Why winter is the best time for broiler rearing.
My favorite season has always been winter ever since I was 10. This was because my father would reduce the number of chickens as he feared high mortalities due to the cold. I was happy it meant less work for us. After studying the broiler industry, I actually realized that winter is the best season for broiler farming in Zimbabwe. From my personal experience I feel that farmers should take advantage of this time firstly because they won’t be a lot of diseases. It could be because the cold is not a conducive environment for the disease causing organisms to thrive.
Another reason is that the stocking density of the birds can be increased from 10birds/sqm to 12birds/sqm. In simpler terms for a farmer doing 100 birds on 10sqm, the same farmer can do 120birds in the same fowl run.
I have also realized feed companies have a lot of promotions during this period because most farmers will be reluctant to purchase chicks and feed. Chicks will actually cheaper and easy to get during this season as compared to other season. Chick prices can go as low as usd0.65/chick as compared to $1.20 in other seasons. My advice to small scale poultry producers is to capitalize on this season and build a relationship with chick suppliers. In most cases these feed suppliers, the reason being that they get overwhelmed in September as everyone will start venturing into broiler farming. Passion Poultry farmers who have used this strategy never fail to get chicks when chicks are in short supply. I have also noticed that they are hardly any people in these feed companies during this time, giving you a chance to ask whatever you like during this period.
Just like my father years back, small scale broiler producers are reluctant to rear chicken because they don’t want to experience high chick mortality rate due to the cold weather. In order to help farmers we came up with the chick brooding device and method to make sure that chick mortality rate is reduced especially in winter. In my previous article on https://passionpoultry.co.zw/brooding/ I highlighted about the equipment we have at Passion Poultry. Please take some time and read it. Over the past year our Research and Development team was focusing on the use of gas as a source of heat for small scale poultry producers. We discovered that 1kg of gas can keep 500 birds warm for 12hours. This is in a controlled environment with
- Passion Poultry brooder ring that confines the chicks in a specific area so that they do not run away from the heat source.
- Inside and outside curtains (poultry curtains/sacks)
- Artificial ceiling (made from sacks)
- Wood shavings with a depth of 15cm/the height of an Eversharp 15M
Basically it’s all about creating and regulating the right temperature for the chicks.
Another observation is that winter is also tobacco season when farmers will be taking their tobacco to auction floors. Most of these farmers are also in broiler production and will choose not to do broilers because they will hardly be on the farm. For those not into Tobacco farming this is an advantage because demand for fully grown birds will be high. So why not take advantage of this season.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to learn more about strategic broiler production in Zimbabwe.
Article written by Evangelista Chekera for ©Passion Poultry
NB: THIS INFORMATION IS FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
DISCLAIMER: THIS INFORMATION IS FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AND DOES NOT SUBSTITUTE VETERINARY ADVICE. NO RESPONSIBILITY CAN BE ACCEPTED FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE TO YOUR BIRDS DUE TO ERROR OR OMISSION