Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Broiler Breeder Project  (Read 28123 times)

polaris

  • Joined Mar 2014
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2015, 01:04:15 am »
I'd happily arrange to buy hatching eggs regularly! If you have any available please let me know!

Clansman

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Ayrshire
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2015, 10:20:05 am »
Won't have any eggs till at least July, after that I should have plenty!  :fc:

Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2015, 05:02:12 pm »
Interesting project. Are you setting up a list for buying hatching eggs? I would love to add my name to the list for July or whenever.
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit.

Clansman

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Ayrshire
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2015, 05:12:34 pm »
Yes I could do something like that although I'll not count my chickens before they're hatched and all that  :innocent:

I think there are maybe 3 TAS members who'll have these parent birds and I'll be keeping in touch with the non TAS members who have them so hopefully we'll be able to source plenty eggs if needed.

I'm hoping to have 50-100 hatching eggs per week and hatch as many as I can but should have spare, I haven't really the space here to be rearing 500+  broilers  :innocent:


Clansman

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Ayrshire
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2015, 12:22:22 pm »
D Day -1  :thumbsup:

Collecting the chicks off the lorry at stupid o'clock tomorrow morning (Oh how I miss those days!)  :innocent:

There's a brief summary at the bottom if you want to skip all of this  :innocent:

My set up for brooding these for the first few weeks is:

8 x 6 wooden shed (Lightproofed)
thin layer of sawdust on the floor,
a couple of electric brooding lamps,
chick drinkers
a few feed trays with standard starter crumb
LED lights on a timer.

Normally the males are reared separately but as I am going to have 4 males and 20 females I'll just mark the males with leg rings or spray and rear them all together.

Important to mark them because as I mentioned previously, the males and females are essentially a different breed therefore all females from the male strain hatch 'should' have been removed and vice versa from the female strain.

If one of these sneaks through the sexing process (its under a 1% probability) they will still breed but their chicks will not give the same performance.

So mark them and make sure they do grow up into boys  :innocent:

If one of your girls turns out to be a boy and breeds then you will get poor performing black chicks, from two recessive white parents! yeah I don't get it either! thats genetics for ya!   ;D

If you go and read the Aviagen technical stuff your head will probably explode so i'm going to post up the basic procedures i'm going to be following.

We're winging it a bit with these and a lot of what should be done commercially, we as smallholders won't be able to do but we can get close enough with a little bit of work.

On the flip side we can do things the commercial boys could only dream of!  ;D

Weighing 100% of the rearing flock to find the average flock weight and weight spread would be a dream come true for a commercial farm, that would take them a solid week with a very large squad of workers!

Now as none of us probably have any access to non bulk, cheap, specially formulated poultry feed manufacturers I'm going to be using 3 bog standard rations for these that you'll be able to get from any decent agricultural suppliers.

Starter crumb, growers, and a breeders ration.

0 - 28 days Starter crumb

28 days - approx 25 weeks - growers ration

25 weeks onwards - breeder ration

Easy enough so far?  ;D

WATER

Access to fresh water at all times.

don't give new chicks cold water, warm it in the brooder area first, if its really cold then drinking it can chill them enough to kill them.

Easy  :thumbsup:

FEED

These birds should be on a restricted diet from day 2 onwards.

This will go against how anyone on here has probably ever raised chicks before, usually we give them unlimited access to a huge pile of starter crumbs for as long as they like.

These birds are essentially eating machines, If we give them unlimited feed they will be over 2Kg by 5 weeks of age, never breed or even lay an egg.

We're aiming to have them reach 2Kg at 19 weeks of age, its a HUGE difference and will require a little care and attention.

Here's the Aviagen feeding guide.

Again we're going to have to wing it a bit on this, especially once the birds are off heat etc

These figures are for specially formulated rations and birds kept in a temperature controlled environment at around 21 centigrade.

Once off heat, mine will be kept at whatever temperature it is outside, so i'm going to have to feed them more than this to maintain them.



The key here is keeping close to the target bodyweight, if we can do that we're halfway there.

As the most any of us will have is 24 birds (some only 12) it should be easy enough to weigh them at least once a week just to see where they are.

If they are too light we increase the feed slightly, if they are too heavy we keep the feed at the level its at until they return to target weight.

The amount of feed should NEVER be decreased to bring heavy birds back into line.

I'm expecting some people to struggle with this, its very hard to stick to and always tempting to give them a little extra as a treat  ;D

Once they get too far out of line they'll never really recover and you'll just end up with some lovely big white fluffy hens running around that lay an egg once in a blue moon  ;D

If you're having to feed them 100g each to maintain the bodyweight when the guide says 60g then so be it, its just a guide, we're running outside their brooding parameters so we'll just compensate to suit.

Bodyweight is the key, stick to it as closely as you can whatever it takes.

LIGHTING

The recommendation here is:

Day  1 - 23 hours light/1 hour dark
Day  2 - 23 hours light
Day  3 - 19 hours light
Day  4 - 16 hours light
Day  5 - 14 hours light
Day  6 - 12 hours light
Day  7 - 11 hours light
Day  8 - 10 hours light
Day  9 - 9 hours light
Day 10 - 8 hours light

Day 146 (21 weeks) - start to increase slowly to 16 hours per day as laying begins

Now i'm running electric brooders so i'm stuffed for keeping to this lighting programme, mine are going to be on 24 hours light till the heat goes off  :innocent:

After that i'll bring them down slowly to 10 hours light per day, (i'm not going as low as 8 )

I will split the light up so they get a break period rather than 14 hours of darkness so they can drink and have a run about.

e.g. lights on for 8 hours through the day (8am-4pm) then give them 2 hours light between 11pm and 1am

That gives them two 7 hours dark periods, I'm happy with that.

