Breeding poultry has several very important stages in its growth dynamics. The most important of them is the chicken care stage. Here, as well as with people, a pattern is in effect - if the chickens did not receive the necessary care, food, and housing conditions at the beginning of their life, then in subsequent development they will noticeably lag behind the norm.
That is why it is necessary to take a very responsible attitude to this period of bird life.
Feature of keeping chickens in the first days of life
The first thing you should pay attention to when raising very young chickens is the room and housing conditions. The room must meet certain requirements:
- The room should be clean, well ventilated and warm. Chickens should be there comfortable and calm.
- The room for chickens should be spacious enough, such that there are no more than 25 chickens per square meter inside. Such density will be optimal for their excellent well-being.
- After 5 weeks, it is recommended to reduce their density to 17 heads per 1 square meter.
- After 10 weeks, carry out this procedure again, but reduce the density to 10 birds per square meter.
- In the first days of life for the safety of offspring can lay the paper as a litter. Food can be poured directly onto it, it is safe.
- Litter can be deep. This type of litter, such as peat, is good because it keeps birds' paws warm and dry, absorbs odorless chicken droppings and can be used after complete pollution as a valuable fertilizer for a vegetable garden. Also as a litter you can use straw, wood chips or sawdust. You can make a mix of all the above components - it will be, perhaps, the best solution!
- Another point about the room in which your chickens will be kept. Make sure the floor in the hen house is warm, by no means cold. Also avoid litter moisture, keep it dry and warm. This can be achieved by its periodic loosening.
- Chickens should not walk on drinking bowls and feeders. This leads to serious contamination of their food and water with dirt and droppings and subsequent diseases.
- Try to maintain a high temperature for chickens in the range of 29-32 degrees Celsius in the first 5 days of their life. Then you can begin to gradually reduce it (6 days - 26 degrees, 10 days - 23, 1 month of life - 18 degrees Celsius). Chickens in the first days of life easily die from the usual room temperature of 20 degrees.
- In the matter of the combination of lighting and heating infrared lamps will help you. This is a good solution for the coop in which the young are.
If you want to lay the best foundation for their development and subsequent health during this period of bird life, then we recommend that you add such ingredients to their food - ground eggs, cottage cheese, you can mix these ingredients with cereals such as semolina or corn.
Adding a small amount of whole milk powder will also be appropriate.
You can also include in the nutrient mixture and oatmeal.
When the chickens reach 3-5 days old, you can start giving them greens, chopping them finely beforehand.
From the 10th day of life, boiled vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, zucchini and so on should be introduced into the diet of chickens.
Blend - an excellent choice for chickens from a young age! However, the broth on the broth should not be given to chickens in the first days of life.
Do not forget about small gravel and sand in separate tanks. These components are necessary for chickens for better digestion and assimilation of food.
Such a diet rich in proteins and vitamins will win a significant and important role in building a strong skeleton of a bird and its strong immunity. It is better to invest at the beginning of a high-quality and nutritious food, than to splurge on medicines! The result is worth it.
How to determine that chicks need vitamins?
Vitamins as well as medicines have a general principle that is often followed by smart doctors in medicine. This principle says - "Do no harm!"
Vitamins are not a harmless dietary supplement, they rather seriously regulate a number of the most important functions of the chicken. Therefore, the use and input of vitamins in food, especially synthetic ones, should be carried out with greater caution!
The main symptoms of a lack of vitamins in chickens:
- Weak appetite
- Putting up other chicks,
- Dim look plumage.
Only when detecting the pronounced symptoms of vitamin deficiency described above in chickens should their use in a synthetic form be intensified. In the normal mode, it is worthwhile to manage to obtain vitamins from natural sources, which we will discuss below.
What is the role of vitamins for chickens?
Vitamins for chickens play an important role in regulating and correcting the development of all the systems of the chicken's body. A shortage or excess of a particular vitamin or an entire group affects both immediate results - poor appetite, sluggish behavior, low weight gain, or lack thereof, and delayed - developmental defects, increased aggressiveness or, conversely, bird apathy, weak or absent egg-laying and so on
Vitamin A is very important for chickens, since it is he who regulates both the metabolism of a bird and its active growth. It is possible to track its activity in adult hens by the color of the yolk of the egg and by the size of the egg. If you see that the eggs of the chicken are small and with a pale yolk - this is a signal of a lack of vitamin A group. Also, the lack of this vitamin is indicated by the drying of the skin and the cornea in chickens.
