What to consider before buying day old chicks

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Day old chicks are a very delicate step in poultry farming. This stage of chicken farming, if not well handled, may become a disaster. A serious farmer can manage to bring up 100% day old chicks while a farmer with no experience and seriousness may suffer 100% mortality. The day to two week-old-chicks is the most critical and requires careful handling and being informed.

Factors to consider before getting the chicks

Before making an order for day old chicks, a farmer should take into consideration several factors. Some of those factors include;

  • Readiness of your brooder

A farmer should check his/her brooder where they will brood the chicks to ensure the brooder is ready so that once the chicks arrive, they are immediately place in the brooder. A farmer should ensure that the brooder has enough heat lamps for a standard amount of heat supply, they should ensure that the drinkers and feeders are enough to serve all the ordered chicks, check to ensure that there are no loopholes which may expose the chicks to any dangers that may lead to death, and also ensure that the beddings are good enough for the chicks’ safety.

  • Type of breed
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Poultry farming is divided into several diverse segments. Some farmers practice broiler farming, others practice layers farming, others mixed breed farming, kienyeji farming and others improved kienyeji farming. When ordering chicks, a farmer should be certain that the chicks they are ordering are the type of breed they want. A layers poultry farmer cannot order broiler chicks and expecting them to grow and become good layers.

For improved kienyeji farmers, a farmer should be specific the type of breed they want, either Sasso, Kenbro, Kuroiler or Rainbow Roosters. The three types of chicken serve best different purposes.

  • History of the parent flock

Some poultry diseases, just like in humans, are generational. Some diseases can be passed from parents to the chicks. When ordering chicks, a farmer should ensure that the flock from which they are ordering chicks does not have a history of chronic chicken diseases. Some of the diseases can still recur even if the chicks are fully vaccinated.

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  • The generation of the chicks

Farmers should consider buying first generation chicks in order to get the best result. Second, third, fourth and so generations have weak immunity and do not deliver results that are given by first generation chicken. For instance first generation chicks mature first, maturity of the chicken reduces with an increase in the number of generations. Therefore fourth generation chicks will mature at a very slow rate compared to first generation chicks.

  • Vaccination

A chick, before maturity, should be given five types of vaccines depending on where a farmer is and the type of diseases that have a high prevalence there. A farmer should ensure that the chicks’ dealer provides them with an up-to-date vaccination report for the chicks. The first vaccine that a chick is given upon hatchery is Mareks vaccine. Mareks vaccine is administered as an injection immediately they are removed from the hatcher. The subsequent vaccination should follow the following schedule;

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Newcastle vaccineWeek1
Fowl PoxWeek6
Fowl TyphoidWeek8

A farmer should repeat vaccination against Newcastle after every three months.

  • The distance from the hatchery to your place

Farmers should order chicks from hatcheries that are as nearest to them as possible. When chicks are shipped over very long distances, they may suffer a lot of stress which may make a farmer suffer a very high first day chick mortality.

  • The cost of the chicks

Farmers should try and acquire quality chicks at affordable prices. There are brokers in the chick market who buy the chicks cheaply from hatcheries and sell them to farmers at inflated prices.

Farmers should highly take into consideration this and several other factors before ordering chicks.