Brooding – Post-Placement Checklist

Ensure that both the feeders and drinkers are in adequate supply relative to the stocking density and are appropriately placed. Feeders and drinkers should be placed in close proximity to each other and within the “thermal comfort zone.”

1. Mini Drinker Check (Supplemental):

  • Should be provided at a rate of 6/1,000 chicks.
  • Should never be allowed to dry out. Must be cleaned and refilled as necessary.
  • Maintain maximum water levels until chicks are large enough to create spillage.
  • Should be removed approximately 48 hours after placement.
  • Should be placed slightly higher than litter to maintain water quality yet not so high that access is impeded.

2. Bell Drinker Check:

  • Height should be maintained such that the lip is at the level of the birds’ back.
  • Frequent assessment and adjustment is essential. Must be cleaned daily to prevent buildup of contaminants. If necessary, in hot climates, flush the water system at least twice daily to maintain a good water temperature.
  • Water should be 0.5 cm (0.20 in.) from the lip of the drinker at day of age and reduced gradually after seven days to a depth of 1.25 cm (0.5 in.) or thumbnail depth.
  • All bell drinkers should be ballasted to reduce spillage.

3. Nipple Drinker Check:

  • Height should be at chicks’ eye level for the first 2-3 hours of age and then maintained slightly above chicks’ head.
  • Pressure should be such that there is a droplet of water suspended from the nipple but no leakage.
  • The birds’ feet should always be flat on the litter and a bird should never have to stand on its toes to drink.
  • Flush the lines as needed.

4. Feeder Check:

  • Feed should be provided in crumb form and placed on trays, lids or paper.
  • Feeders should be raised incrementally throughout the growing period so that the lip of
  • the trough or pan is level with the birds back at all times.
  • The feed level within the feeders should be set so that feed is readily available while
  • spillage is minimized.
  • Never allow the feeders to run empty at any time.

5. Seven-day Bodyweight and Feed Conversion Check:

  • Seven-day weights and feed conversion are excellent overall indicators of how successful the brooding management has been. Failure to achieve optimal seven-day weights and feed conversion will result in poor broiler performance.
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