Vencob100 broiler management guide

Chick Placement

Preparation before arrival of chicks
From a profit point of view, prevention of disease has become the most cost-effective approach to poultry productivity. Followed properly, the procedures enumerated below can prove successful, but one should first contact local concerned authorities to verify their permissibility.
  • Immediately after liquidating flocks, spray entire poultry house (inside and outside) with an approved insecticide in accordance with the manufacturer’s direction. This should be done prior to removal of litter and equipment. Allow sufficient time for insecticide to work.

  • Remove all litter and dust. Then wash the house and equipment thoroughly with a pressurized water jet. Ensure that maximum possible organic matter and dirt is removed from inside and outside of the house. Make sure that all wire nets, iron structures, concrete structure and roof are thoroughly cleaned.

  • When the building has completely dried, use selected disinfectants like quaternary ammonium compound, idophores, liquid ammonia or other commercially available approved disinfectants. One can also treat floors and parapet walls with caustic soda. Follow expert’s advice regarding dosages, procedures and compatibility. Place all disinfected equipments in place.

  • Clean all water pipelines, feed bins, etc. with suitable disinfectants. Fumigation is effective in poultry houses which are reasonably air tight and at a temperature of 70°F (21°C) and 65% relative humidity. Close all openings and fumigate while building is still wet. Use 400 mL of Formaldehyde and 200 g of potassium permanganate for each 1000 cubic ft. of air space (28 cubic m). Keep the building closed for 24 hrs. Fumigation should only be done under strict supervision of authorized skilled person.

  • An effective rodent control program should always be in use at all times.

  • Regular spray of suitable disinfectants and strict bio-security procedures are necessary.

All In All Out : This system is strongly recommended for maximum exploitation of genetic potential of birds. All birds in the shed/farm should be of the same age group and preferably of the same breed and source of supply. If this is not possible minimize the number of age groups on the farm. Efficient management, sanitation and vaccination programs become more complicated and less effective in multiple age sites.

Restriction on men and material : Sales people, bird lifters, service men and visitors should not be allowed to enter the bio-secured area.

Foot Baths : Foot baths should be provided at the entry of each shed. Water in foot baths should contain an approved disinfectant in its recommended dilution. The solution should be changed periodically.

Foot wears : Preferably disinfected rubber slippers should be used before entering the farm.

Water Management

A chicken comprises of 60 - 70 percent of water and is present in all cells of the body. A 10 percent loss through dehydration and/or excretion results in serious physical disorder.

First 10 – 14 Days

To insure that chicks get off to a good start, it is important to have adequate clean and fresh water available. This water should be available in chick waterers (mini-drinkers etc.), which should be frequently cleaned and filled.
7 Days until Market
Allow 2 cm of watering space per chick when using trough-type waterers. This should be enough until market age. When determining drinker placements ensure that birds need do not have to travel over 8 ft. to get water. Drinkers should be washed daily with a good sanitizer with recommended dose. Do not use sanitizer on the day of vaccinations.

The height of drinkers should be adjusted in such a way that the brim of the drinkers should be in a level corresponding to the bird's back, so that the birds do not have to bend down or stretch their necks while drinking.

Water spillage is minimum when drinkers are maintained at the "correct height", resulting in better litter management. Fresh clean water is essential for good performance.

Water Consumption - Temperate Climates

Age in Days

Water consumption per 1000 broilers birds
per day (liters)

70°F  21.1°C

80°F  26.7°C

90°F  22.2°C

110°F  43.3°C

0 - 7





8 - 14





15 - 21





22 - 28





29 - 35





36 - 42





43 - 49





50 - 56





Table No. 13

In temperatures above 77°F (25°C) water consumption increases and above 85°F (29°C) additional drinkers should be provided.
Water Quality
Water samples should be periodically analysed for coliform count. If bacterial count is above permissible level, it is advisable to sanitize the water. Take the water samples from their sources like wells, water tanks, and from pipelines before and after sanitization. Get water tested from the laboratory. Use a sterile bottle for collecting water sample for microbial test.

The following water standards serve as a guide for the water supply to your broilers.

