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Water helps avoid deaths in day old chicks

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Farm­ers can avert drastic and im­me­di­ate death of day-old chicks soon after in­tro­du­cing them into the new brooders by of­fer­ing clean water and en­sur­ing the tem­per­at­ure is kept within the re­quired range.

A few days to the end of brood­ing period, chicks ab­sorb all li­quid in the egg. The mois­ture would keep them going until they get water after hatch­ing.

Mary Njeri, the owner of Poultry Farm Hatch­ery said chicks can be vac­cin­ated and all other pre-trans­port­a­tion ar­range­ments made but de­hyd­ra­tion and new en­vir­on­ment shock can lead to losses of the chicks.

READ ALSO: Li­quid par­affin helps day-old chick on first feed­ing

The poultry rear­ing and in­cub­a­tion ex­pert said it is not easy to tell when the chicks need water for in­stance. But fer­ry­ing them can lead to re­duced water in the sys­tem, there­fore, af­fect­ing nor­mal body func­tions.

“Tem­per­at­ure on ar­rival must be between 32 de­grees Celsius and 34 de­grees Celsius. Water is ne­ces­sary be­fore they start feed­ing. Suf­fi­cient clean water must be provided as one of the way of mak­ing the brooder friendly,” she said.

READ ALSO: What to con­sider while buy­ing one day old chicks

Chicks are del­ic­ate, she says. Over­crowded brooders also present stress­ful mo­ments for the new chicks, which af­fects de­vel­op­ment as they adapt to the new en­vir­on­ment.

A spa­cing of 25 chicks per square metre is re­com­men­ded for the lay­ers. Twenty broiler chicks can cover one metre square space.

De­pend­ing on the type of heat source being used, 1,000 chicks would be com­fort­able with a hover while 200 would be stress free with one in­frared bulb.

READ ALSO: Li­quid par­affin helps day-old chick on first feed­ing

Chicks crowding at the source of heat in­dic­ate that the brooder is cold while mov­ing to the peri­phery means it is too hot.

Form­ing a pyr­amid-like file from the centre of heat to­wards one corner of the brooder sig­ni­fies drought or strong cold wind.

Con­tam­in­ated feeds or in­fec­tion from the hatch­ery can also cause deaths of such young chicks soon after in­tro­duc­tion into the new set of con­di­tions, Mary said.

Be­sides buy­ing feeds from re­og­nised sup­pli­ers, gen­eral clean­li­ness while hand­ling all equip­ment and dis­in­fect­ing one­self be­fore en­ter­ing the rear­ing re­gion.

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