Broiler poultry species have been bred with the goal of increasing meat volume as quickly as possible. This species includes many breeds that differ in appearance, care, weight gain, feeding organization, and product quality. In order to choose the right breed for breeding, it is necessary to study the main varieties, weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each species.
After analyzing this information, you can come to the conclusion which varieties are right for you, which ones will be the most cost-effective.
Features of broiler chickens
Broiler breeds have undergone selection for many years, and now this process does not stand still. Crossing different lines allows you to get stronger, hardier, fast-growing breeds.
The start of selection took place at the beginning of the last century, and by the middle of it, it gained incredible popularity both in our country and abroad. Broiler hybrids in a modern economy are bred in poultry farms and at home, and very successfully. The goal of the selection specialists has remained unchanged - they are striving to develop a breed of chickens that, at minimal cost, will most quickly gain the necessary mass.
If you compare a broiler with a conventional type of chicken, the differences will be obvious - genetically they gain weight faster, and in greater quantities. Therefore, at two weeks of age, an ordinary chicken weighs half a kilogram, and a broiler chicken weighs more than a kilogram.
Characteristic features of the species:
- the body is compact, wings and limbs are disproportionately small;
- feathers are most often snow-white, but other shades are also found, for example, tricolor ash, black and white;
- by temperament, broilers are very phlegmatic, inactive, move a little;
- require high-calorie food;
- a couple of months after birth, they can reach the required weight and taste;
- productivity indicators directly depend on the crossed breeds;
- egg production in broilers is quite low;
- the incubation instinct is very well developed;
- broilers are not crossed among themselves, as they give weakened offspring;
- in the content they are not capricious, they are content with any conditions;
- most of them tolerate cold weather well;
- the average number of eggs per year is no more than 120, in rare breeds this figure rises to 180.
The origin of the tribe was laid in England, where the poultry houses noted the benefits of offspring from crossing different meat breeds - the chickens grew very quickly and gained excellent weight. We offer a description of the most popular representatives of foreign production today.
First of all, this is the French broiler Isa Hubbard, which is very common in many countries. It is very often chosen for the production of meat products. Representatives of this breed have a small head and compact build, white feathers, yellow skin, very strong limbs. The ribcage of females is wider than that of males. This is a rare type of meat and egg type of broilers that produce rather large and high quality eggs.
Maintenance is straightforward as long as tolerable living conditions and balanced nutrition are provided. Weight gains very quickly, chick survival is high. All this ensures a constant demand for birds from farmers. The weight of this type of broiler is from 2.6 to 3.5 kg, depending on the sex.
Monthly slaughter is allowed, which reduces maintenance costs.
This is one of the new hybrids, which experts refer to as Isa Hubbard. But this subspecies has its own characteristics:
- representatives are rather large, plumage is white, skin is yellowish;
- the bones are very strong, the limbs are shortened, but the muscles on them are well developed;
- the neck is small, the head is medium in size, the crest is in the form of a leaf;
- it is one of the highest quality breeds with the highest productivity rates;
- in a month they already weigh about 2 kg, in one and a half - 3;
- if you do not rush to slaughter, you can grow a chicken weighing about 6 kg;
- dietary meat, hypoallergenic, with a delicate taste;
- this breed is very thermophilic, therefore it is necessary to breed them in a heated room.
This French breed is used for both meat and egg purposes. The main characteristic feature of the breed is the high survival rate of chickens, close to one hundred percent. Other features:
- the weight of males - up to 7 kg, females - up to 4 kg;
- juicy meat, without unpleasant odors, contains very little fat;
- egg laying begins at 28 weeks, their number reaches 300 per year;
- the color is predominantly white, but there is also a mixture of different shades, tricolor;
- perfectly contained both in poultry houses and aviaries, cages.
