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Manual for Broiler Breeding

Chickens 21 days old in 1,200 m2 shed. La Dignidad del Valle Cooperative, Camatagua, Aragua State.

chicks feeding

Chicks with 7 days of age feeding with Food Starter in automated feeder. Agricultural Company La Ensenada.

broilers 21 days old
chicken house in mountainous area

Shed of broiler in Agricultural Company La Ensenada. Chirgua,
Carabobo State, Venezuela.

side view of chicken shed

Columns of the shed of broilers located 3 meters away from each other. In front they have the plastic security mesh that is used as the wall of the shed.

Drinking trough with automated system to supply the water. La Dignidad del Valle Cooperative.

chickens drinking water
barn for broiler

Shed of broilers in La Dignidad del Valle Cooperative. Camatagua, Aragua State, Venezuela.

Being a Television Program and a Website specialized in agricultural activities and being committed to the development of fields worldwide, in "Sembrando un País" we offer manuals with information of practical use to successfully the achieve production processes of different items that satisfy basic needs for the human being. In this opportunity we present a manual for the broiler breeding:


1. Place of location and dimensions of the Shed of Broilers:

Producer filling feeder with feed for broiler chickens. La Dignidad del Valle Cooperative.

feeding chickens
chicken house with water tank

Shed with curtains and water tank, Agricultural Company La Ensenada.

truck filling silo with food for chickens

Filling of silo with fattening feed for chickens, La Dignidad del Valle Cooperative.

The first thing that must be taken into account to establish a shed of broiler is the direction of the wind, due to the strong odor emanating from the excreta of these animals, as well as the ease with which they can get sick due to various viruses.


Also the height of the shed plays a fundamental role in this point, it is recommended that the shed of broiler have 3.5 m. Tall; This will allow good oxygenation inside the house and will help us to ventilate the odor of feces of chickens more quickly.


Regarding the dimensions of the shed, different criteria can be taken according to the space, the economic resources and the quantity of available materials. In this manual we will mention the measures used in the La Dignidad del Valle Cooperative located in Camatagua, Aragua State, Venezuela. Place that we visited during the recordings of "Sembrando un País" 2nd Season, for the realization of a complete chapter dedicated to the broiler.


In this cooperative the sheds measure 12 m. wide by 100 m. long, that is, each shed has an area of ​​1,200 m2 in which about 10,000 or 12,000 chickens can be located according to the climate, for this we can calculate that in a temperate climate 10 chickens per square meter can be located, and in warm weather 8 chickens can be located per square meter.


At the time of establishing the shed of broiler, it is also necessary to take into account the distance between the columns of the same, which will serve to help support the structure and locate the security mesh that will constitute the walls of the shed, keeping the chickens inside the same and avoiding the entrance of other animals that could stress, contaminate or prey on our chickens. The mesh should be used as a wall because this will also allow the passage of natural air to the house, which will benefit the aeration, oxygenation and help regulate the temperature of the chickens.

2. Elements that the shed should have:


Let's start with the basics, without water or food there is no biological life; so all sheds should have enough feeders and drinkers for the large number of birds that will live in it, this is an investment that the poultry farmer should only make once in each shed, and will only buy new feeders and drinkers to replace the that are damaged.


We will also need where to store the water and the food of the chickens, so that each shed must have at least one water tank and one silo. Regarding the silo, it should be noted that there are automated systems that take food from the silo to the feeders located inside the shed, as we could see in the Agricultural Company La Ensenada, located in Chirgua, Carabobo State. However, if we do not avaliable this system, it will be necessary to manually empty the food from the silo and fill the feeders one by one, as we could see in La Dignidad del Valle Cooperative.


The shed should also have curtains that are used to block strong air currents and protect chickens from very low temperatures. These curtains are used in the first weeks of life of the chicks, in which they require heat and low temperatures are harmful. After 21 days of age, when chickens grow and gain weight, these curtains are usually kept open to allow air to pass into the shed and prevent deaths from heart attacks, which can be caused by high temperatures inside the shed.


As well in the house there must be two elements that can not be missed, the heaters and the fans, each of these elements is used at a specific time during the development of the chicken. The heaters are used in the first 8 days of life of the chicks and provide the heat that in natural conditions would give by their mother.


In the case of the Agricultural Company La Ensenada and the La Dignidad del Valle Cooperative, the heaters work with gas, as in most of the poultry farms located in Venezuela, taking advantage of the fact that our country has large quantities of this resource. The heaters usually start working at night, when the temperature is low and the climate is colder, but its use can be necessary during daytime due to low temperatures caused by very cold rains or air currents, in they case can be placed until the ambient temperature becomes warm again.


For this we must take into account that the chick temperature during the first week of life is from 26 ° C to 28 ° C.


