Consistency in your approach is beneficial in all areas of livestock production. Raising poultry is no exception. Being consistent and ensuring that tasks are completed efficiently and timely is crucial to a farm’s success. There will be times when you must address unplanned needs, and there can be variances between flocks. However, stay poised for success by using a few management and production practices with every flock on your farm.
Completing daily barn chores at the same time every day allows you to be on a schedule that ensures you will notice any subtle indicators of issues in time to avoid larger problems and declining flock health. Being present in the barns at the same time each day allows you to monitor the birds’ environment and health, ensuring that there is little change from the last time you walked the barn. Your timeliness will help you pinpoint exactly when issues started and make the necessary changes early to stop the spread of disease and other problems that could end up diminishing your profit margin.
Keeping good records is a subject I frequently repeat because I think it often gets overlooked. Keeping notes and records on each flock is extremely important. Records should include treatments administered, deads and cull birds, daily water intake, and significant temperature swings. This information becomes imperative when issues arise and can help veterinarians or technical service representatives pinpoint problems and devise action plans to address them.
Keeping the environment consistent for flocks is vital to your birds’ health and a main factor in their performance. While seasons change and often provide less than ideal weather conditions, you should make barn temperature and ventilation a priority. Wide-ranging temps can be harsh to your birds, and the investment you make in ventilation and temperature stability will be returned to you.
Along with temperature and air quality, the condition of your litter deserves your attention. Keeping litter as dry as possible should be your goal, and drying agents or supplemental bedding can be added to problem areas. Providing the best bedding possible will also benefit your birds.
Consistency in these three areas is imperative to a successful operation. As a poultry producer, it is hard to control all variables. Yet if you consistently manage what is within your control, you have laid the path for a healthy and profitable flock. Paying attention to these seemingly unimportant details daily can have enormous benefits for your farm.