Vitamin D is responsible for the growth and formation of strong bone tissue. A bird receiving this vitamin in sufficient quantities will never get rickets. The signal of vitamin D deficiency in the chicken is a soft shell, or an egg without a shell at all, in a soft shell.
A bird can get it regularly if it is under sunlight. In the winter, to get this vitamin will help her yeast and hay flour.
Vitamin E is responsible for organizing the work of muscle and nerve connections, as well as for strong immunity. Also, this vitamin regulates the fertility of chickens. With its shortage, the hens will have unfertilized eggs, and the roosters will become sterile. You can take it from eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and wheat germ.
Vitamin B (B1, B2, B6, B12) regulates the work of the digestive and endocrine systems, as well as the mucous membranes. The source of this vitamin is beans, fish meal, cottage cheese.
Vitamins A and E necessary for chickens should be prescribed to chicks not earlier than 5 days of age. From the 5th day of life they can be given these vitamins 1 drop for 2 chicken. In the future, you can smoothly increase the dosage up to 2 drops for 35-45 day of life.
Calcium gluconate as a valuable food additive for birds is very common. Apply it in the form of crushed tablets according to the following method:
- Upon reaching the age of 5 days, a dose of 1 tsp for 3 chicken is put,
- From the age of 9 days, 1 teaspoonful for 2 chicken,
- From 12 days old, 1 teaspoon per chicken,
- From the age of 15 days on 1 dessert spoon for one chicken,
- From the 25th day of life, you can increase the dosage to 1 tablespoon per chicken.
The best approach is to extract vitamins from natural sources by the bird:
- Vitamin A will be happy to get carrots from root vegetables. It should be given in a pre-grated form in the amount of 1 teaspoon per 10 chickens.
- Upon reaching the chicks of 3 days of age, you can enter into the diet and grated cabbage in the same concentration as carrots.
- An excellent and nutritious addition to regular chicken food is steamed and chopped hay, which is rich in both protein and hydrocarbons.
- In spring and summer, the green leaves of chamomile, nettle and green onions will greatly enrich the diet of chickens, which you can find both in the yard and not far from the house.
The mixture which is popularly called “Trivitamin” works well. It consists of vitamins A, D2 (in its absence it can be replaced by vitamin D3, but its stronger effect should be taken into account!) And vitamin E in the dosage of 1 tsp. Since these vitamins come from the group of fat-soluble, then this mixture is not bad to add 200-250 grams of any vegetable oil. The mixture should be mixed and put on time in a cool, dark place.
Use "Trivitamin" in a concentration of 10 teaspoons per 10 liters of feed for chickens. Its main purpose is to prevent diseases of the joints and cartilage in birds, claudication and degenerative processes in the backbone. This vitamin mix will make the backbone of your bird strong and healthy!
A good result shows the use of fish or bone meal in small quantities. You can give it to chickens from 14 days of age.
There are several important points in growing chickens that every beginning farmer should know about. Read more about this in our article.
Chickens are susceptible to coccidiosis. This is a terrible disease that can be fatal for the majority of the livestock. How to prevent chickens from becoming infected with this disease, read here.
Proper fortification scheme
The difference between broiler chickens and others is that they are growing rapidly. These are hybrids. created by scientists artificially. If ordinary clubs are formed for half a year, then meat crosses gain 2 kg each. for a couple of months. The diet should correspond to the age of the livestock. Without proper nutrition, not only growth will be delayed, dangerous diseases can be triggered.
Literally every day is important in growing tiny chicks.
- On the first day you can offer whey, yogurt.
- After 3 days - fresh greens, germinated grain are necessary.
- 5th day - green onions, chopped.
- 7th day - chopped carrots.
Lactic acid microorganisms are required for proper intestinal function. Therefore, dairy products should be in the diet constantly. Onions have a powerful antibacterial effect. Also in the first days it is required to give a glucose solution - it is added in the amount of 10%. It is glucose that accelerates growth processes, decomposing residues of yolk decomposition products.
Specially created complexes are added from 5 days, follow the instructions. Vitamins dissolve in water or drip directly into the prepared feed. In the second case, they remain active longer. Cannot use hot mash! Mixed feed is better for this. Vitamin mixtures are composed of amino acids, minerals and antibiotics that do not tolerate high temperatures.