On the other hand, the fans are used as of the 21 days of age of the chickens, since at this moment they begin to give feed of fattening and they begin to increase an average of 60 g. daily. At this stage you need to avoid high temperatures to prevent heart attacks, so the fans keep running throughout the day and are only turned off during the night if the weather turns cold, likewise the fans can be turned off on rainy days or very cold days.


Now let's talk about the stages of chicken breeding and the agronomic management that we must apply in each of these to achieve a successful production.

shed prepared for the reception of chicks

Heaters in a broiler shed prepared for the reception of new chicks. Agriculture Company La Ensenada.

1,200 m2 barn with broiler chickens

Shed with chickens 21 day old and ventilators in use. La Dignidad del Valle Cooperative.

3. First reception (from birth to 7 days of age):


At this stage, the chicks, which are only a few hours old, are received inside the shed. As mentioned earlier, the temperature of the chicks during the first week of life should be kept between 26 ° C and 28 ° C, the curtains of the shed are kept down to avoid strong air currents, the heaters will start working at night and the cold days throughout this stage. If the chicks are very hot (when this happens you see them gasping) you can open a small space between the curtains so that a small amount of air enters the shed and refresh the chicks.

shed of chicks with protective curtains
chicks with 2 days old

Shed with chickens 2 days old, with closed curtains (outside view). Agricultural Company La Ensenada.

Shed with chickens 2 days old, with closed curtains (inside view). Agricultural Company La Ensenada.

We must also make sure that the chick identifies the feeders and drinkers, for this we can introduce a group of additional feeders between each of the lines of feeders and drinkers. Also for the chick to know where it can get water we can touch the water troughs to release water, seeing this the chick will be curious to go to the drinker and chop it to drink water. 


Another technique that is very applied by the poultry producers of Venezuela is to walk along the banks of the shed so that the chicks are grouped between the feeders and drinkers, and in this way they are encouraged to eat and drink water.


The food that is given to them in this stage is known as Pre-Starter Food and is a powdered food that is used to familiarize the chicks with this type of concentrated food. Food and water should be offered to the chicken throughout the day and nigth in all stages, at no time can you lack food or water to the chickens that are raised for fattening.


It is also worth mentioning that chicken is very delicate and easy to stress, so poultry producers establish specific schedules to work in the sheds. These schedules are comprised by the first hours of the morning and the last hours of the afternoon, since they are the coolest hours and where the corporal temperature of the chicken is lower. In the hours of noon and early afternoon you should not enter the house.

shed of chickens in agropecuaria la ensenada

Shed with 7 day old chickens. The heaters, the curtains below and the additional feeders can be appreciated. Agricultural Company La Ensenada.

4. Second reception (from 7 to 14 days of age):


At this stage the heaters are no longer used, however if the weather remains very cold they can be kept running until 10 days of age of the chicks. The feed changes from Pre-starter to Starter, which is a semi-granulated food. Also in this stage the first vaccines are placed to the chicks at 7 days of age and they are also given more space in the shed.


It is advisable to keep the curtains of the house down and only open small spaces between them to refresh the shed. At this stage it is still essential to keep the heat (up to 28 ° C) inside the shed.


5. Third reception (from 14 to 21 days old):


At this stage, the chicks are given more space inside the shed and the reinforcement of the vaccines is placed at 17 days of age, the Starter Food is still maintained and the curtains down, they can be opened according to the chicks keep growing.


6. Fattening (from 21 to 42 days old):


For this stage, the chickens must be distributed throughout the shed and the Starter Food is changed for the Fattening Food, which is granulated and will guarantee the weight gain in the chickens. From here the chicken will begin to grow and its body temperature will increase, it will also have more thirst and the consumption of water will increase notably inside the shed, so it is advisable to keep the tank that supplies water to it constantly at its maximum capacity.

The fans keep working throughout the day and during the nights that are very hot. In this stage the chicken should fatten 60 g. daily and for this to happen it is important to make sure that there are no factors that can stress the chicken; for this we must avoid the noises that are alien to the place where the shed is located, such as machinery noises, music, or loud dog barks. It is also advisable to repair the fans that make noise that could disturb the chickens.

As the fattening phase progresses and our chickens gain weight, they will also be more susceptible to cardiac infarction, due to the overweight they acquire in fattening and the large amount of heat their bodies will generate as they grow and gain weight. At this stage you have to take very seriously to keep the chicken in a calm and stress-free environment. It is also reminded that in countries with a tropical climate, or in hot seasons in countries with a stationary climate, it is not advisable to enter the sheds between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. because in these hotter hours we increase the risk of stressing the chicken and causing a heart attack.


Finally at 42 days the chickens are removed from the house to take them to the slaughterhouse, it should be noted that this work stresses the chickens to a great extent and therefore is performed late at night or at early morning before dawn.

chickens 42 days old

42 days old chickens. These chickens are ready to be remove from the shed. Agricultural Company La Ensenada.