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Poultry Improvement Project. House Preparations. Getting Ready for New Chicks. Remove any feeders, waterers, manure, feed bags, etc from the chicken house. Clean building: sweep, etc. Wash all equipment and facilities with soapy water two weeks prior to receiving chicks.

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Poultry Improvement Project

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Poultry improvement project l.jpg

Poultry Improvement Project

House Preparations

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Getting Ready for New Chicks

  • Remove any feeders, waterers, manure, feed bags, etc from the chicken house.

  • Clean building: sweep, etc.

  • Wash all equipment and facilities with soapy water two weeks prior to receiving chicks.

  • Disinfect (bleach) facilities and equipment.

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Brooder/Heat Lamps

  • We will be using heat lamps to keep the chicks warm.

  • Start lights before chicks arrive to maintain a floor temperature of 90-95 degrees F.

  • Place a cardboard chick guard around the heat source. Use for approximately 7 days.

  • Gradually reduce heat over a period of weeks, making sure the chicks are warm.

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Too Cold or Too Hot?

  • Chicks are too cold if they huddle together under the heat source. They will also chirp a lot.

  • Chicks are too hot when they lay down in corners(or outer areas of chick guard).

  • Chicks are the correct temperature when they form a ring on the floor under the heat source.

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  • Cover floor with 2-3 inches of litter.

  • TIP-Wood shavings are highly preferred. Using straw requires extremely good management and may result with ammonia burns on the feet, thus a loss of points at the contest.

  • Remove wet litter as soon as possible.

  • TIP-Do not cover litter with newspaper as “The Small Poultry Flock” suggests.

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  • TIP-With broiler chicks, the newspaper will be so slippery that the chicks will develop leg problems which may lead to poor growth or death, thus resulting in loss of points.

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  • Plenty of ventilation is very important or the chicks may get either too hot, too cold, or suffer from diseases associated with ammonia orders and too high of humidity.

  • Ventilation slots may be placed in the house.

  • A small fan may have to be installed.

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Is My Ventilation OK?

  • If the chicken house smells badly of ammonia, increase ventilation.

  • If the chicken house feels very humid, increase ventilation.

  • Chicks do not like drafts.

    • If they appear cold due to drafts, plug some of the slots in the house or reduce fan speed.

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Space Requirements

  • Day old chicks need 1/2 square feet per bird up to three weeks of age.

  • Chicks also need adequate feed and water space.

  • If they have to fight for feeder space, you will be inhibiting growth, which will end up in a loss of points at the contest.

  • Allow for 20 linear feet per 50 birds.

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  • Insulation may be necessary during this contest.

  • A building which is entirely heated is the best situation.

  • This may be impossible, thus insulation can help keep the chickens warm.

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Lighting Requirements

  • Keep lights on in the chicken house 24 hours a day.

    • TIP-This will help keep the chickens from piling up if they get scared.

    • TIP-It will also encourage the birds to stay awake and eat, thus making them grow faster!!!

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