The Importance of Day Old Chick Quality29 October 2015
A 1-day old chick has the potential to become a broiler chicken, a layer or breeder. Given this versatility, the quality of day old chicks (DOCs) matters immensely to poultry businesses. This article addresses key development stages, focusing on most frequent disturbances in the field and relevant solutions.
Healthy chicks are the starting point for good poultry performance. Yet, any number of problems - some difficult to detect early on - can impact the quality of day old chicks.
From the breeder’s farm to the hatchery and transportation to final farm reception, management practices have a real impact. Optimised processes and preventive measures can give chicks the right start.
Handle with care
At the hatchery, attention to hatchery process is vital to avoid poor chick quality. Special care should be taken for long time storage, separating small eggs from bigger eggs by donor flock age, hatchery hygiene and transportation conditions.
Long storage can reduce hatchability, impairing the animal’s future growth rate. Separation of chicks coming from young and older breeder flocks will improve homogeneity. Yolk sac infection and aspergillosis can be linked to hatchery hygiene, but also to the cleanliness of the egg.
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