Drinking Water Standards


Maximum Permissible Limits

No. of coliform bacteria/mL

10 - 15


No. of E.coli/mL



Hydrometric Level

- 30°


Organic Substances




0 - 15






5 U








Drinking Water Standards























6.8 - 7.5



Housing Space

The floor space to be allocated per bird will be determined by a combination of following factors:
  1. The size of the bird at market age
  2. Type of housing
  3. Climatic conditions, and whether the farm is open sided or environment controlled
In general the following floor space allotments are recommended for broilers:
Non-insulated houses
1 sq. ft to 1.2 sq. ft. per bird depending upon the season and marketing weight.
Controlled environment houses (acclimatized)
0.4 - 0.6 sq. ft. per bird throughout the year depending on the size of bird at market age and the season.

Litter and Litter Management

Types of Litter
The type of litter used will depend upon availability, suitability and economics. Types of litter most commonly used include wood shavings, sawdust, rice husk, straw, corncobs and groundnut hulls. When using rice husk it is advisable to use thin layer of paper on top of the litter to prevent the feeders and fountains from getting filled with husk.
Litter Management
The objective is to maintain litter in a dry condition. Normal dry litter usually contains 20 to 25% moisture. Whenever it holds more moisture it becomes caked. Therefore additional ventilation and removing wet or caked litter is important, so as to maintain litter quality. Addition of fresh litter will help in maintaining proper litter condition. Please ensure that litter is not dusty.


Types of Brooding
Depending upon the season, brooding practices vary in tropical countries where large conventional open housing is normally practiced.

Winter - Use 1/3 area of the house for brooding.
Summer - Use 1/2 area of the house for brooding.

Even though efforts are made to conserve heat, it is often noticed that ventilation is not given due importance. In view of fast growth and high rate of metabolism, the commercial broilers need special attention for provision of enough ventilation.
Brooder Management
Start and adjust the brooder stoves 24 hours before the arrival of chicks.
Ensure that they are working correctly.
Adjust the temperature to 95°F (35°C) at the edge of the brooder 2 inches (5cm) above the litter.
Lower the temperature by 5°F (2.8°C) each week until it reaches 70°F.
Brooder Guard
  • Make the guards from material, which can be properly sterilised
  • Height of Guard should be approximately 16 inches to 18 inches
  • Guards will ensure chicks stay near the source of heat
  • Helps in preventing chilling and piling
  • See diagram to place other equipments
Gas Brooding
Use of LPG operated Gas Brooders gives much more uniform heat as compared to conventional types of brooding practices like Electric Lamps, Coal or Wood. The radiant Gas Brooder creates microclimate for the chicks so that they can choose their most comfortable place and warmth at any time. This results in proper growth and weight gain, which is more uniform. LPG Gas Brooding can be done either by central Control System or by Individually Controlled Infra Red radiant gas brooders. You should remember that any brooding system must have temperature control device. The advantage of this temperature control are to meet the precise heat requirement of the birds which changes with their age and energy saving.
Infra Red Radiant Brooder can be placed 90 to 130 cm above the ground level depending upon the heat requirement. The number and types of Gas Brooders can be decided as per the specifications of the Gas Brooder. It is very important to note that the Gas Brooder, which you select, spells out the specifications in terms of BTU/KW rating, operating pressures, etc. It is always safe to select the brooder, which has got international quality mark for safety and reliability. Before chicks arrive, please ensure that the filled LPG Gas Cylinders are available at the site. Maintain temperature of 32 to 34° C on day one. Measure the same at 10 to 25 cm above the litter level. Lower the temperature approximately by 3° C per week until attaining a temperature of 25° C. The temperature can be sensed by a sensor connected to the individual Gas Brooders or the Central Control System.

Feed and Feeding

The quality of diet is affected by the following factors:
    • Total nutrient level and availability of essential nutrients to the bird

    • True metabolizable energy (TME)

    • The proportion of saturated to unsaturated fats for pre-starter diets (due to the limited ability of chicks to digest saturated fats)

Electrolyte Balance
Deep panting for prolonged periods leads to increased CO2 loss which further results in change in acid:base balance in the bird’s blood plasma. The consequence of these changes is respiratory alkalosis, dehydration affect the birds metabolism. To correct this imbalance Sodium bicarbonate should be added to the feed at the rate of 3 kg to 7 kg per tone. Adding electrolytes to drinking water stimulates water consumption. Potassium based salt mixtures appear to give better results than sodium based salts and also helps in increasing water consumption.
The quality of the diet is affected by following factors:
    • Total nutrient level and availability of essential nutrients to the birds

    • True metabolisable energy (TME)

    • The proportion of saturated to unsaturated fats for prestarter diets (due to the limited ability of chicks to digest saturated fats)

    • Anti-nutritional factors, e.g. histamines (biogenic amines) in fish meal, trypsin inhibitors in soybean meal

    • Toxins, e.g. mycotoxins produced in the field (ergot and fusarium in wheat) or in storage (aflatoxin)

    • The addition of enzymes to improve the digestibility of wheat or other raw materials.

