Practical Management Guide

Brooding of Chicks (Up To 8 Weeks)

Before Arrival of Chicks:-

The following preparations should be completed well in advance before arrival of chicks in the farm.

  • Sheds should be kept vacant for at least three weeks before arrival of chicks.
  • Thoroughly wash and disinfect all the walls, ceilings, floors and equipments
  • Equipments should be washed with Phenyl, rinsed in Potassium Permanganate solution and expose to such light at least for 5 days earlier.
  • Flush out and clean all water lines / channels before and after disinfection.
  • Spray roof and floor with 10% Formalin and close the sheds for at least 24 hours.
  • White wash the walls with Malathion powder at the rate of 1 kg: 50 kg of lime.
  • Brooder guard should be provided in a circular fashion. Cornering causes hurdling of chicks resulting in high chick mortality.
  • Provide clean litter material (paddy husk / saw dust) inside the brooder guard and spread corrugated paper / old news paper on litter so that chicks do not eat litter. Spread suji / grinded maize on the paper few hours before arrival of day old chicks.
  • Bring temperature to brooding level (950F) 24 hours before arrival of chicks.
  • Provide feed and water at room temperature.

After Arrival of Chicks:-

  • Release the chicks gently into the brooder guard close to drinking water and grinded maize / suji/ broken rice.
  • Provide 6 sq. inches space per chick in the brooder.
  • Brooding should be started at 950 F temperature and be reduced by 5 0 F every week depending upon season.
  • Debeaking may be done at 3rd or 4th week of age. Hail of the upper beak is removed and tip of the lower beak is just touched in the hot blade.

After Arrival of Chicks:-

  • Provide chick feeders within 5 – 7 days.
  • Height of the feeder should be adjusted to the convenience of chicks.
  • Replace new papers every day till the chick guards are removed.
  • Remove the chick guard after 7 – 10 days and spread out the chicks into the entire brooding pens. Add some more litter material before spreading of chicks.

Management of Growers (9 – 16 Weeks):-

  • Birds at the age of 9 weeks should be transferred to growers / rearing house.
  • Provide proper cross ventilation. Provide required space for feeder and waterer in the grower house.
  • Offer grower mash in linear grower feeder.
  • Waterers and feeders should be adjusted as per the need of the birds, avoiding feed wastage and water spilling.
  • Dubbing of males if required may be done at 8 – 10 weeks. Debeaking may be followed if necessary before 16 weeks.

Rearing of Layers

  • During laying period the following factors are of prime importance.
  • Feed formulations of the flock should be according to the season and age of the flock and climate.
  • Ventilation of the layer house should be adequate without drafts.
  • Birds should be comfortable even in extreme hot and cold climate.
  • Provide one laying nest for 5 layers to lay eggs. Use clean paddy husk/saw dust as bedding material in the laying nest and replace nesting material at regular interval.
  • Egg should be collected at least 4-6 times in a day in deep litter house.
  • Treatment may be made against external parasites like ticks, lice, and mites periodically.
  • Remove dead birds daily and dispose them properly. Culling of non-layer birds should be carried out regularly.

Lighting Programme

The following lighting arrangements may be practiced.

(1) Chicks (0-8 weeks)

  • Provide continuous light during the brooding period in brooder house.
  • Provide 150 W bulbs fitted in an aluminimum reflector for every 150-200 chicks in brooder pens to maintain temperature.

(2) Growers – (9-16 weeks)

  • Grower should be reared in natural light only. Do not provide any artificial light for them.

(3) Layer (17-72 weeks)

  • The light should be 12 hours at 20th week. If the natural light is less then twelve hours then it should be compensated by artificial light.
  • Thereafter, half an hour of artificial light should be added in every week, so that there will be total 14 hours light in 24th week and 15 hours in 26th week and 16 hours from 29th week.
  • Any sudden change or break in lighting will cause sharp decline in egg production.
  • Keep bulbs and reflectors wiped free from dust. Defective bulbs may be replaced.
  • Deep litter house – Intensity should be 1 watt for 3.5 sq. ft. of floor space. So a 40 watt bulb is sufficient for 120 sq. ft.

Do’s and Don’ts in Vaccination:-

  • Purchase vaccine only from genuine firm.
  • Store the vaccine in the refrigerator until use.
  • Administer only proper dose as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Do not use the left over vaccine.
  • Do not use vaccine after its expiry date.
  • Vaccinate the birds during the cooler part of the day.
  • Vaccinate only the healthy flock at the recommended doses.
  • Vaccination to be done preferably by a veterinarian or qualified person.

