Managing a broiler flock for top performance takes attention to detail. However, with many years of experience under the belt and knowledge of the inner workings of your farm, farm blindness is a point to consider.
You can only recognise an irregularity if you know what is normal. You will learn what is normal by observing as often and as objectively as possible. Always be aware of the dangers of farm blindness.
What is farm blindness?
By definition farm blindness is when you see the situation on your own farm as the norm. Limit farm blindness by talking to colleagues and advisors on a regular basis and really share all critical and even sensitive data. Act on critical comments. Also go and look at other poultry keepers’ operations.
Join a study group to share opinions and ideas on a regular basis and improve together.
7 points to observe your birds in a structured way:
Look at them both with and without doing other tasks
Look at the whole flock, the individual chicken and then back to the flock
Look for averages and extremes
Look at the front, back and middle of the house. The same applies to processes such as feeding. Look all along the feeding system that is being filled. What is happening where?
Look at different times and in different circumstances
At regular intervals, stand still in the broiler house and also get down and move about at the level the birds reside.
Identify critical times, susceptible birds and danger zones and keep an extra eye on them.