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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

Poultry Improvement Project

House Preparations

getting ready for new chicks
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.
brooder heat lamps
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.
too cold or too hot
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.
  • 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.
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.
  • 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.
is my ventilation ok
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.
space requirements
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.
  • 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.
lighting requirements
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!!!