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Floor Growing

It is essential to grow the birds on the floor when they will be housed in floor systems for the laying period. Ensure that the feed and water systems in the growing and laying facilities are compatible. Ideally, the growing house should have elevated bird walkways with feed and water stations. Flocks housed in all-slat houses during lay should also be grown on slat or wire floors.
Chicks started on the floor should be transferred from the transport boxes to the litter under the water lines or near drinkers to encourage drinking. To make it easier for the chicks to drink, use supplemental drinkers in addition to the automatic drinkers. The supplemental drinkers should be used for the first 10 to 14 days and can also be used for administering the first vaccination if given in the water. When used, gradually move supplemental feeders and drinkers towards the permanent feeders and drinkers in the room to train the chicks to find the permanent feeders and waterers.
Birds should be grown in housing that allows adjustment to the lighting program and the light intensity. The lighting programs are usually similar to those used for birds in cage production, but light intensity may be different. It is important to provide floor-grown birds with enough light intensity to allow them to navigate their environment. A light intensity of 20 to 30 lux (2 to 3 foot-candles) should be used during the first week of age, dropping down to 15 lux (1.5 foot-candles) by week 4 and remaining at the level until week 15 of age. At week 15 of age, gradually increase the light intensity, reaching 20 to 30 lux (2 to 3 foot-candles) by the time the pullets are transferred to the layer house. Birds moving into open-sided housing should have higher light intensities of 30 to 40 lux (3 to 4 foot-candles) at the time of housing.

Recommended floor space for commercial layer pullets in growing period1

1See the Floor-systems section for floor-space recommendations in lay.

Recommended floor space for breeders in growing periods


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