Getting Chicks Off to a Good Start
Flock efficiency is one of the main goals in broiler management. Achieving the heaviest weights with the least amount of feed requires dedicated practices at the farm to reduce bird stress. Minimizing bird stress is important to ensure that the nutrients and energy that are consumed in the form of feed results in maximum growth and development. Each day is important when determining overall bird feed efficiency. Broilers are going to be the most efficient during the first week when provided with optimal environmental conditions because the energy required for maintenance is relatively low compare to what it will be as the birds get bigger. Under normal conditions, chicks will increase their body weight by fourfold or better in the first week. Below are some management issues that should be addressed prior to and after bird placement to optimize chick performance in the first weeks of growout.