Diet Form
Under Indian conditions, broilers are fed crumbled/pelleted as well as mash feed. Consistency in product quality is the major key to maintain satisfactory feed consumption. Variations in pellet hardness are caused by both ingredient changes and manufacturing process.
A consistent high quality pelleted feed is consumed faster than a dusty product, whilst a mash feed may take up to three times longer to consume. Consistent physical quality of pellets also prevents the separation of feed and ensures that birds receive a diet of the intended specification.
Fat Quality
Day old chicks are not capable of digesting saturated fats properly, so the fat in the starter feed should be largely unsaturated (e.g. soy oil). The ability of chickens to metabolize fats improves as they grow, so the finisher diets can include increasing amounts of saturated fat (e.g. palm oil).
The birds must be fed with an appropriate diet if they are to perform up to their true genetic potential. In order to ensure that they receive feed that contains the right amounts of energy, protein, essential amino acids, minerals, vitamins and trace elements, it is important to assess the correct levels of these nutrients in the feed ingredients while formulating broiler feed.
The feed is, however, only as good as the raw materials from which it is made and many of the nutritional problems that arise are the result of a lack of adequate attention to the quality of raw materials. The quality of the finished feed is dependent on raw material quality, feed formulation, weighing equipments and manufacturing process. Accurate testing of raw materials and finished feed ensures availability of proper quality and quantity of nutrients to the birds.
Improving broiler performance at high environmental temperatures
In order to maintain performance during summer it is important to ensure feed consumption and nutrient intake requirement of the bird. A supply of cool water must be available at all times. Reducing water temperature has shown to lower body temperature. Evaporative cooling of houses is the best-proven alternative in summer. For open houses, fans, foggers, sprinklers, and side-wet curtains can also be used.
Feeding Management
Feeding Management is the simplest method to ensure adequate nutrient intake in hot climate, and it is effective to combat acute heat stress. In the summer season it is beneficial to feed birds during the cool hours of the day/night. At intervals, fresh addition of feed or running the feeder at frequent intervals will stimulate interest in feeding and may help to increase feed intake. It is advisable to withdraw feed during the hottest parts of the day. If the birds have finished digesting their last meal before hot hours, their metabolic heat production will be reduced.
Feeding Equipment
The most widely used types of feeders are hand fill trough (linear feeders), hand filled hanging hoppers, mechanical chain (trough type) and center less auger with pans (tube type).
Trough Feeders
Provide 25 - 30 numbers five feet (1.5 m) trough feeders per 1000 birds. Use grills and adjustable legs on all feeders and raise height of feeders as birds grow to increase feed efficiency and to keep litter out of the feeder.
Feeder space allowances
  1. Day old to 14 days - allow 2 linear inches (5.0 cm) per bird

  2. 15 Days to 35 days - allow 3 linear inches (7.5 cm) per bird

  3. 36 Days to market - allow 4 linear inches (10.0 cm) per bird

When determining the amount of space per feeder, measure both sides of the feeder. Grills should be provided on all trough feeders.

Feeder Management Practices
Maintain height of all trough and pan feeders so that the lip of feeders is at level with the backs of the birds. Manufacturer’s recommendations should be followed properly to ensure top performance and longevity of equipment.

Important: All automatic feeders should be checked regularly to make certain that there are no operational problems.

Feed Types
Various types of broiler feeding programs are followed in India. The widely used is pre-starter, starter and finisher ration.

Nutrient Levels

The following nutrient specifications given in subsequent pages are intended to optimize the performance at varying ages of the birds and in different seasons. The tables should be used as a guide to determine the nutrient requirements of broilers and in consultation with the local Vencobb nutritionist. The formulations may be designed to meet the market requirements.

All the specifications given are for broiler chicks reared in tropical climates at average daily temperature. When the humidity/temperature exceeds this range, feed consumption and nutrient requirements are likely to change and feed formulation should be suitably modified.

The feed manufacturer usually recommends the length of time the birds will be on one ration, or form of ration. Generally, you should follow their program, as they have developed rations to achieve specific functions during given times (age) with the most economical price performance relationship to achieve better profitability.