The importance of the lighting restriction is not to bring them into lay/sexual maturity too early.

it would be possible to over feed them and give them too much light so that they would begin to lay at around 12 weeks old which would be a bit of disaster all round.

the egg numbers would be drastically reduced, they would be small, infertile and the birds would never reach full potential.

That looks a lot i've posted there but don't worry!  :innocent:

Brief summary :

Feed Starter crumb till 28 days
start off at the feed amounts shown in the guide and adjust as necessary to the weight of the bird.
Lighting programme if you can or just wait till they are off heat like me.

:thumbsup:
« Last Edit: February 10, 2015, 05:04:38 pm by Clansman »

Dave C

  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Teesdale, Co Durham
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2015, 04:38:44 pm »
Very interesting, I am enjoying this post although I free range my table birds, it's still interesting to see how professionals do it.

Hope it all goes well for you.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2015, 04:42:34 pm by Dave C »

Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2015, 07:04:58 pm »
interesting but how are you going to stop the greedy ones over feeding?
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit.

Clansman

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Ayrshire
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2015, 07:57:23 pm »
Because they are on restricted feeding they will clear the food that they get very quickly.

Its a big rush to eat it as fast as possible so as long as they have plenty feeding space and can't push each other out of the way then they should all eat at a similar speed and get a pretty even amount.

Similar to feeding pigs, as long as the food is spread around evenly they all get an even share and only fight over the last few bits.

I'm going to have 24 birds, i'll split them into 4 pens of 6 birds and just have one large tube feeder in each pen which will give them plenty feeding space.

Feeding a mash instead of a pellet will slow down the speed they can eat it at and again help even out the amount each one gets, commercially this is hard to do and pellets are normally used which are thrown out by a spinner system similar to a tractor spreading fertilizer except its spread over 360 degrees
« Last Edit: February 10, 2015, 08:13:48 pm by Clansman »

Clansman

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Ayrshire
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2015, 01:09:24 pm »
They're here!  :thumbsup:

The males are mixed in now and are all sporting a rather fetching black head design done in the latest permanent marker style  :innocent:

They are a bit huddled looking but I took the pictures seconds after I placed them into the brooder, they are a lot more spread out now  :thumbsup:










Victorian Farmer

  • Guest
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2015, 04:54:36 pm »
THIS IS the brooding pens i use 4 8 foot by 8 in a line and always use medicated crumbs .They hold 1 tray of 50 chicks and has much food as they wont .
« Last Edit: February 11, 2015, 04:56:09 pm by Victorian Farmer »

Clansman

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Ayrshire
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2015, 08:34:56 pm »
My brooding area for these at the moment  is a 6 foot fishtank in my front room!  :innocent:

Mammyshaz

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Durham
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2015, 10:22:53 pm »
My brooding area for these at the moment  is a 6 foot fishtank in my front room!  :innocent:

Hahaha, that's as bad as me! It's usually a guinea pig cage in the living room. They are well socialised with kids dogs and cats by the time they progress to the outside run  :chook:

Clansman

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Ayrshire
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2015, 10:27:45 am »
6 days in and they're looking good  :thumbsup:

So far out of the 100 females and 20 males we've lost one of each, both within the first couple of days.

I actually went through every bird on the first day and made sure they were all eating and drinking, I found one male which didn't have any food in its crop and I suspect thats probably the one which died.

I weighed the chicks on arrival and they ranged from between 35g to 45g

I weighed them again yesterday at 5 days old and they're 70-90g so pretty much doubled in weight in 5 days.

Growing well and starting to feather up nicely.

So they are all now eating, drinking and past the dangerous stage, hopefully we won't lose many more.  :thumbsup:

Most of them have been distributed out to the people who wanted some now, I'm keeping a few until collection/delivery can be arranged and some till they are off heat.

 :thumbsup:

Clansman

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Ayrshire
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2015, 08:24:12 am »
Day 8

Lost another male, it started to fall behind the others and went down off its legs so I culled it.

The rest are growing fast, its noticeable every morning the change in size in them.

The males were given laser beak treatment at Day Old which basically passes a strong laser through the tip of the beak killing the tissue, same idea as laser hair removal I suppose.

This replaces the old beaktrimming (or debeaking as it used to be called) method of cutting and cauterising the tip of the beak with a red hot blade.

The tip of the beak goes black and this morning I spotted one which has now fallen off, looks a good clean job.

Average weight this morning looks to be around 110g which isn't far away from target weight.

Still feeding ad lib and on 24 hours light

Clansman

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Ayrshire
Re: Broiler Breeder Project
« Reply #29 on: February 18, 2015, 09:23:20 am »
One of the group buyers has dropped out so I now have another 20 ish females and 4 males available.

Ideally i'd like them to go in batches of 10 females and 2 males but if you are happy to risk just having 1 male i'll sell 5 females and a male.

They cost me 4.20 each at day old.
I can keep them till they are off heat or longer for 50p a bird per week to cover feed if anyone is interested.

 

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