|Written by jmarwayne|
Raising broilers for show is a bit different than raising broilers strictly for the poultry market or for your own consumption. It takes a little more work to raise a Grand Champion or Reserve Champion broiler. If you are going to raise broilers for show this season, here are some tips to raise a Champion or Commended broiler.
Step 1: Always start out with the most vigorous and well-balanced chicks that you can. Take your time to choose them carefully; you want to have a flock of good broilers to choose from as the broiler show grows near.
Step 2: Allow more room per bird than you normally would for a flock of broilers. Two to three square feet per bird is great if you have the room. This will minimize stress and allow them to grow more efficiently. It will also cut down on feather picking and cannibalism. You donâ€™t want your show broiler to have feathers missing from other chickens pecking at it.
Step 3: Use vitamins, electrolytes, or other supplement designed specifically for raising broilers. These contain extra nutrients to support broilersâ€™ rapid growth
Step 4: Use a top quality feed. If you want your broilers to be competitive, choose a feed designed for show poultry. Any feed you choose should be high protein (at least 26%). You can use broiler, turkey or game bird feed. For best results, talk to your feed supplier. Many feed store owners have extensive experience in showing poultry.
Step 5: Keep them hydrated and cool. Fresh clean water (with or without vitamins) is a necessity. Broilers that get too hot will not gain weight efficiently. Use a fan on hot and humid days.
Step 6: Donâ€™t overfeed them. Show broilers will be sold at auction and your buyers do not want meat that is excessively fat. Fat also causes health problems.
Step 7: Bathe them often and keep the bedding clean. You may need to change it almost daily to keep them clean. This is a lot of work, but show broilers need to be immaculate.
Step 8: Broilers are judged on cleanliness, overall health and vitality, and suitability for the poultry market. This means large breasts and thighs (the valuable meat areas). They should also be appealing when dressed out, which means they should not have any skin imperfections, broken wing feathers, Â or crooked legs or toes. Only show the broilers that look â€śperfectâ€ť.
Step 9: Donâ€™t forget to keep records of your expenses. Many shows require participants to turn in their feed records as part of the broiler project.
Tips: Donâ€™t provide perches for broilers. They are not built to perch, and a perch can also cause deformities in the legs and breast. Donâ€™t skimp on feed. Show feed is expensive, but delivers great results.
Warning: Handle broilers gently especially when transporting them to the show. Be careful not to bruise the skin in any way. Always follow withdrawal guidelines for any medicated feed.