Six Smart Tips to Increase the Body Weight of your Broiler Chicken
Here, are the 6 smart tips that will teach how to increase broiler weight that will give you colleagues a dropped jaw.
1- Take advantage of the 7-day weight
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This is the most crucial of all the 6 tips
You may, or may not have heard about the concept ‘ 7-day weight’. So, let us see what Dr. Annsofie Wahlstrom (a Nutritionist Cobb-Europe Ltd) have to say,
To get the full potential out of broiler chickens the target weight at 7 days of age must be reached. As work with the Cobb500 broiler has shown, brooding is a vital period for good overall results. Achieving good 7-day live weight will improve performance parameters such as final live weight and feed conversion as well as maintain low overall mortality.
The most reviling thing about this is that during the first 7 days 80% of the energy is used for growth and only 20% for maintenance, indicating the importance of this period in the chicken’s life.
The broiler chickens can also add a live weight of 4.25 times at the 7-day, which is according to the management guides is approximately 40g – 180g. That is a whole lot of weight to achieve within a short time.
And from the data gathered, showed that good 7-day weight is positively correlated with high final body weight. That is if you provide the necessary conditions to achieve this 7-day weight, definitely the final body weight will be high as well.
Proper feeding with plenty of water is needed to achieve the 7-day weight
Let me restate the main point here, a whole 80% of energy is used for growth for the first 7 days of life, did that sink into your head? The reverse is the case as broiler chickens age.
This is why it is not advisable to keep broilers beyond 7 weeks because at this stage much of the energy is used for maintenance and not growth.
So, what must I do to achieve this 7-day weight? The same simple thing you have been doing, just that you have to do it diligently right, they are;
For the first weeks, feed baby chicks a starter feed with 23 % protein. At 4 to 8 weeks, feed a grower feed with 19 percent protein.
Keep feeders full at all times when starting baby chicks (you can sprinkle some on the paper beddings for easy access), until they learn to eat.
They must have plenty of fresh water every day. During very hot weather you can add an ice block to cool their body temperature.
Plenty of water is very necessary if you what your broiler chickens to grow fast and have weight. If baby chicks cannot find their water, gently place their beaks in the water.
2: Sort the broiler chicken according to body size and weight
Naturally, all fingers are not equal. As the chicks grow, you will begin to notice some differences in size, behavior, and sex. Some will be bigger, while some will look smaller, the male will develop a larger comb and look taller than the female.
Sorting chickens will give room for uniformity growth
Here, you have to sort the flock based on their size and weight, this is to achieve uniformity in growth among birds, which customers mostly crave for. Keep the smaller chickens in a separate pen and give them plenty of feed and water.
A bullied chicken will always stay on a perch alone during feeding to avoid being picked on by the bigger ones. It can only manage to feed with fear when the bigger ones are eating, So, ensure you are observant of this behavior.
3: Formulate and feed your broiler chickens with a fattening ration
You can also increase the weight and sizes of your broiler chicken by formulating a special feed ration know as a fattening ration. This fattening ration is just a supplement containing cracked corn, whole wheat soy, and groundnut cake or soybeans.
These items will help pack on the weight. This is a common way to increase broiler weight. But don’t overdo this, or else your broiler will have poor welfare and overweight issues.
4: Use broiler growth booster or promoter
Use organic booster for heavy breast meat
Growth booster is not what I fancy, and most of them are mostly synthetic and can be harmful to chickens’ and humans health.
However, if you must use it, make sure you seek the advice of your veterinarian, or rather make use of an organic broiler growth booster.
You can as well get a recipe for your homemade broiler booster and prepare it, it is safer if you know what you are giving your broiler chicken.
5: Avoid starving your bird and feed ad-libitum
It amazes me when I visit some poultry farm and find little or no feed on the finders, and when I ask why?
He or she will tell me that (s)he is managing the feed, that no amount of feed will be enough for them-that is pure starving to the broiler. My dear, broilers are bred to feed and grow very fast, that is what they are made for, to produce heavy meat within a short time,
this gave rise to the term feed ad-libitum.
The word ad-libitum simply means giving broilers feed round the clock and allowing them to eat as much as they can. You can only achieve this if you have constant dim light at night for your chickens for them to get an appreciable weight within a short time.
6: Source your broiler chicks from a reputable hatchery
Sourcing your broiler chicks from a reputable hatchery comes with a lot of advantages.
Chicks from a reputable hatchery will do well when every other condition is kept, and they are free from vertical diseases. But when the chicks are from a poor hatchery, there will be a lot of problems that are beyond your control.
Source your day-old chicks from a reputable hatchery
For example, If the stock parents do not possess the necessary traits for fast growth /height, definitely you don’t expect your chicks to grow fast and tall, no matter how much feed you give to them.
Some dishonest hatchery might even mix your broilers with a cockerel, you can only find out after some weeks.
So, you must do your background research before sourcing for your broiler-day-old chicks. Ask other poultry farmers or vendors where they source their broiler chicks- It is always helpful by asking.