A high death rate in chicks is a serious issue and needs to be tackled at a nascent stage as it can lead to huge monetary impacts. The following steps can be adopted to ensure that mortality rates are kept in check:
1. Buying from trusted suppliers
It is very important to buy the chicks from a supplier who rear good and healthy stock. If they are vaccinated with known source of origin for the eggs, then that supplier is a winner. At AQAI.in, we give you complete information about the health and quality of the egg- laying birds.
2. Monitoring health
One should run a diagnostic test to ensure the health of each individual bird before shifting them to the farm.
3. Proper brooding temperature
It is important to maintain the correct temperature in the cages and pens as both high and low brooding temperatures can increase mortality in the birds.
4. Keeping drinkers and feeders clean
The birds’ feeders and water troughs (filled with unchlorinated water) should be cleaned every morning and balance water as well as feed should be discarded at a good distance from the pen.
5. Minimize risks of suffocating
Young chicks tend to move into corners or huddle to escape cold temperatures. The brooding temperature and humidity should be appropriate within the pen with the heat source centrally placed to prevent the birds from huddling together and suffocating.
6. Dry feeds
Moldy feed when given to chicks can poison the flock. Avoid this by storing it at a distance from water and humid areas. The feed should be bought in small quantities which can be consumed before its expiry date.
7. Serving water before feeds
Giving water to the chicks before feeding will allow some of them to drink water and stop them from fighting for the feed and stampeding themselves to death.
8. Protecting from predators
Animals like dogs and cats should be kept away from the farm through an electric fence and for birds like hawks a thin cord can be tied in crisscross patterns over the area to block entry. All holes around the farm should be closed and strong iron meshes should be installed around the pens with repellents applied on them.
9. Cleaning poultry pens
Cleaning the poultry cages or pens regularly by removing wet or solidified litter is important as otherwise ammonia can be released from dirty pens or wet litter. When in excess of 25 ppm, this can result in reduced feeding and growth rate, eye and nose problems and other allied breathing diseases.
10. Supplying sufficient feed
Appropriate feed should be given to chicks as inadequate feeding leads to underweight birds and reduced immunity making them more prone to sickness, disease. Overfeeding also results in various other problems.
11. Correct medication and vaccination
Vaccinating the birds against various diseases and proper treatment can help and prevent the diseases from spreading. The local vet needs to make frequent visits to inspect the birds and provide the correct medicines and vaccines. Sufficient medicines need to be kept ready for treatment of any disease. Birds which have been infected and recovered should also be separated to avoid spread of infection and disease.