Are you a gamefowl breeder looking to maximize your breeding season's success? Look no further, as we have compiled some of the best tips and tricks to help you prepare for the upcoming season. From budget planning to selecting the best broodcock, these tips will surely help you achieve your desired outcome.
Why Preparation is Key
As a gamefowl breeder, you should know that preparation is key to a successful breeding season. Gamefowl breeding is a tedious and lengthy process that requires your full attention and a lot of resources. However, the reward can be worth the risk if you plan ahead of time. Not only is there a big and lucrative market for roosters locally, but raising gamefowl also offers the joy of producing a winner by your own design. You get to call the shots in every step of the breeding process, from choosing brood stocks to the method of breeding and what they eat.
Budget planning is crucial when it comes to preparing for breeding season. While it's good to follow the advice of fellow breeders, it's more important to plan your breeding around your budget and time. Know that having a huge farm is not necessary to raise quality gamefowl. You can decide to keep your numbers, grow them, or cut them down through selective breeding and hatching.
The environment in which you raise your gamefowl is also crucial to their success. While gamefowl breeding is not as sensitive as raising broiler chickens, it's still important to keep the farm clean and sanitized. Keeping your gamefowl in teepees that are a good distance from each other while they are being conditioned for the show or for breeding purposes is also important.
Selecting the Best Broodcock
Maintaining strict standards in choosing brood fowls is essential in producing high-quality gamefowl. While some may say it's about luck, most breeders would say it's about maintaining strict standards. An ideal gamefowl is one with good balance. Characteristics include a small head, bright, fierce, and red eyes, a long and well-proportioned neck, a football-shaped body, a keel bone that you can feel all the way to the vent, a longer leg than the shank, and tailbone feathers at a 45-degree angle. Choosing 2-3 bloodlines to maintain at the breeding farm is a good way to monitor the quality of your gamefowl.
Setting a Conditioning Program
After selecting the best broodcock, setting a conditioning program will help keep your gamefowl healthy and free from sickness and infections. Delousing and bacterial flushing are some ways to keep your gamefowl in top condition. Gamefowl are susceptible to colds when there is a sudden change in weather, so antibiotics are given once a day for 3-5 days in such cases. Delousing is done every 2 weeks to ensure that their skin and feathers are in good condition. For hens, delousing is done right before breeding season.
Balanced nutrition is crucial for a successful breeding season. Breeder hens, in particular, require more nutrition to ensure proper production of eggs. Each hen requires 40-80 grams of layer feeds twice a day. Overfeeding should be avoided for roosters, as they need to build more muscle versus fat. During the maintenance period, make sure to switch to maintenance feeds. When kept in the cording area, upgrade to 40 grams of high-protein performance pellets twice a day.
To enhance the health and fertility of your chickens, it's recommended to add multivitamins containing amino acids to their daily drinking water at a ratio of 1 teaspoon per 1 liter of water. However, for roosters, this should only be given for 5 days in a month to prevent excessive weight gain.