When choosing a breed of chickens, which are going to be bred in a subsidiary farm or in a large farmer complex, usually pay attention to the following factors: egg production of the breed and weight gain, unpretentiousness of birds to housing conditions and feeding, vitality and precocity.
This breed of chickens less than a hundred years, so that among other species, it is considered one of the young. Despite this, the number of chickens decalb is growing, and not only in the United States. Selection work was carried out by experts from the company "Dekalb Poltri Research". By the name of the company and gave the name of the new hens.
In the course of the advertising campaign, when the new breed was presented to a wide audience, the decal hens were called “princesses of the poultry industry”. And this name was fully justified - after all, the egg production and other qualities of the new species were indeed much better than those of other species of these birds.
Despite the fact that the breed appeared in the last century, breeding work on its improvement continues to this day. Emphasis is placed on increasing egg production (up to 100 weeks against the actual 80, during which layers lay the maximum number of eggs) and improve the taste of the eggs.
Externally, the birds of this breed do not stand out among their relatives. They have a compact, medium-sized body, the backbone is light, the chest bulges forward, slightly rounded, the stomach is quite voluminous. The head is slightly smaller than the average size, the scallop is leaf-shaped, slightly inclined to the side, red, like small earrings. The plumage may be completely white or brown. Small strong beak yellow color.
Adult chickens can weigh 1.5–7 kg, and males 1.8–2 kg. There is no particular variation in weight and egg production in the herd, which is very valuable when breeding this species on an industrial scale. A chicken a day after birth weighs up to 40 g.
Individuals decalbes are extremely unpretentious, they feel calm and comfortable in the aviary, in the poultry house and in cages, which is very convenient, especially in poultry farms. In large farms, this breed is usually kept in cages. But in a private courtyard, you can put them in a hen house, but make a rather spacious aviary. Since these birds practically do not fly, high fencing is usually not set for them.
Females and males have sufficiently stable immunity, therefore they are practically not exposed to the majority of diseases common to birds. However, if the poultry population is large enough, it is better to vaccinate the chickens.
These chickens are undemanding to the diet and eat quite a bit. Therefore, if we compare the amount of feed spent to their productivity, it turns out that even on a small scale it is very profitable to keep these chickens.
And on a large scale it is these birds that are grown by those breeders who are engaged in the mass sale of eggs.
Since these crosses were developed specifically for industrial production (for active egg laying), their maternal instinct is very low. And to plant such an active hen to hatch chicks is to lose up to 20–22 eggs from each. Therefore, the chickens of this breed on an industrial scale "incubates" the incubator, and in a private courtyard, you can lay the eggs of a decal chicken under other hens.
In order for most eggs to be fertilized, there should be one rooster for every 8–9 hens in the house. Once a couple of years, in order to preserve the main features of the breed, you should buy a purebred rooster in another farm. But in general, almost 95–97% of eggs are fertilized. Since eggs are laid in an incubator for breeding chickens, the birth rate is slightly lower than usual (up to 82%), and practically all young animals survive.
Feeding the chickens is carried out in the same way as the young of other breeds, and by 2.5 months they are transferred to an adult diet.
It should be recalled about the main positive qualities of decal chickens, thanks to which these individuals became popular among breeders and amateur poultry farmers who breed poultry for their own needs.
Before the appearance of this breed, most of the poultry farms were engaged in breeding and growing the Haysex breed, but with the breeding of chickens, decalbies began to be engaged in them practically in all large farms. And the main reasons for this are as follows:
- high productivity of layers in the first years of life,
- large eggs (more than 60 g),
- It requires little food (a little more than 100 g per day),
- strong shell,
- The survival rate of newborn chickens and adult birds is high - up to 98%,
- early maturity (by 4.5 months half productivity is achieved)
- from an economic point of view, the cost of maintaining decal chickens is more than paid off by high productivity,
- balanced, calm temper.
Shedding and breaking egg production
Shedding chickens do not completely leave the egg-laying, as other breeds do, they only slow it down and lay eggs less frequently. In the molting season, there may also be problems with the density of the shell due to the lack of minerals. At this time, the herd needs enhanced nutrition and increased attention.
One of the drawbacks of the productive type is their short-lived active egg-laying. Therefore, the herd can work for your benefit no longer than 2 years, and then a planned replacement is necessary.
What the chickens look like
Dekalby divided into two large groups - you can display white chickens and brown. On modern poultry farms and private farms, the most common are Dekalby White. Breeders of America and the Netherlands actively continue to work in the same direction, improving the performance of the cross.
The Dekalba chickens are very small, the body is muscular, with a small head and a red face. The neck is poorly defined: it is shortish and immediately goes into the back. Paws not covered with feathers, rather short. The decalb gives out their beautiful massive comb of bright red color. It is surprising that he is big even in females.
- Rooster Dekalb breed weighs 2.5-2.7 kg.
- Chicken of this breed weighs 1.8-2 kg.
- Chicken is born weighing 40 g.
How to increase productivity
As with all chickens, Decalbs have periods of decreased egg-laying. With what it can be connected? Productivity falls due to molting. For example, in the first year of life, birds survive molting three times. This process lasts a very long time - 2 months. But farmers can artificially affect the duration of the molt and reduce it to 40 days. Recommendations for reducing molting:
- Daily reduce the length of the day by 2 hours. As a result, daylight hours should last at the poultry farm only 2 hours.
