Every broiler farmer desires to increase the weight of their broiler chickens in the shortest period of time but there are some factors may hinder the process. The factors include bad breed, poor nutrition, and welfare, diseases and many others.
To make your broilers grow as fast as you want them to, you must prevent these negative factors in an enabling environment and you will be able to grow your broiler to attain 2.5kg at week 5 (35 days) at minimum.
Fast growth of your broiler will ensure faster sale and with greater profit at 5 to 6 weeks, especially if you have eateries and hotels as customers.
To make this happen, there are steps that must be taken and they include:
Patronise a reputable hatchery
The beginning of a profitable broiler business starts with selecting the right breed from the various breeds of broiler available all over the world. In Nigeria for instance, there are 6 common breeds of broiler chickens and each of them has its own unique features. Since not all hatcheries are trustworthy, it becomes imperative that while purchasing your desired breed you must do a proper background check on the intended hatchery before securing your broiler chickens from them since your efforts will be in vain if you get a bad breed, and your broiler chickens will not grow as fast as expected.
Here are the 6 common broiler breeds in Nigeria so you can choose from them:
- Cornish Cross Broilers:
These are also known as “Cornish Rock and have been known to be fast growing broilers. It takes about 6 to 8 weeks to attain marketable size.
- Grinphield Marshall
This breed takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks to attain “table size” and they are often big and tall.
- Moyer’s K-22 ( also called Red Broilers)
They are less fatty so takes a longer time to attain “table size”. It has unique fragrant and the texture is excellent.
- Red Broilers
This breed has a strong resistance to diseases but takes a bit longer to grow. Their resistance to diseases makes them suitable for free-range.
- Roaster Chicks
Roaster chicks are also called Moyer’s Broiler or Cornish because they can attain a weight of over 2kg in 6 weeks. They also have good skin texture and the meat is tender.
- Rosambro Broilers.
These are the medium-grow type. Rosambro broiler chickens grow a bit faster than the red broilers and their meat is characterized by a special taste.
- The First 7 days are critical
Studies say that 80% of a broiler’s energy is focused on its growth while 20% is on maintenance hence the first 7 days of a chick’s life are very critical. That’s to say that if you give your chick an adequate amount of feed in a favorable environment the feed conversion ratio will be very high which is why you can see a day-old chick triple in size within one week.
The reverse becomes the case as the chick ages and this is why experts advise not to keep your broiler chicken beyond 8 weeks because at that stage the rate of feed conversion becomes very low and losses will be incurred.
- Don’t starve your bird
Well-fed broilers grow very fast, and in essence, live up to what is expected of them which is to produce heavy meat within a short time, hence the term “feed ad-libitum”.
- Maintain your chicken coop/pen
If you want your birds to grow very fast; maintaining the coop becomes a necessity and this includes providing fresh clean water on daily basis, making sure the water source is kept in a cool place, providing a safe coop with adequate lighting for them to feed properly. You must also conduct a periodic check on your coop for any signs of damage or any loose areas of the fencing; this will help protect the birds from predators.
Provide enough space in your pen as your chickens grow. Check for cracks where red mite can hide. The mite causes stress to chickens. A stressed chicken is prone to diseases and will not grow effectively.
- Use Natural Growth Promoters
Experts have warned against the use of antibiotics, so, instead of antibiotics, use more of natural herbs in poultry farming such as garlic, cayenne pepper, bitter kola, ginger, etc. These natural herbs will boost the growth of your broiler chickens and as well, serve as natural antibiotics against diseases.
- Don’t Be Stingy on Feed
Quality feed is the second most important requirement for a fast growing bird so you must get your feed from a reputable feed manufacturer. You may also consider adding calcium and mineral-rich additives such as oyster shell grit to your feed for an extra treat. You can as well formulate your feed or supplement the commercial ones to ensure your chickens get quality feed continuously, especially if you notice poor growth.
The feed should be stored in a cool dry and clean place to avoid feed contamination by rodent invasion. Try as much as possible to prevent mold growth which may lead to fungi infection.
- Separate Them According to Size
You have to sort the chicks they begin to grow as you will begin to notice some differences in size, behavior, and sex. Some will be bigger, the male will develop comb and look taller than the female, and in general, some will be small.
Sorting them is to achieve uniformity in growth among birds, keep the smaller ones in a separate pen and give them more feed with plenty of water. This is to also prevent them from bully as bullied chicken will always stay on a perch during feeding to avoid being pecked on by the bigger ones.
- Ensure Your Birds are Healthy
Be observant so you notice changes in the birds. Unhealthy birds do not eat as much as healthy ones and what they eat helps to fight diseases. A sick broiler will hardly grow fast, and if they do not grow well, they will not attain their full growth potentials. Whereas the healthy broilers, especially those with a healthy digestive system, will utilize nutrients and grow faster so, always make sure you keep your broiler chicken healthy and put biosecurity measures into place.