Natural Vitamin Supplements
Keeping poultry on its own plot has several advantages. Natural dressing can be grown right on the garden. One of the most affordable and useful is the usual green feather onions. In warm countries, it grows almost all year round. It contains sulfur, prevents the appearance of parasites, normalizes the work of the stomach.
At first, they add at the rate of 1 gr. on the head, then adjusted to 5 oz. Before giving to chickens, feathers should be crushed. You can also give sliced onions. Previously they are kept until the unpleasant smell disappears.
- Before there, how to give the bird, rinse the greens thoroughly.
- Choose weeds - for example, celandine is deadly for chickens.
- Be sure to chop the herbs, it can clog the esophagus.
What else need to give greens? Ordinary cabbage makes up for the lack of vitamin K. Before you add to the mash, it must be grated. Dandelion leaves, nettle are rich in nutrients. Since there are a lot of them in the summer, it is advisable to prepare greens for future use. To save vitamins, drying is carried out under sheds. In winter, such an additive allows the hens to maintain productivity.
In the second week of life, it is necessary to add normal yeast to the food, at the rate of 1 tsp. on 10 heads Yeast stimulates proper growth, forms a healthy microflora.
Mandatory for the full development of any poultry. Broilers that have not been given enough macro and microelements may develop lameness. Necessary for normal life in the first place:
In the finished premixes, they are all contained in the right proportions. Those who want to make a diet on their own will have to keep track of the right amount of minerals in the feed.
- Cockleshell - the daily rate of about 9% of the diet. For chickens from the third day of life - 1%. Contains not only calcium, but also magnesium, iodine.
- Phosphates - make up for the lack of phosphorus. Fodder, mono- and dithicalcium phosphate are used. Given in combination with calcium as a percentage of 2 to 1 for chickens, 3 to 1 for adult birds.
- Fish meal, bone, meat and bone - this supplement contains a large amount of protein. Fish - phosphorus, meat and bone - calcium. This should be considered so as not to cause hypervitaminosis. For example, for meat breeds, phosphorus is optional, if flour is given.
- Wood ash - a whole range of minerals, including manganese, magnesium, calcium. One individual requires 10 grams. Many owners put a special container on the territory of the house, where ashes are poured. The bird eats it, takes baths, which serve as prevention from the presence of skin and feather parasites.
- Lake silt (sapropel) is a protein supplement in which there are minerals. Give 20 grams. on the head, chickens need less - 5-10 gr.
Many useful elements are part of the fish, so it is recommended to buy fish meal and give it a little. Until the chicken is one month old, the daily rate should be 5 g. After a month, the chick should receive 12 g per day. It is also desirable to introduce into the diet fermented milk products.
After broilers are one month old, potatoes should be included in the fourth part of the menu. This bird loves her very much and eats with pleasure. Another favorite vegetable of chickens is daikon, but you should not give it a lot.
What to do if there are not enough vitamins in the diet
Vitamins for chickens in the diet should be enough, but if they are not enough, it adversely affects the growth and health of the bird. Determine the lack of nutrients can be on the appearance of the chick. He is not gaining weight and looks sluggish.
If there are deviations, then you do not need to treat the bird yourself at home. Call the vet, he will examine the animal and tell you what the problem is. Maybe an unhealthy diet was chosen for the chicken, the doctor will tell you what to add to the diet. But it can also be that the reason for such a condition of a broiler is some serious disease.
Avitaminosis can be determined by the appearance of the bird. It is necessary to examine the joints, if they become larger in size, this is the first sign of arthritis. Such a disease occurs only in cases where the chicken is malnourished. This may also indicate that there is not enough vitamin D in the diet. If in the summer, the sun gives this component, then in the winter it should be added to water.
Vitamins A and D must be in the diet. It is necessary for the bird for normal growth and the prevention of various diseases. So if you breed broilers in the winter, it is better to stock up on these vitamins in advance. They must be given from the first day of life.
For normal growth, a chicken needs vitamins and sometimes antibiotics. At each age set and dosage of them are different. Proper feeding will allow the bird to fully develop, which is very important for people who grow broilers for sale.
If you notice that the chick is behaving in a strange way, immediately call a veterinarian. It may be that the chicken picked up some kind of infection. In this case, the doctor prescribes antibiotics. In general, with proper and complete nutrition, health problems should not arise in a broiler.