NETLA Broiler Show Validation by November 30th at 5:00 PM.
Broiler projects are popular with 4-H and FFA members and are an integral part of most youth livestock shows. Broiler projects are especially suitable for youngsters with limited space. When planning to start a broiler project, contact the county Extension office, a 4-H leader or an agricultural science instructor. Birds not shown can be slaughtered for home use or sold locally to special markets. For the NETLA show (our local county show) broilers are provided in pens of 25 each with every validation entries. All participants of the NETLA show must belong to a 4-H club, be currently enrolled, have a quality counts number and have a validation form filled out with $30 payment to NETLA by November 30th 2015 at 5:00 PM. Broilers will be ready for pick up January 13 or 14, 2016.
Preparation and Brooding
Clean and disinfect the broiler house, feeders and waterers at least two weeks before the chicks arrive. Wash the house down with soap and water. Then spray a commercial disinfectant labeled for use in poultry houses. Be prepared for the chicks two days in advance. Put at least 4 inches of litter on the floor of the cleaned, disinfected house. Wood shavings, cane fiber, coarse dry sawdust, peanut hulls or rice hulls make good litter. Hay makes very poor litter. Keep all sticks, boards and sharp
objects away from the broiler house. Construct a cardboard brooder guard (brooder circle) to keep chicks near heat, water and feed. The brooder guard should be 18 inches high and must be a minimum of 5 feet in diameter for 50 chicks. When chicks are seven days old, remove the guard and allow them full freedom of the pen. Electric heat lamps (infrared bulbs) are good heat sources for brooding chicks. Two 125-watt bulbs per 50 chicks are recommended. Make certain lamps are secured so they cannot fall to the litter and create a fire hazard. The lamps should hang so that the bottoms are 18 to 24 inches from the litter. Lamps can be raised or lowered depending on temperature conditions. Place waterers a good distance from the lamps to prevent splashing water from cracking the hot bulbs. If a gas or an electric hover-type brooder is used, it should operate at a temperature of approximately 92 degrees to 95 degrees F. Gradually reduce the temperature 5 degrees each week until the broilers are three to four weeks old or until the house temperature reaches 70 degrees F. When chicks are comfortable, they will bed down in a semicircle around the perimeter of the heat zone. If cold, chicks will crowd under the heat source. If too warm, they will move to the outer limits of the brooder guard. Chilling can stunt chicks. In cold weather the heat source should be turned on 48 hours before chicks arrive to adequately heat the litter.
A complete set of recommendations in how to raise chicken for shows by contacting the Hopkins County Extension Office at 903-885-3443. For more information on this or any other agricultural topic please contact the Hopkins County Extension Office or email me at [email protected].