It has now been just over 4 months since I decided to dive into the world of kienyeji chicken farming and God! Its been one heck of an experience. You know how they say chicken are very delicate? Well, they are not only delicate but extremely delicate especially when young. And btw that counts or all birds(got a couple of ducks at the farm too but that’s a story for another day).
The last time I updated you on this venture, I had received a batch of 307 chics and had reared them to around 3 weeks when the deadly Gumboro disease struck, I remember I ended that story prematurely to go take stock of what I had left and im proud to say the number was 130. I know, I know, most of you reading this probably squirmed at the thought of loosing 177 chics but considering I have 130 left having being struck by a disease known for up to 90% fatality, I count myself lucky.
I am glad to report that since gumboro, I have had very few losses as I upped my coop cleanliness game and started disinfecting more often. There was however one strange case I encountered and any vet or chicken expert reading this can assist figure out. At around 2 months old, 4 chics developed a walking problem and after a couple of days they could hardly walk at all. They stumble and stagger whenever they attempted to move and after a couple of days, they would die- this I figure was due to starvation as feeding was automatically a challenge for them.
I isolated the affected birds and supplemented their feeds with DCP(di-calcium phosphate) after suspecting calcium deficiency. Honestly this was the only thing I could settle for after searching online for answers considering the other options were neural diseases (now how do you even begin to treat this). One bird however has a weird symptom, it shivered a lot, not the entire body but just its head. Too bad I dint get enough time to take it to the vet as it died soon after.
One thing I can tell anyone looking to venture into chicken farming is, take time to think carefully and assess whether you have the capacity and capability to feed the number of chicken you want to procure. These lovely birds eat a lot. I remember how I would wake up in the middle of the night to go check on them and find them eating. As long as there is light, they will eat. I had to switch off the infrared lights once they grew enough feathers to keep themselves warm. This helped, a lot and I realized they were just being greedy- none died of starvation or anything and they dint grow any slower. So please find out how many grams you want to feed each chicken, multiply that by the number of chicken you have and serve that portion each day to avoid going bankrupt. Financial management 101.
Another thing, please ensure that you build structures that facilitate perching for your chicken otherwise the they will cramp up together in a corner and suffocate each other to death(I lost 2 at 3 months to this). A simple structure like the one shown below is sufficient. This also helps in hygiene as they don’t sleep on their droppings.
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Untill next time…adios