The causes of death of young poultry birds (CHICKS) are numerous but in this article I am going to be treating just 5 causes that are prevalent on the farm. Some of this causes are as a result of carelessness on the part of the farmer while some are partially uncontrollable. Below is a list of 5 causes of death of young birds
• Excessive Cold: care for young poultry birds is very important for high productivity. Young poultry birds are very delicate and fragile are susceptible to cold which might result into their death. In the production of poultry birds for either meat or egg the young birds are to be kept in the brooding house for about 3 weeks for intensive care.
This is necessary to ensure that proper care is accord to the birds so as to prevent their death. Young poultry birds at their young age are very weak and feeble and probably can’t withstand harsh weather condition; due to this a special housing unit is prepared for them. This housing unit is what is referred to as brooding housing.
Brooding is an act of keeping your birds in an environment where temperatures are monitored to provide a conducive atmosphere for your young birds. The temperature within the brooding house should range between 950f – 1000f. the brooding house can be made of strong cardboard, plywood or you can order already made brooder.
The brooder should be equipped with kerosene lamp, charcoal lamp or an electric bulb. The birds will tend to concentrate in a place when there is no maximum heat within the brooder, they be spread around within the brooder when the heat is good enough for them while they will move far away from the source of heat when the heat is too much for them. Cold cause stress in chicks and it’s a slow killer of birds.
• Disease: most of the disease that affects mature birds also affects chicks. Diseases can find their ways into your flock through several ways. One of the way disease get into your flock is through the arrival of infected chicks.
Many infect chicks brought such illness from where they are coming from. That’s why it’s imperative you order your birds from a reputable or trusted hatchery to prevent loose of your birds or your capital.
Disease can also get into your flock through dirt.
If the environment where you keep your birds is unclean, it becomes a breeding ground for diseases and different infection which could to loss of birds at long run.
• Rain: I just witness less than a week ago where a farmer is using a metal container for his brooding house. It actually serves the purpose for which it is used but something happened along the way; rain fell and the brooding house was overrun and flooded by rainwater.
This happen because the brooder was placed on the ground without any support. The brooding house was placed directly on the ground which made it susceptible to flooding.
• Excessive heat: without doubt heat is very important for the survival of young chicks but the minute the heat become excessive it can lead to suffocation and then death of the birds. There is an amount of heat that should be supply or that the birds should be exposed to. For the very young birds the range should be between 95 – 1000f.
As the birds grow older the amount of heat supplied should be reduced. Reason been at those point the birds would have grown feathers which protect from cold.
From week two the heat should be reduced drastically and natural light should be allowed into their housing at this stage.
• Lack of care: it’s not enough to stock your poultry house with birds without giving them the proper attention needed to see to their developments. Care for your poultry stock ranges from regular cleaning of their environment, proper feeding (Ad-libtum), debecking to proper housing. Without a good care the birds will be exposed to various diseases infestation which result to loss of birds
Proper care ensures that your stock live healthy thereby boost their productivity in the long run with little or no record of mortality among your stocks.