How to Check Day-Old Chick Quality



How to Check Day-Old Chick Quality



Getting off to a good start with a new flock needs good preparation, but it is also dependent on the quality of the day-old chicks arriving from the hatchery.

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A good assessment of this quality is essential to be able to estimate what you can get out of the flock and what extra actions can be taken.

For that it is good practice to:

Pick up chicks from various trays upon arrival on farm for a proper assessment all around

Weigh 5% of the chicken trays for a good idea of the initial weight of the day-old chicks

Pay attention to uniformity

Counting the chicks in at least 5 trays gives you the possibility to determine the exact number of chicks you received. Sometimes numbers can be off, distorting water and feed consumption data later on.

READ ALSO: How to Proactively control Coccidiosis in Poultry

9 essential checks to get it right

Reflex: Lay a chick on its back. It should stand up within 3 seconds

Eyes: Should be clean, open and shiny, not dull or closed

Navel: Should be closed and clean, not with remnants of yolk or open

Feet: Should be normal colour and not swollen and feel warmer than your cheek

Beak: Should be clean with closed nostrils, without red spots on the beak or malformations

Yolk sac: Stomach should be soft an malleable, not hard

Down: Should be dray and shiny, not wet and tacky


Uniformity: All chicks should be the same size, more than 20% too light or too heavy is a bad start

Vent temperature: Should be 40°C, 2-3 hours after arrival.

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