As soon as the previous flock has been cropped/depleted the flock house and equipment must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. It is important to allow the house to remain empty for at least 2 weeks before the next flock is placed. This allows time to reduce the build-up of disease-causing organisms and to prepare the house effectively for the next flock.

  1. After the birds have been removed from the house, remove all the equipment from the house and dampen the ceiling, wall, and litter with water. This helps to minimize dust during litter removal
  2. Remove all old litter and dispose of it at least 1.5 km away from the farm
  3. Wash the house with water and soap starting from the roof followed by the walls and finally the floor. Allow the house to dry before finally spraying the whole house with disinfectant solution starting from the roof
  4. Wash and disinfect all the equipment from the house
  5. Repair and maintenance of the house and equipment should be done during this time

Litter management.
Once the house is dry place four inches (4) of litter material. Common types of litter are wood shavings, straw, rice husks and coffee husks. Good litter material should insulate the floor and absorb moisture from chicken droppings. Correct litter management is fundamental to bird health, performance and final carcass quality which subsequently impacts the profit.

Pre-placement checklist
The key to successful broiler rearing starts with having a systematic and efficient management program in place. This program must start well before the chicks arrive on-site. Pre-placement house preparation as part of a management program provides a basis for an efficient and profitable flock of broilers. The following checks need to be made:

  • Curtain installation check
  • Litter material check
  • Floor temperature check
  • Minimum ventilation check
  • Drinker check
  • Feeder check

Key management requirements:

  1. Place chicks from a similar age and flock source in a single house
  2. Placement per farm should ensure an all in the all-out regime
  3. Delays in placement can contribute to dehydration of chicks, resulting in higher chick mortality and reduced growth rate
  4. Transportation must provide ideal conditions for the chicks and the delivery time should be as short as possible
  5. Lower the light intensity during placement to reduce stress
  6. Chicks must be carefully placed and evenly distributed near feed and water throughout the brooding area
  7. When using the supplemental feed on paper, place chicks on the paper
  8. Weigh 5% of the boxes to determine day-old chick weight
  9. Lights should be brought to full intensity within the brooding area once all chicks have been placed
  10. Following a 1-2 hour acclimatization period, check all systems and make adjustments if necessary
  11. Monitor the distribution of the chicks closely during the first few days. This can be used as an indicator of any problems in feeder, drinker, ventilation or heating systems