Poultry Essentials

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Poultry Essentials

  1. 1. Poultry Essentials Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  2. 2. Facilities <ul><li>Expensive housing is not needed </li></ul><ul><li>Housing must be clean, dry, and well ventilated. </li></ul><ul><li>Brooder or heat lamps must be present to warm chicks. </li></ul><ul><li>Feeders and waters needed </li></ul><ul><li>2 sq. feet needed per broiler </li></ul><ul><li>Have three open sides for clean fresh air to enter </li></ul><ul><li>Floor should be at least 6 inches tall to prevent water from entering </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  3. 3. Topics to Discuss <ul><li>The following topics will be discussed: </li></ul><ul><li>Facilities </li></ul><ul><li>Facility Preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Rearing </li></ul><ul><li>Lighting </li></ul><ul><li>Nutrition </li></ul><ul><li>Health </li></ul><ul><li>Selecting the Exhibition Entry </li></ul><ul><li>Conformation </li></ul><ul><li>Handling and Transportation </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  4. 4. Facilities Preparation <ul><li>Clean and disinfect poultry house, feeders, and waters before chicks arrive </li></ul><ul><li>Wash house with soap and water </li></ul><ul><li>Spray commercial disinfectant labeled for use in poultry houses. </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared 2 days in advance </li></ul><ul><li>Put at least 4 inches of litter on the floor </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  5. 5. Facilities Preparation cont. <ul><li>Electric heat lamps are good heat sources for brooding chicks </li></ul><ul><li>Two 125-watt bulbs per 50 chicks are recommended </li></ul><ul><li>Lamps should be secured so they do not fall to the litter. </li></ul><ul><li>Should hang 18-24 inches from litter </li></ul><ul><li>Lamps can be raised or lowered depending on temperature. </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  6. 6. Rearing <ul><li>Temperature should be 60-75 ⁰ F at 4 weeks of age. </li></ul><ul><li>When weather permits during winter months house should be partially opened to improve airflow </li></ul><ul><li>Additional heat may be needed when low temperatures are present </li></ul><ul><li>Fans or evaporative cooling systems may be needed when hot temperatures are present (birds should be at least 4 weeks old) </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  7. 7. Lighting <ul><li>Lights should be on 24 hrs/day </li></ul><ul><li>24 hour lighting improves feathering and increases weight, especially during summer months </li></ul><ul><li>Have 40-watt bulb at least 6 feet above birds after removing heat lamps </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  8. 8. Nutrition <ul><li>Optimum performance is dependent on proper nutrition </li></ul><ul><li>Fresh feed is important </li></ul><ul><li>Must have high quality poultry feed with at least 20% protein </li></ul><ul><li>Turkey or game feed may be used in the beginning to stimulate early growth </li></ul><ul><li>Feed higher protein first two weeks, then switch broiler feed for remaining feeding period </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  9. 9. Nutrition cont. <ul><li>Small amounts of broiler feed lightly moistened with cooking oil and fed several times during day will stimulate older birds to eat more. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not put more moistened feed than the birds can eat in 10 to 15 minutes. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not moisten the feed until feeding time </li></ul><ul><li>An adequate level of vitamins is required to prevent leg weakness </li></ul><ul><li>Water soluble poultry vitamins can be added to water for first seven days. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not add vitamins past first seven days </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  10. 10. Nutrition cont. <ul><li>Feeder </li></ul><ul><li>One pie or cookie pan for feed and one chick waterer per 25 chicks are needed the first seven days. </li></ul><ul><li>First 4 weeks – one tube-type feeder per 25 chicks </li></ul><ul><li>After 4 weeks – one tube-type feeder per 15 birds </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  11. 11. Nutrition cont. <ul><li>Water </li></ul><ul><li>Clean fresh water must be available at all times </li></ul><ul><li>First 4 weeks – One 2-gallon waterer per 50 chicks </li></ul><ul><li>End of 4 weeks – One 2-gallon waterer per pen is required after birds are culled </li></ul><ul><li>Waterers should be rinsed daily and scrubbed twice a week. </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  12. 12. Nutrition cont. <ul><li>Feed should be kept in front of birds at all times for maximum growth to occur. </li></ul><ul><li>Tube feeders are preferred over horizontal feeders </li></ul><ul><li>Feeders and waterers should be kept adjusted so that trough portion is level with the back height of the birds </li></ul><ul><li>Walk through birds and stir feed three to five times per day </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Will provide exercise and increased feed consumption </li></ul></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  13. 