These broilers are good for those new to poultry farming. They do not require special food, quickly gain weight, are unpretentious in care, the survival rate is quite high. The features are as follows:
- brownish, red color;
- weight - from 4 to 7 kg, depending on gender;
- the limbs are strong, muscular, the chest is wide;
- they are bred not only for meat, but also for egg purposes, since they bring 240 large eggs a year weighing up to 70 g, and this is a rarity even for representatives of egg subspecies.
Sasso XL 551
Sasso broilers are also of French origin, the taste of the meat is very original, the product resembles the meat of wild birds.Popular due to their unpretentious content. Features of hybrids:
- red plumage, yellowish skin;
- can be kept free-range;
- gain weight quickly, are content with pasture;
- at 3 months, a broiler weighs more than 4 kg;
- in the same period begins to rush;
- eggs are large, their weight exceeds 80 g;
- ideal for breeding in a small courtyard;
- develop a little more slowly than other representatives;
- the survival rate of chickens is over 95%.
Russian broilers are not inferior in quality to foreign representatives. They are much cheaper than imported ones, and in terms of indicators they are no worse. Domestic breeding is constantly being improved, and brings more and more new broiler hybrids, which are becoming very popular.
Very common broilers with bright yellow skin. Having barely reached one and a half months, they already weigh more than 2.5 kg. Distinctive features:
- very large limbs;
- feathers are white;
- the chest is very wide;
- the shape and weight of females and males are identical, the maximum difference in weight is half a kilo;
- the survival rate is high, birds are unpretentious in food;
- the production cost is very high.
This broiler is considered unique and very popular in our country. Every day, a chicken is able to gain 50 g of mass, if it is provided with proper care and high-quality maintenance. It will take less than two months for the bird to gain 2.5 kg. Features:
- dietary type meat;
- compact body shape;
- snow-white feathers;
- fairly wide chest;
- pale skin;
- high productivity, including egg production - about 190 eggs per year;
- the peaceful nature of the breed;
- unpretentious in care and feeding;
- in the case of breeding, special feed mixtures are recommended to increase the survival rate to the maximum.
Breeders consider this type to be unique, all the advantages of the broiler variety of chickens are concentrated in it, while maturation occurs very quickly. Within a month, a broiler of this species weighs about 3 kg. Distinctive characteristics:
- pale skin, as the chicken is sold at a young age;
- thickened limbs;
- a wide chest of a weighty type;
- feathers of snow-white color;
- this subspecies is more expensive than the previous two;
- special feed mixtures are required;
- the survival rate of chickens is high, but quality care is needed in the first week of life.
Another very high quality domestic hybrid, however, which is less widespread. Its features:
- very hardy chickens, the survival rate is high;
- young livestock are about the same in weight;
- weight gain per day - about 50 g;
- weight in a month and a half - 3 kg;
- as a rule, after one month of age, chickens can already be sold as meat;
- egg laying begins upon reaching 5 months;
- annual egg production rates - 160 pieces;
- the incubation instinct is well developed.
It is obtained as a result of the combination of the red Yerevan breed with the silver Adler. This is one of the newest breeds, versatile in its characteristics, suitable for both egg and meat purposes. The chickens are quite small, so they do not require too large rooms. Perfect for small farms, they feel great on the walk, they are picky about food. Breed characteristics:
- shortened limbs;
- compact body;
- weight - from 2.5 to 3 kg, depending on gender;
- in the first year they rush well, then this indicator decreases;
- meat has excellent taste, juicy;
- are prone to gaining excess weight, so in adulthood it is necessary to keep this indicator under control.
Before choosing broiler breeds for breeding at home, you need to analyze your goals and capabilities. You can grow poultry for meat or for eggs. For this indicator, all groups of domestic chickens are divided into:
- egg, not prepared for slaughter;
- meat and egg, suitable for both, it all depends on preferences;
The latter direction is precisely related to broilers. The best breeds for the home are selected taking into account the whimsicality of birds in food and maintenance, a lot also depends on financial capabilities.