Suggested Nutritional Requirements


Age in Days






0 - 10

11 - 21

22 - Finish

M.E. Kcal/kg

2900 - 2950



Crude Protein %

22.00 - 22.50



Ether Extract % (Min)




Crude Fiber % (Max)




Calcium %




Available Phosphorous %




Sodium %




Chloride %




Linoleic Acid %




Lysine % (Min)




Methionine % (Min)




Table No. 15


Suggested Nutritional Requirements


To be Added

Vitamin A iu/kg


Vitamin D3 iu/kg


Vitamin B1 mg/kg


Vitamin B2 mg/kg


Niacin mg/kg


Pantothenic Acid mg/kg


Pyridoxine mg/kg


Folic Acid mg/kg


Cyanocobalamine mg/kg


D-Biotin mg/kg


Vitamin K mg/kg


Vitamin E mg/kg


Vitamin C mg/kg


Choline mg/kg


Table No. 16


Suggested Nutritional Requirements











Selenium (max)






For effective and efficient ventilation, the system should be properly designed, maintained, controlled and used as per the needs. This will help to provide an environment, which maximizes birds' performance.

Maintain 21°C to 27°C (70°F - 80°F) temperature.
Aids for Cooling
  • Water sprinklers can be used over the roof of the poultry house to reduce temperature

  • The external surface of the sheds' roof should be painted to reduce inside temperature

  • Construct a maximum overhang on the roof to keep sun off the walls

  • Use good insulation materials for roof and walls e.g. sugarcane or paddy straw thatch

The need for ventilation of poultry houses today is greater than it has ever been before. Because of the fast growth of broilers we have now, the air quality and oxygen demand for the birds has increased two or three times.

We must provide a good ventilation system in the house in order to insure that there is good air quality. Every house should have two separate ventilation systems in it. One should be for minimum ventilation and the other for summer ventilation.
Following are the reasons why we should have a proper ventilation system.

    • To have continuous adequate supply of fresh air and oxygen to the birds

    • Removal of foul air, harmful gases like ammonia, carbon-mono-oxide and carbon-di-oxide, etc.

    • Maintaining required correct temperature and humidity as per the age of birds

    • Dilute disease causing infective agents like bacteria and maintain healthy environment in poultry house

    • To maintain good litter conditions

    • To increase housing capacity of the house and to achieve optimum performance

Ventilation Systems

Natural or Open house
In Indian conditions, because of the climate we do have poultry houses with both sides open. Temperature is controlled with the help of curtains. Depending upon the season one has to operate the curtains or use heaters or brooders to increase the temperature. In summer season, we recommend fans, sprinklers, foggers where the temperatures are higher. One can either use low-pressure fogger nozzles or high-pressure fogger nozzles for these houses.
Mechanical/Tunnel Ventilations
In recent years, stress created by greater bird density, rapid growth rate, increased metabolic activity, higher body weights, etc. have caused the need of environment control systems. Air movement over the flock increases the birds comfort level tremendously hence, environmentally controlled houses are designed to satisfy maximum requirements of the birds.

Air Movement

Air Temperature

Volume of Air
Per Minute Per kg (2.2 lbs) Body Weight
@ 60% Relative Humidity



Liter Per Minute

Cubic Feet Per Minute










































Most of the broiler farming in India is carried out in conventional open sided houses. Days being warm and nights being cool, most of the farmers are following no dark period throughout the growing period. In many places, light is used as source of warmth also. Lighting programs are devised to improve FCR and reduce mortality. The basic principle to designing a lightning program is to allow the birds to feed properly and leave a rest period for feed utilization or digestion.

Vaccine and Vaccination

Proven vaccines, produced under rigid quality norms of management, from a reputed manufacturer should only be used for vaccination.

The very purpose of the vaccination is to protect flocks against infective agents. Vaccines should be scientifically inoculated/introduced into the flock to stimulate its immune system. To learn and adopt correct schedule and methodology of vaccination consult the local veterinary / technical expert and follow manufacturer's instructions. It also important to transport vaccines in insulated, cooled and secured packing and should be stored in conditions specified by the manufacturer. All these factors will help to achieve expected immune response.
Guidelines for Water Vaccination
  • Remove drinking water prior to vaccination for one hour in hot weather, decide withdrawal time judiciously for other seasons.

  • Wash brush or scrub waterers thoroughly to remove all dirt, dropping and slime. Do not use a sanitizer.