13. Health <ul><li>Keep all other poultry away from broilers and roasters. </li></ul><ul><li>Medication should not be given unless birds are sick or stressed. </li></ul><ul><li>Chicks purchased from late August to early November should be vaccinated for fowl pox by 14 days of age. </li></ul><ul><li>Parasites are seldom a problem where birds are properly managed and sanitary conditions maintained </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  14. 14. Selecting the Exhibition Entry <ul><li>At show time examine birds carefully for physical defects that would cause them to be sifted. These include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cuts and tears </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Broken and disjointed bones </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skin or flesh bruises anywhere other than on the wing tip </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Breast blisters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Insect bites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>External parasites (lice, mites or fleas) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extremely dirty birds </li></ul></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  15. 15. Conformation <ul><li>Length . The breastbone should be long, straight, free from defects such as dents or knobs and carry well forward and back between the legs. The breastbone should be parallel to the backbone. </li></ul><ul><li>Width . The back should be long and wide with a broad spring of ribs. </li></ul><ul><li>Depth . The body should be full and deep. Body-depth must be consistent with breast width. Length, width and depth should be well balanced. </li></ul><ul><li>Fleshing (the amount and distribution of muscle or flesh on the bird) The breast, thighs and drumsticks carry the bulk of meat and should be examined closely. The breast meat is the most valued part of bird and should be given maximum consideration. Breast muscle should be wide throughout the length of the keel bone. The muscle should carry well up to the crest of the bone. A dimpled breast is desirable. The thighs and drumsticks should be heavily muscled. </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  16. 16. Conformation <ul><li>Uniformity . Each broiler should be as near a carbon copy of its pen mates as possible in size, shape, fleshing and finish. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One bird can affect, the rating of the entire pen. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uniformity is not a factor with roaster entries unless pens of two or three birds are shown. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Finish . (amount of fat in and immediately under the skin) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Without adequate finish, a well-fleshed broiler will lose a great deal of eye appeal. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fat deposition between feather tracts on the side of the breast is the best indication of finish. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not confuse finish and pigmentation (skin color). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Skin Pigmentation . Skin pigmentation results from the deposition of yellow or yellow-orange pigments in the outer skin layer. It is not an indication of finish. Only minor emphasis should be placed on pigmentation </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  17. 17. Handling and Transportation <ul><li>Record leg bands of birds selected for show </li></ul><ul><li>Large cardboard boxes are ideal carriers. </li></ul><ul><li>Never place more than four broilers or two roasters in a box when transporting them to show </li></ul><ul><li>Put 4 inches of litter in the container so breasts will not bruise or become reddened </li></ul><ul><li>Be certain to cut adequate air holes in side </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid bruising birds while taking them out of container </li></ul><ul><li>DO NOT DROP CONTAINERS! </li></ul><ul><li>Check birds carefully for bruises one final time before presenting them to the sifter. </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  18. 18. Show Broiler Management - Timeline <ul><li>Please refer to pg. 51 of the Managing County 4-H Livestock and Horse Programs User Guide </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  19. 19. Conclusions <ul><li>The importance of adequate facilities and facility preparation </li></ul><ul><li>The importance of properly rearing birds </li></ul><ul><li>Sufficient lighting is important for feather growth and warmth. </li></ul><ul><li>Proper diets and nutritional information about feeding birds should be identified. </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of health in raising poultry. </li></ul><ul><li>Selection of birds for show is based on many factors. </li></ul><ul><li>Confirmation of pen is a must in order to be successful </li></ul><ul><li>Mishandling and transportation to show can be detrimental to the success of the birds. </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development

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