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Animal Husbandry


Broiler birds, or chickens that are raised for the meat they produce, are a major challenge to breed if you don’t know the proper method. The reason for this is that broiler chickens are bred for size, and a full size broiler chicken will not be able to mate, due to size. The trick is cutting back on feed for the breeding broiler birds while they are still chicks. The chickens will think that you are starving them and may become aggressive.

Select the chicks when they are only a few days old. When looking for breeding stock of broiler birds, you want to put them on a limited feed diet quickly. If you pick out an older chick, it is likely to have been on a full feed diet. As an option, you can purchase the egg before it hatches, giving you a controlled diet from day one.

Start a limited, restricted-feed program immediately. Broiler birds that have been fully fed will become clumsy and heavy. The hens will produce excess fat around the reproductive organs, which their rectum will prolapse the first time they attempt to lay an egg. The roosters will damage the hen with their larger size, causing stress and possible lacerations.

Keep on eye the broiler birds that you have chosen as breeders. As they grow you can start to weed out the ones with traits you don’t want, increasing their feed to be consumable birds instead of breeders. Keep the breeders locked away in another location to keep their feeding habits exactly as the program dictates. Make sure that each of the broiler birds eats at least once a day.

Keep one rooster for every 10 to 12 hens. It will take 24 weeks for the breeding broiler birds to be ready, much longer than typical broiler birds. This has to do with the limited feed they are getting. One rooster can service up to 12 hens, producing up to 1000 chicks a year.

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