  • Use only clean, pure water (safe for human consumption) for your poultry. Uncontaminated drinking water is essential to the health of the flock.

  • Handle vaccine properly.

  • Follow manufacturer's instructions for vaccine reconstitution and dilution.

  • Do not use outdated vaccines - old products may not have adequate potency.

  • Use adequate dosage - do not stretch vaccine.

  • Burn or disinfect all used and open vaccine containers after each vaccination to prevent accidental spread.

  • Prepare vaccine water mixture in a clean container such as a large bucket, then administer to the flock by pouring it into the pre-cleaned water troughs. Do not rely on automatic waterers.


Disposal of Dead Birds

The immediate burning or burying of dead birds is an important part of a good disease prevention program. You should never leave dead birds in the pens, feed rooms or around the poultry house.

Dead birds act as a source of disease that can be spread by rats, mice, dogs, cats, flies, beetles, mosquitoes, free flying birds and insects that may act as carriers of the disease. No single method is perfect for disposal of dead birds, but a method once decided, use it correctly. Methods of disposal may vary from farm to farm and area to area. The two most acceptable methods are described below.
A good incinerator is probably the best means of disposal, especially in an area where there is poor soil drainage or a danger of contaminating the water supply.
While building or purchasing an incinerator, the following points should be taken into consideration:
  1. Capacity: Choose a unit large enough, which will take care of expansion needs for the future

  2. Cost of Operations: Design an incinerator, which will be cost effective

  3. Sturdiness: Make use of special long lasting fire bricks

  4. Automatic Controls: Saves fuel cost

  5. Location: Locate the incinerator at a place where it will be handy to use but downwind from residences

  6. After Burner: An incinerator with an after burner attached should be used to reduce possible air pollution

Important: When operating an incinerator, be very sure that birds are completely burnt to a white ash.

Disposal Pit
A less desirable but acceptable method of dead bird disposal is through the use of an adequately designed and tightly covered disposal pit.
  1. This saves labor and at times, it is unnecessary to dig a hole or start a fire each time a bird dies

  2. Dogs or rodents cannot dig up birds

  3. It has no noticeable odor if tightly covered

  4. No fire hazards

  5. Pit can be used year round

  6. Birds decompose fairly rapidly without the use of chemicals

A pit 6 ft (1.83 m) in diameter and 6 ft deep (1.83m) is large enough to take care of one 10,000-capacity broiler unit.
Contact a local government or agricultural agency to verify that disposal pits are permissible in your area.

Much research has been done recently at universities showing the merit of composting. The composting process is one that must be monitored and managed well.

Broiler Performance Criteria

The broiler industry uses numerous terms to express broiler performance, and the methods most used are briefly outlined below
1. Feed Conversion
Feed conversion ratios tell us the efficiency of broiler bird to convert feed into live broiler weight.


Total kg of feed consumed by a batch

Total kg of live weight of broilers sold


Feed Conversion Ratio


8750 kg (Feed)

5000 kg (Live wt.)


1.75 (FCR)

2. Livability %

No of live birds sold

Total number of chicks started (including extra)



3.Average weight per bird
Total weight in kgs for broilers sold (kg)

Number of chicken sold

Performance Standards - Straight Run Birds

Age in Days

Body Weight

Cumulative Feed Consumption

Cumulative FCR Pelleted

























Table No. 19
Note: These standards are based on actual flock results obtained under good environmental and managemental conditions. However, these standards do not express or imply a warranty of performance.


Essential Information
Accurate record keeping is essential to monitor the performance and profitability of broiler operations, to enable forecasting, programming and cash flow projections to be made. It also serves to provide an early warning of potential problems, and so is invaluable to all round good management. It is also essential for trouble shooting on farm.

Daily records should monitor
  1. Feed consumption
  2. Water consumption
  3. Maximum and minimum temperature
  4. Mortality
  5. Medication
  6. Vaccination
  7. Feed, gas, litter deliveries, etc.

Record on a flock basis

  1. Electricity usage
  2. Gas/oil usage
  3. Stocking density
  4. Feed samples which should remain from each load delivered and stored in airtight, vermin-proof containers
  5. Feed Consumption
  6. Body weights
  7. FCR
Note : Suggested Management guide based on Venkteshwara hatcheries recommendations. Management practices should be worked out  in consultation with local poultry consultant because requirement differs from area to area.This management guide can not used as universal management guide for all the area. We don’t owe any responsibility for any consequences if any body uses this management guide as it is.
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