It is best to take chickens from broiler groups at the poultry farm or from breeders during the period from April to May. Many people buy hand-grown children in villages, but here you cannot be 100% sure of the breed, as well as the health of the chick. Many poultry houses consider this advice controversial, as poultry farms are supposed to take the best ones by putting up worse options for sale. Therefore, the purchase of a bird must be carefully thought out, and in any case, check the chicks yourself.
The best way out is to buy poultry at incubator-type stations, but basically they only cooperate with wholesalers, in addition, you need to have time to get into the queue. But on the other hand, the guarantee of healthy and high-quality broilers is practically guaranteed.
Regardless of who you decide to contact, be sure to analyze the reviews about the seller. In them you can often see complaints about high mortality; it is better to refuse such manufacturers.
Evaluate the appearance of the bird, both adult and purchased. Outwardly mature birds are unsightly, but strong, well developed, powerful. Representatives younger have a tummy, loose. Day-old chicks are not suitable for purchase, pay attention to ten-day-old chicks, despite the fact that the price for the former is significantly lower. However, mortality among them is high for a variety of reasons, so the risk is not justified.
There is an alternative to this kind of breeding - for example, you can try to remove a bird from an egg. If you have the opportunity to purchase an incubator, this option can be realized. When buying eggs, always take into account whether the parents are healthy, how strong and hardy they are. Depending on the breed, the rate of weight gain is different. Someone grows quickly, someone - slower. Also take into account the color of the skin, yellow chickens are valued higher, they are bought more willingly, for the purpose of sale.
If your goal is to provide yourself with meat, there is no difference. As for the sex of broilers, there is no difference in the taste of meat on this basis.
Experts recommend paying attention to the following points.
- Activity, energy of chickens: they should move well, run easily, stand firmly. If the chicks fall, sit, and show no interest in food, the probability of their death is very high.
- Appearance is also important: feel the belly, it should be strong, without swelling, the wings should be of an adjoining type, not hanging, not protruding. There should be no sagging skin, bleeding on the umbilical cord and in other places.
- A clear, lively look without turbidity, suppuration, raids. The eyes should shine.
- Evaluate the color of the limbs and beak, in a healthy bird they are usually gray with a bluish tint.
- Check what the reaction to the noise is, if there is any at all - for this, knock on the box in which the chick is planted. He will immediately run to the source of the sound.
- Specify how the birds are kept, what they are fed with, what the regime is, and whether they have been vaccinated. If the last point is not met, the probability of death increases many times over.
- Remember that quality poultry will not be cheap compared to other breeders. Always refer to the prices quoted by reputable nurseries. Often prices are reduced for illiquid products, the mortality of which is very likely.
- Buy birds of both sexes, otherwise you won't be able to breed them. When purchasing, compare the length of the wing feathers by pulling on them. In males, all feathers will be equal, in females, long ones alternate with short ones.
When buying broilers, it should be remembered that although they lay eggs, they are still meat-oriented. If the seller promises too dramatic weight gain and offers various food supplements, most likely, steroid chickens. This makes healthy, dietary meats almost unhealthy. Therefore, it is better to refrain from such methods, broilers already gain weight very quickly.
Reviews for broiler groups are mostly positive. Most often, poultry farmers write that the weight of birds is gaining quite quickly. Many people note that due to errors associated with improper care of chickens, an increase in mortality rates occurs. Therefore, almost all broiler owners note the importance of observing the basic principles of care:
- properly organize a room for birds, cages or aviaries;
- clean the poultry house in time, without causing serious contamination;
- in the first days, observe the temperature regime at +32 degrees, then from +18 to 24 degrees;
- drafts should not be allowed, while the stuffiness is also harmful;
- in the beginning, it is best to organize artificial lighting around the clock, with a gradual reduction to 17 hours of daylight;
- it is very important to feed the birds correctly, many have encountered mistakes, because they believed that broilers can be fed to everyone;
- according to reviews, improper feeding provokes diarrhea, death;
- optimal feeding - special feed mixtures with added vitamins.
Most opinions boil down to the fact that compliance with these rules allows you to reduce mortality and get quality meat.
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