Recommended Precautions

BE CAUTIOUS WHEN HANDLING POULTRY

Live poultry can be a source of potentially harmful bacteria.
The following are safe handling tips:

  • Thoroughly wash hands with soap and water after handling poultry or anything in their environment.
  • Clean poultry equipment frequently.
  • Keep live poultry and their equipment outside of your home.
  • Do not eat or drink around poultry or their environment.
  • Supervise children when they handle poultry. Make sure that they do not put hands or fingers into their mouths.
  • Young children under the age of five and those with weakened immune systems should be cautious when handling poultry.
  • Do not nuzzle or kiss poultry.

Antibiotic Use in Poultry

Due to the decision by the FDA limiting the use of antibiotics for all livestock, including poultry, we have posted information on our website regarding alternative treatment options. For additional information on this matter, don’t hesitate to call the office with your questions or fill out our contact form.

Alternative Disease Treatment Information

Chick Nutritional Recommendations

Sunnyside Jumbo Broilers grow extremely fast and require a high-quality starter ration (23%) for their first 4 weeks, and a grower ration (20% protein) for finishing. Mild feed restrictions after 2 weeks of age, such as allowing birds to run out of feed in the evening before refilling feeders again the next morning, may be necessary to help prevent leg issues. Broilers will eat constantly if given the chance, so restricting feed will give them a chance to rest and grow at a more reasonable rate.

All other types of chickens should be given a commercial starter ration (20%+ protein) for their first 8 weeks, followed by a grower ration (17% protein) until pullets are ready to lay. Read feed labels closely and be sure you are feeding the appropriate type of feed for the birds’ stage in life. It is recommended that all rations include a coccidiostat to help prevent coccidiosis.

Management of Baby Chicks

Make sure their environment is warmed up to 90° F upon their arrival. The temperature can be reduced by 5° F per week until you reach 70° F. Give your birds plenty of space (recommended at ½ sq. ft. per chick to start) and remember that comfortable chicks will be spread out evenly under the light/brooder. One 250--watt lamp for every 80 chicks, placed 18--24 inches off the floor, is a good rule of thumb.

Litter must remain clean and dry. Wood shavings, peat moss and rice hulls work best. Avoid using newspapers and straw for bedding as these can be susceptible to mold and can become slippery, which may cause leg problems. Circulate fresh air in the growing area to prevent ammonia build up. Young chicks can be protected by a draft guard early on to protect them from being chilled.

Feed and water chicks immediately upon arrival. Provide at least one gallon of water per 50 chicks. For best results, include a vitamin and electrolyte powder in their water founts. First feedings should be done in open trays to train the chicks to feed. A fine grade grit may be sprinkled on top of their feed- this will aid in their digestion. Feeders and waterers should be even with the chicks’ backs and adjusted up as they grow.

Duck Nutrition and Management

Feed ducklings a commercial, non-medicated waterfowl starter for their first 3 to 4 weeks. If waterfowl starter is unavailable, a high-protein, preferably non-medicated chick starter will do. By week 8, protein in the ration should not exceed 15%, which is adequate for finishing out ducks.

Ducklings need plenty of fresh, clean drinking water. Try to prevent them from getting into their water source early on and keep bedding dry, removing wet spots as needed. A 250-watt lamp for every 30 ducklings is recommended. Ducklings need more space than chicks, but the same temperature recommendation applies. It is not recommended to start ducklings with other types of fowl.

Turkey Nutrition and Management

Turkey poults should be provided a medicated, 28% protein starter ration from day one through 8 weeks, and switched to a 21% protein grower for weeks 9 through 16. Any turkeys fed beyond 16 weeks should get a 16% protein finishing feed.

Start turkey poults under the same recommendations as baby chicks. Poults will require twice the space of a day old chick (including feeders and watering space) and are more sensitive to temperature extremes and drafts than baby chicks. Turkeys should be raised separately from chickens as many common chicken diseases can be debilitating to turkeys and the chance of dealing with these issues are higher when they are raised together.