Importance of proper hydration of chicks during the first hours of breeding
Newborn chicks are 80% water and after the first 18 hours of life, they begin to lose approximately 0.20% of their body weight per hour until they begin to rehydrate...
Intensive genetic bree has allowed chicks to reach commercial weight in extremely short production cycles, of around 1,000 hours, in which animals experience exponential growth. To achieve a good productive performance, the first hours of breeding are crucial.
It is very important to keep in mind that although we make large investments in having very technical facilities and high-quality chicks, if they do not have a good development during the first hours of life, all this investment will be lost since the chicks will not achieve the desired growth.
The development of appetite is one of the main factors that influences the correct development of chicks. Chicks that have not developed their appetite within the first 72-96 hours become slow feeders and will not reach optimal performance.
The evaluation of the filling of the crop, in the beginning of the breeding, is a good way to evaluate the development of appetite. A first control of the filling of the crop must be carried out at 2 hours from the accommodation of the chicks since it allows us to identify that all of them have found the water and the feed. After it should be evaluated at 4, 8, 12, 24 and 48 hours from arrival to the farm. The chicks that have managed to find water and feed, the crop will be full, soft and rounded, while, if not, it will indicate that the bird has not ingested enough water or feed. The objective is that after 4 hours of arrival at the farm the 80% of the birds have a full crop and that this percentage reaches 95 – 100% after the first 24 hours of breeding.
To achieve these percentages of buche filling, it is essential to ensure the availability of water and feed. Chicks should not have to travel more than one meter to reach food and water.
Water is often the forgotten nutrient on the part of poultry farmers, and it is necessary to highlight its importance especially during the first hours of breeding. Newborn chicks are 80% water and after the first 18 hours of life, they begin to lose approximately 0.20% of their body weight per hour until they begin to rehydrate. If this dehydration reaches 10% the chicks will be severely weakened and die if it reaches 20%.
The restriction of water during the first hours of life markedly affects the consumption of feed and does not allow to develop the appetite properly. The quality of the water supplied to the chicks has to be ensured, there are specific standards related to water quality.
Likewise, there are rehydrating solutions which contribute to the development of chicks during the first hours of life. These nutritional supplements combine pronutrients, active molecules of botanical origin, along with essential amino acids and vitamins.
Trials carried out in commercial farms have shown that the use of these rehydrating solutions at doses of 1 ml/l allows to increase water consumption by more than 50% in the first 12 hours of breeding, ensuring the correct development of the chicks.
As conclusion, ensuring the correct hydration of the chicks during the first hours of breeding is essential to allow the correct development of appetite and, therefore, a correct productive performance expressing all their genetic potential. The addiction of rehydrating solutions allows to improve the consumption of water during the first hours of breeding and therefore the development of the chicks.
The natural rehydrating solutions are marketed under the name of AVAL Premium of Biovet S.A.