Suggested Vaccination Schedule:-

Sl.No. Age of chicks Vaccine Route Dosage
1. 1 day Marek’s Disease (MD) Subcutaneous 0.2 ml
2. 5-7 days Ranikhet (F1 or Lasota) Intranasal Intraoccular or both One to two drop
3. 21st days -do- -do- -do-
4. 6th week Fowl Pox Wing – web puncture by stick method or Feather follicle method Two pricks
5. 8th week Ranikhet disease (R2B) Subentaneous in wing 0.5 ml
6. 16th week -do- -do- -do-

Booster doses may be given where required (depending on previous flock history). If necessary, I.B., Gumboro (I.B.D) in addition to above vaccination can also be given. Estimation of antibody titer should be made to decide further strategy of vaccination.

Ideal Feed Formulae for Poultry:-

Name of the feed ingredients Chick mash  (0 – 8 wks)  Grower mash (9-16 wks) Layer/  Breeder  Mash (17th onward) Broiler/ Starter Mash (0-6wks) Broiler/ Finisher Mash (7-8 wks)
Crushed Yellow Maize(kg) 45 45 45 49 60
Rice Polish(kg) 22 25 15 10 7
Soya bean Meal(kg) 30 19 27 38 30
De – oiled rice bran(kg) - 8 6 - -
Mineral Mixture(kg) 3 3 3 3 3
Shell grit(kg) - - 4 - -
Total(kg) 100 100 100 100 100

Feed Additives (To be Mixed per Quintal of Feed Mash):-

Ventri Mix (A+B2+D3+K) DS (g) 10 10 10 10 10
Ventri Be + B Complex with E (g) 25 25 25 25 25
Neftin – 200 (g) 50 50 50 50 50
Merivite – 100 (g) 22 22 10 22 22
Coban – 100 (coccidiostat) (g) 100 100 - 100 100
Kalvimin Forte (Vit. + Min. Mix) (g) 250 250 250 500 500
Lysine (g) 100 100 50 100 100
DL – Methionine (g) 100 75 50 100 50
Salt (g) 500 500 500 500 500

Bis Requirements:-

Crude Protein (N x 6.25) min % 20 16 18 23 20
Crude Fibre Max% 7 8 8 6 6
Salt Max% 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6
Calcium (Min %) 1.0 1.0 3.0 1.2 1.2
Available phosphorous (Min %) 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Metabolizable Energy (Kcal /kg) 2600 2500 2600 2800 2900

Note: - Feed formulae can be modified with reference to availability of feed ingredients / additives at these prices keeping the Chemical values as per standards for different mashes.

Record Keeping:-

Record Keeping is a vital part of any farm. Good record will automatically tell you about the position of your farm. On the basis of the record a farmer can take the decision / mode of future planning for his farm. Actually, record is the eye of his farm as a whole.

Medication for Chicks:-

Electrolyte powders (one small spoon per litre of drinking water) in winter.
Glucose (Sucrose) in summer 360 g/litre of water.
Furasol/Neo – dox forte as per recommended dose.
Vitamin B Complex in drinking water for 1st 7 days.
On 9th to 13th days give liver tonic.
4th week – liquid vitamin A for 7 days in drinking water.

Litter Management:-

A total litter height of 5 cm is sufficient. The litter should be maintained practically dry. The damp litter can be treated with hydrated lime @ 1 kg for each 12 to 16 sq.ft.

Floor Space Requirement:-


Deep Litter System Cage System
Brooder House 0.7 sq.ft / bird 0.5 sq.ft/ bird
Grower House 1 sq.ft / bird 0.6 sq.ft/ bird
Brooder-Cum- Rearing House 1 sq.ft / bird 0.6 sq.ft/ bird
Layer House 2 sq.ft / bird 0.7 – 0.9 sq.ft / bird

Backyard Poultry Farming For Rural Poultry Production

Preventive Measures for Disease Control

Vaccination Schedule:-

1 On 5th Day R.D.Lasota (Live) I/o Drop.
2 30th Day R.D.Lasota (Booster) I/o Drop.
3 50th Day Fowl Pox 0.2 ml. S/C.
4 56th Day R.C.(R2B) 0.5 ml. I/M or S/C.
5 112th Day R.D (R2B) Booster 0.5 ml. S/C or I/M.

Care and Management of Layer in Backyard Rearing:-

  • De – worming of birds once in 4 weeks. (For Round Worm)
  • Avoid Fattening of birds.
  • Feed the birds @ 50 gm. Of balanced layer ration / bird / day.
  • Allow shell grit in separate feeders. (For Calcium Supplement).
  • Allow birds to eat kitchen waste and other feed materials.
  • Encourage the birds to feed on white ants. Wet Gunny bag spread on ground favours growth of white ants.
  • Earth worm may be fed by using vermiculture at village level.