Broilers are chickens that were genetically improved and bred specifically for meat production. They grow fast and coverts feed well and quickly into flesh or meat. Broilers raised or managed well or optimally are expected to be ready or mature within 5-6 weeks, having an average body weight of 2.3 kg after 6 weeks.
Most poultry farmers usually start with raising or producing broiler chickens in order to know and understand the basics of raising chickens before moving on to other poultry such as layers, turkeys or ducks. The major challenge most broiler farmers face is getting their birds to reach the impressive weight and size for the market in a timely and efficient manner while also maintaining the health and well-being of the birds.
If you rear broiler chickens and want to know the secret behind making broilers grow fast and big, or how to reduce the time taken for your birds to reach market weight, this is the right article for you. In this post, we will be discussing six (6) tips for increasing the weight of broilers. These tips are also applicable to cockerels, turkeys and other poultry birds.
1. Procure highly performing broiler chicks
The quality of chicks you buy has a big impact on their growth rate. This means that if you want your broiler chickens to grow faster and reach market weight earlier, then avoid poor-quality chicks from less reputable breeders or hatcheries.
There is nothing more disappointing than buying poor-performing chicks from hatcheries that claim to sell high-quality stock. A good hatchery should guarantee at least a 90% survival rate and have a policy of replacing dead chicks.
2. Give them the best start in life
Ensuring that your broiler chickens have the right conditions in order to perform well is crucial. This starts from the very beginning of their lives when they are just chicks. Good housing, brooding, and sanitation practices are essential for providing the best start in life for your chickens.
Keeping your chicks warm and dry and providing good housing for them not only make them comfortable, but it also keeps them safe and secure and allows them to convert their feed well. Additionally, maintaining proper sanitation practices in the housing area helps to prevent the spread of disease and ensures that the birds are kept in a clean and healthy environment.
3. Provide them with the right quality feed and clean water
Providing high-quality feed is essential for promoting healthy growth and development in broiler chickens. Broilers need well-formulated, high-quality broiler starter, grower and finisher diets to grow fast. You should not expect good growth performance if all you give your broilers is junk feed or a diet meant for other types of chickens such as a layer diet. Likewise, maintaining the freshness and quality of the feed, and providing it in appropriate quantities, will also help to optimize growth.
Unrestricted access to clean water is also very important for proper digestion and absorption of the feed. Investing in the right quality feed and implementing proper feeding practices such as ad libitum feeding would go a long way in accelerating the growth of broiler chickens and ensuring their overall health and productivity.
4. Keep them free from parasites
Parasites can cause serious problems for broiler chickens, leading to reduced growth and productivity, as well as poor health and even death. There are several types of parasites that can affect broiler chickens, including:
- Internal parasites such as worms can reside in the chicken’s gut, lungs or other organs and cause damage to the gut lining and lead to weight loss and nutrient malabsorption.
- External parasites such as fleas, lice and mites can cause itching and skin irritation, anemia and affect the feather quality.
- Protozoan parasites such as coccidia can cause diarrhea, weight loss and even death in severe cases.
It is important to implement measures to prevent and control parasites in order to keep your birds free from these harmful pests. Regular monitoring, deworming and keeping the pen and its environment clean and well-ventilated will help to minimize the risk of parasite infestation.
5. Provide them with adequate housing and space
Broiler chickens need a safe, secure, and comfortable environment in which to live and grow, and this is provided primarily by the housing they are kept in. Providing broiler chickens with adequate floor space also helps to prevent overcrowding, which can lead to increased stress, reduced growth or increased risk of disease. The industry standard for broiler chicken housing is to provide 1-2 sqft of floor space per chicken under a deep-litter system. Additionally, it’s important that the pen is designed to provide proper ventilation and insulation to maintain appropriate temperature and humidity.
6. Use safe organic broiler growth boosters
Using safe and organic growth boosters can be an effective way to promote the growth and development of broiler chickens. Organic growth boosters are those that are made from natural, non-toxic ingredients, and are considered safe for chickens, humans and the environment.
It’s important to note that not all organic growth boosters are the same, and it is crucial to source your product from a reputable supplier, and follow the recommended dosage. Also, it’s important to consult a veterinarian or poultry nutritionist for guidance on which organic growth boosters are best for your chickens, as well as the appropriate dosages to use. Growth promoters should be considered as a supplementary approach to boost broiler weight rather than a quick fix.