Chick temperature crucial in first days
The first few days in the life of broiler chicks are vital for the rest of their production period. Especially the chick temperature, as is shown by data collected by Dutch veterinarian Sible Westendorp and reported in ‘GD Pluimvee’ magazine.
Together with his clients Westendorp developed a welcome check for broilers. Starting at arrival in the broiler house 30 birds are checked. After 4, 8 and 24 hours another 15 birds are checked at random. Their temperature is checked as is the barn floor temperature across the building. After day one the protocol is followed up by a daily check of 15 birds until the end of the round.
Westendorp knows that the temperature in the first two days is more than crucial. "Chicks with a low body temperature are prone to catch a disease of some sort. They take up feed, but their gut isn't working appropriately.'' Ideal temperatures are; 40.5 Celsius for the chick, 29 for the floor and 35 for ambient temperature. If the chicks are too cold, ambient temperature can go up to 38 decrees to compensate. Keeping records of all the days gives insight into the flock. In hindsight one can see were things went wrong and learn from those mistakes for the next flock.
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