8 Tips for Optimizing Feeder Space for Broiler Breeders
Nutrition is important for the production of healthy, high-performance broiler breeders. But often, chickens can struggle to get adequate nutrition for various reasons, and a common one is feeding space.
In this blog post, I sure eight tips you can use to give your flock the best possible chance of getting adequate feed and nutrition.
1. Enable a Uniform Start
Chicks require plenty of feed within the first three days. In most cases, space plays an important role in the distribution of food. Ensure that chicks are able to access feed easily as overcrowding can adversely influence a chicks’ access to feed and therefore stunt their growth.
2. Balance Feeder Space With Bird Volume
Overcrowding can create less space and prevent access to feed. It is, therefore, important to establish a balance between the volume of chickens you have and feed space. As a rule of thumb, give birds enough space to avoid constant contact.
3. Age of Flock and Feeding Space
Space requirements will differ between the ages of birds, and it's therefore important to ensure that you make the right adjustments to your feeding equipment as birds grow.
4. Create Easy Access Feeders
Feeding frenzies can ensue, which is why creating unobstructed access to feeders is a must. This includes creating enough room for track and pan feeders. Typically, placing track and pan feeders approximately 1m part works well, but ensure that you don't have too many birds feeding at once.
5. The Right Feeding and Litter Height
Make sure that your litter height is considered as you set feeder height. If too high, birds will struggle to gain access to feed and this can adversely affect the uniformity of your bird growth.
6. Secure Your Feeders
Ensure that your feeders are stable and do not move or potentially come loose. Loose feeders make it difficult for birds to gain access to feed and therefore once again negatively influence your birds’ nutritional gains.
7. Watch Your Birds During Feeding Time
While applying the above measures can be helpful, keeping an eye on your birds during feed time is the best way to determine whether they have adequate space and access to feed.
8. Monitor Feed Cleanup Time
Another helpful indicator of the effectiveness of your feeding space is the speed at which feed is consumed. If consumed within three hours, you likely have adequate space. If not, you'll have to keep adjusting feeding space to create the ideal environment for your flock.
Ensuring that your chickens have adequate access to feed is important. These tips along with other best practices will help you create the right feeding environment on your farm.
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