BROODING THE BIRDS: By practice, use one (1) watt per bird for heating bulbs. It is better to use several bulbs in smaller wattages, rather than using a100watt bulb when you brood 100 chicks. Temperature should be 70 to 75oF with the temperature at chicks’ level to be 95oF during the first week. The area assigned to these chicks should have some flexibility such that they can move through a range of temperatures (95 to 75oF). Monitor the birds for signs of stress; for instance, if the chicks are scattered around the area and chirping loudly, chances are they are hot; conversely, if you notice the chicks all huddled together in one area, they are likely cold . They should be comfortably scattered, moving around. That is your basis that temperature is right. The temperatures given are just guides. USE YOUR EYES to monitor them. At the end of Week 1, begin dropping the temperature by 5oF per week until you reach 70oF, and then try to maintain that temperature.
One common mistake: When the breeze is cold or the wind is strong, most people have this misconception about wrapping the brooders with curtains or laminated sacks. That builds up ammonia fast inside and no fresh air is circulated. Remember that fresh air comes from below and hot air escapes at the top. If you will drape a curtain around the brooder, leave space below for air entry and keep the top (roof) open. If the Sunshines are cold, add more bulbs to keep them warm. Scatter bulbs to even heat around. 1watt per bird is just a guide, you may use more as needed.
Best gauge: How we feel is also how they feel. If you walked into their brooding room feeling warm and gasping for air....so do they!
WATER AND FEEDS: The most neglected and overlooked nutrient is water. What appears to be a bowl of “clean water;” may contain millions of bacteria. The bacteria will stress the digestive system of the bird, such that it will not grow at the rate believed to be their potential. The waterers and feeders should be cleaned routinely (weekly or sooner) with a product like chlorine to reduce the incidence of microbial formation. Fresh water needs to be supplied everyday to insure healthy birds. During the periods of extreme heat, there is an increased risk of microbial growth.
We suggest using probiotics/vitamins in their drinking water, and adlibitum feeding of chick booster for the 1st 21days, prior to ranging. Make sure feeding trays are NEVER EMPTY. Medicate only when necessary.
VACCINATIONS: Day 7 - B1 B1; Day 14 - B1 La Sota
Here are samples of styles of brooding. Let's work on what is available and easy for your requirements. What is important is that the system is one that works for you, so feeding and cleaning is not a task but an enjoyable way to bond w/ your Sunshines.
Remember, aside from Doc Rey, we have veterinarians to assist, we are very accessible by cellphones and landline calls that are forwarded to us (NO COST TO YOU), email, YM etc... Let us keep in touch always so we can monitor. We do farm visits for FREE. What is important is we are able to grow the Sunshines properly. Happy customers, means success to all of us.