- Stop feeding the birds, but give plenty of water.
- In this mode, chickens should live 10 days. Then you need to add to the light day for 30 minutes a day.
- Change your diet. Give 15% more feed than birds received before molting.
This is a very convenient, effective breed, which even a novice farmer can cope with breeding. When organizing a chicken coop, stick to the norm: per 1 sq.m. The area contains 5 adult birds. The best option for the chicken coop would be a structure with a dirt or concrete floor.
The coop should be in a dry place. If you have a private farm, then build a house on a small elevation. This is a guarantee that the floor will not be flooded, and the chickens will not get sick. Alternatively, you can use dry deep litter on the ground surface.
Chickens of this breed are very resistant to disease, are highly productive. Therefore, their breeding is financially beneficial.
Dekalb is a relatively new egg cross, originally from the USA. It was created by the company Dekalb Poltri Research. First, the corporation was engaged in the manufacture of hybrid seeds and fertilizers. And in the 60s of the 20th century, the “Poultry Farming Princess” was presented to the public, as marketers called the bird. The goal in creating the breed was to get the poultry with the longest possible egg production cycle and good productivity, which can produce better quality eggs.
In 2005, the company merged with the Animal Production Institute of Holland and today it is the main supplier of Decalbs in Europe. Breeders are now working to improve the cross, so it is likely that the productive characteristics of decalb will still improve.
Hens of breed Dekalb
Natural reduction in egg production
DECALB is distinguished by a long and stable egg-laying with short non-productive intervals. The instinct of the hen, which can suppress the laying of eggs, is almost completely suppressed in birds. The natural decrease in productivity is associated with molting, which occurs at 64-68 weeks. You can speed up the molting period if you artificially impact the bird:
- shorten the light day, resulting in it, by 2 hours,
- Do not feed chickens, leaving only access to water,
- 10 days after the limited light and feed regime, it is necessary to add indicators of light for half an hour per day,
- further, the feeding of the bird should be changed: to make the caloric content of the food higher than before the molt.
Such a forced molt reduces the unproductive period from two months to 45 days. At this time, the bird completely stops carrying eggs, and after the plumage changes, the Dekalb layers restart the activity of the clutch.
White (bygone) Decarb in the molting period
Ventilation and lighting
Drafts in the hen house are extremely undesirable. To prevent them, all the gaps in the room should be carefully repaired, and double-glazed windows should be installed in the windows. Ventilation through windows and doors is possible, but not desirable. This method is ineffective and quickly leads to heat loss.
Mechanical ventilation can be installed with a fan at the chimney. This method is suitable for large farms, in the case of a small chicken coop, the cost of electricity will not be justified.
Exhaust ventilation in the hen house
The most simple and rational installation of two pipes - exhaust and intake, with a diameter of at least 200 mm. The chimney is installed under the ceiling and protrudes 1-1.5 meters above the roof. The air intake should be 30 cm above the floor and 30-40 above the roof. Such an arrangement of pipes relative to each other allows for efficient passive ventilation without heat loss.
The light mode is maintained with the help of incandescent lamps - additional heating is also carried out at the same time. Duration of daylight hours of about 15-16 hours allows chickens to be effectively carried even in winter.
Example of a lamp position in a chicken coop
By the way, it is convenient to install automatic on-off electricity.
The interior of the house
When arranging a chicken coop should focus on a large number of nests. Given the high egg production: 10 hens will produce 8-10 eggs daily. Thus, there should be at least 2-3 nests per ten chickens.
Perches are made in 2-3 floors and more, at a height of 90 cm. The chicken is light, many-tier perches will not cause difficulties. It is more convenient to make horizontal perches, which, although they will occupy more space, will not make the chickens get dirty with droppings from those sitting above. For simplicity, you can set the bars with a width of 4-5 cm, smoothed by a plane. It should be remembered that under the perch there will be the maximum amount of litter, which means that regular cleaning is necessary to prevent infections!
An example of the horizontal arrangement of nests in the hen house
Clean water must necessarily be in chickens all the time. It may be:
- Vertical drinker is a simpler and cheaper option.
- Nippelny drinking bowl - more expensive, but the most innovative option,
- An ordinary bowl of water is quickly polluted, but it can be installed in a small courtyard.
To clean the feathers hens need ash. Capacity with ash bath can be installed on the bench or indoors. It must be remembered that when ash is placed in a chicken coop, excess dust will be generated in the room, however, during the cold season, this is the right decision.
Chicken in a special box with ash
Feeding and growth
Feeding laying hens should contain large amounts of protein and minerals, especially calcium. Low calcium content leads to the rejection of eggs: soft shells, defects on its surface. To avoid quality deterioration, there are two feeding principles:
- industrial feed,
- self-made mixtures.
Ready-made feeds are balanced in proteins, fats and carbohydrates, but they can be fake, and, besides, they are expensive. Especially not cost-effective industrial feed for a small farm, a couple of dozen birds. But the mix, made by yourself, more available. They can be selected based on the cost of the component and the needs of chickens at this stage of life. An approximate diet for Deralb type chickens is given in the table below.
- Lost instinct nasizhivaniya.
- The breed of chickens Dekalb White has a short period of effectiveness.
Where to buy Decalb White? Look at Alexey on Avito.
That's all the information about the popular in the industrial poultry cross. Good luck and success!
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