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Common Problems in Raising Poultry


The raising of heavy meat birds usually leads to leg problems due to the rapid weight gain of the particular breed of chicken. Over the years, this has become a great concern with the chick breeders and as yet, no one solution to this problem has been diagnosed. They have developed a few recommended methods that may help and because of its great importance to the breeders, it is a very active concern for them.

  • We find that in over 90% of the cases where people encounter severe leg problems, they are cleaning their brooder house quite frequently. This is not recommended. Until the birds are moved out, the original litter should be left on the floor and any fresh litter should just be added on top of the already existing litter. This existing litter can be dried out by the use of dehydrated lime.
  • Chicks or turkeys should never be started on newspaper or any slippery surface.
  • After your broilers are ten days old, move your waterers to one end of the building and the feeders to the other end. This keeps your birds moving around and helps reduce leg problems.

Laying Hens

When mixing light and heavy breeds, it is almost a must that the light breeds (leghorns) be have their beaks trimmed as the heavy breeds are slower feathering and this causes the light breeds to pick on them.  Contrary to popular belief, picking is not caused by a lack of any particular type of mineral within their diet; picking is purely an environmental problem such as too much light, too much heat, too crowded, or too much room.  It is very important that your birds feel comfortable.

  • It is not recommended to have a large window exposed to the south, as excessive light is a major factor causing cannibalism within your flock.
  • Never use white lights for lighting.


Should be confined to a small area the first 14 days, as they are more temperamental than chicks. Food and water should be kept in abundance and in front of them at all times.

  • Turkeys require a minimum of 90 - 95 degrees F. Temperature which is warmer than what is required for chicks.
  • 10 turkeys for the first ten days do not require an area much more than 2 feet by 3 feet.
  • We suggest putting their food in containers such as 2 dozen egg flats so that the birds can walk right into it. This method may waste a bit of food but in the end will save you money by not losing poults.
  • Also, we suggest that for the first two or three days adding in addition to your medication a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar per gallon to their drinking water. This makes the birds hungry and again, your survival rate will be better.
  • Day old poults can be brooded with your day old chicks. This will give them warmth and the chicks will aid in teaching the turkeys to eat and drink.