A broiler is a bird bred and raised specifically for meat production. Most commercial broilers reach slaughter weight between four and six weeks of age. Typical broilers have white feathers and yellowish skin. Broiler or sometimes broiler-fryer is also used sometimes to refer specifically to younger chickens less than 2.0 kg as compared with the larger roasters.
How to raise broilers
Raising meat chickens from brooder to broiler is similar to raising layers, but meat birds have special needs during the rearing process. If your farm’s goal is to raise your own meat for the first time, here’s what you need to know to keep your chickens healthy from the day they hatch until processing time.
Provision of Room and Bedding
Meat-breed chicks need a dry, clean, draft-free location large enough to accommodate their fast-growing bodies. 1½ square feet per bird, though for the first week or so, you can get by with 1/2 square foot per bird. Bedding or litter is used in the brooder house to absorb droppings and help the chicks stay warm. Cover the floor of the broiler room with litter 3 to 4 inches deep. Daily, remove any clumped litter and stir the remaining litter so it absorbs moisture better and lasts longer. Depending on how clean the litter is, you may need to replace it once a week or so.
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Chicks may mistake picked-up sawdust particles for food, so avoid using it for at least a week until the chicks mature.Slick bedding, such as newspapers and shredded paper, shouldn’t be used after two days, as the chicks can’t get proper footing on the slick surface, causing their legs to splay out. This can lead to leg deformities, which fast-growing meat chickens are already at risk for.
Keep the Brooder House Warm
A heat source is a non-negotiable piece of equipment that keeps chicks warm, just like a mother hen would. Traditionally, this is a heat lamp or infrared bulb fitted with a shield that reflects warmth down onto the chicks. Rig up two lights, so that if one goes out, the chicks don’t get chilled. Make sure any extension cords are in good shape. The lamp should also be well-secured to prevent contact with combustible bedding.
Provision of Water
For their first two to three days of life, chicks don’t eat or drink much because they’re using nutrients from their yolk sac. As you remove them from their carton one by one, dip each chick’s beak in water to help them take that first drink. Make sure water is always available to the chicks.
Chicks drown easily, and they also climb up and into water pans, so use small troughs that will keep them safe. Some farmers add clean marbles or pebbles to the water pan or ring for the first week or two: The chicks can access the water easily, but the danger of drowning is low.
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Meat chicken grows faster with enough feeder space so that all the chicks can eat at the same time. For the first two weeks, allow 2 inches of space per chick—count both sides of a long, straight feeder. To avoid waste and soiling, double that amount to 4 inches per bird after two weeks.
As incredible as it seems, some meat breeds can put on up to a pound of weight for every two pounds of feed they consume! A pre-mixed commercial chick-starter with 20 percent to 24-percent protein gives these birds a good start for the first two weeks. How you feed this breed is important, as well, because they will quite literally grow too fast for their organs and bones to accommodate, resulting in heart and growth issues.
At two weeks old, change the feed from chick starter to chick grower, which contains 20 percent protein. You can mix the starter and grower together for a few days to ease the changeover, then feed 18-percent protein after five weeks until butchering.
Provide Transition Housing
Once feathered, the broilers can be transferred to a predator-free, sheltered grower pen. Meat breeds finish out at different ages and weights. Cover the basic needs for warmth and shelter, give a little extra attention to feeding, watering, and housing protocols, and you’ll take your chicks from brooder to broiler stage in a matter of weeks.
The financial implications of rearing 1000 broilers
A carton of broilers is sold for 29,000 depending on location, and to get 1000 birds, 20 cartons have to be purchased since a carton contains 50 chicks, so 29,000*20=580,000
Brooding materials such as coal pots and charcoal (30,000
Antibiotics such as Vitalyte and Enrofloxacin: 30,000
A broiler would consume an average of 6 kg from day old to the sixth week, therefore, 1000 birds would consume 6 tons of feed in six weeks. Out of these, a broiler will consume about 1.5 kg of starter, 2 kg of grower, and 2.5 kg of finisher, for a total of 1.5 tons of starter feed (60 bags), 2 tons of grower (80 bags), and 2.5 tons of finisher (100 bags).
Depending on location, a bag of starter feed costs 10,000, a bag of grower feed costs 7,000, and a bag of finisher feed costs 8,000 per bag. So 60 bags of starter at 10,000 will give 600,000; 80 bags of grower at 7,000 will give 560,000; and 100 bags of finisher at 8,000 will give 800,000, for a total of 1,960,000 on feed. Other miscellaneous expenses of 100,000
To summarize, it would take approximately 2,700,000 to raise 1000 birds from day old to six weeks for slaughter.
Return on investment
After 6 weeks, the birds would be ready for marketing, and a mature broiler weighing 3 kg and above is sold for about 5,000. Assume there is a mortality rate of not more than 100 birds there will be 900 birds left, selling at 6,000 per one it means a total of 900*5000=4500000 would be generated within 6 weeks.