they need to grow and survive.
In addition, a daily visit to your poultry farm will help you identify sick birds immediately before it spreads.
So, if you want to grow happy chickens, here are some of the daily tasks for caring for chickens;
1. Refill the chicken feed
So, it is not surprising that chickens love to always peck on their food every minute of the day.
As part of your daily task of caring for your chicken, you need to refill their feed.
Depending on the type of poultry system you operate, the feeder may differ.
In a battery cage system of poultry farming, the feeder is attached to the sides of the cage.
And as for the deep litter poultry farming system, poultry farmers use large hanging feeders.
To refill the battery cage chicken feeders, pour the feed into the feeding trough and spread uniformly.
Do not overfill the feeder so that the food does not spill as the chickens peck on the food.
In the case of the deep litter system of poultry farming, fill each of the hanging feeders until three quarters (¾) full.
2. Check the water for dirt, clean and fill the water.
Water is very important for your chickens, therefore, ensure they always have a clean source of fresh water.
Chickens don’t like to drink dirty water, and they can dehydrate if they’re without a clean drinking source even for a short time.
You need to change their water every day because shavings, straw, and poop can get in the water.
When this happens, it contaminates the water and makes it unfit for drinking.
Also, you need to refresh the water if you notice any debris or sliminess in the container.
Use dish soap and water for regular cleanings, and rinse well before refilling.
Also, you can use chlorine bleach or oxygen bleach to sanitize the water container, as long as you rinse it thoroughly.
3. Observe the chickens to ensure they are healthy.
As much as you can, spend some time with the flock.
Observe the chickens daily to make sure they are healthy.
Active, alert chickens with bright eyes and smooth feathers are a good sign.
A sick bird will be mostly inactive with eyes almost closing.
When you notice that some of your birds are inactive, isolate them immediately to prevent the spread of viral chicken diseases.
4. Collect eggs daily from the poultry farm
If you own a layers poultry farm, then this should be one of your daily tasks.
When you enter your farm in the morning, ensure you remove all the eggs.
It is easier to pick the eggs in a battery cage system since the eggs will roll out to the egg rack.
If you are using the deep litter system, then you must be very careful when picking the eggs.
This is because the chickens will mostly lay their eggs in the corners of the pen or in the chicken nests you make for them.
Collecting eggs daily ensures that they are as clean as possible.
It also minimizes cracked eggs and maximizes freshness.
Monthly tasks for caring for chickens
While there are some tasks that you need to do daily to take care of your chickens, there are some that you can do on a monthly basis.
1. Manage the bedding.
If you are using beddings in your poultry house, then litter management is one task you must not overlook.
How you do this depends on the litter method you are using.
For flocks that only have a small area, typically change the bedding in the coop at least monthly.
But flocks in larger spaces can use the deep litter method.
For this method, begin with 3 to 4 inches of bedding.
Each month (or when droppings build-up), add more bedding until you have 6 inches or more.
Then, remove all the bedding twice a year and start over.
Moreover, you can compost chicken litter for use in the garden; it is rich in nitrogen.
2. Freshen the nest boxes.
The nest box is the place where the chickens, especially layers, go to lay their eggs.
When the bedding in the nest box becomes dirty with poop or broken eggs, pull out the dirty parts and put in fresh bedding material.
This helps to keep your hens laying in the nest boxes, and it makes the job of cleaning eggs easier.
3. Sanitize the chicken waterers every month
At least once a month, you should give the water containers a deep clean.
Sanitize them with your choice of solution; the simplest is 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.
Then, scrub the waterers with dish soap and warm water, and rinse well to remove any remaining bleach and soap before refilling with fresh water.
Because of how important the health of chickens is, you as a poultry farmer must ensure that you take care of them.
You must maintain a consistent routine of feeding, cleaning and refilling water for the chickens.
When this is done, you make the chickens feel happy and enable them to thrive in good conditions.
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