Brooding is extremely critical to the success of chick development and proper management of a flocks’ brooding environment, specifically the temperature, feed, light, litter, air, water, space and sanitation (T-FLLAWSS), is essential.
Research has shown that deficiencies during the brooding period can have a negative impact on future production. In broilers for example, optimal brooding helps ensure birds reach optimal body weights with greater meat yield, have efficient feed utilization, are healthier and contribute to improved flock uniformity.
The Platinum Brooding® program was developed by Canadian Poultry Consultants Ltd. to educate producers, rearing broiler, leghorn or turkey chicks, about creating a successful brooding environment and is widely recognized as an important and effective continuing education opportunity.
All the elements in proper brooding are important for coccidial vaccine success, but there are some that is absolutely crucial:
- Stocking density - to manage moisture and also ensure close proximity of birds to shed, sporulated oocysts for re-ingestion
- Moisture - on the top of the litter, 20-30%, to ensure optimal sporulation of shed oocysts, a Relative Humidity of >40% should also be maintained
- Adequate Feeding Space - birds will eat, feed or no feed, restrictions of enough feed can lead to birds over ingesting sporulated oocysts, especially in first 3 weeks
- Adequate Drinker Space - goes hand in hand with feed and birds need water to ensure moist fecal material to reach litter moisture requirements
- Proper Immunosuppressive Disease Vaccination - uncontrolled disease like IBD, CAV and Mareks will not allow birds to develop proper immunity