Experts of the DIFS-Live programme implemented a training on improved broiler management for broiler farm managers and livestock extension staff. The training mainly covered three important aspects of broiler farm management in West Java: (a) temperature control and ventilation; (b) water supply; and (c) recognizing broiler signals.
Broilers grow very fast which implies that they have to be looked after as if they are ‘top athletes’. Top management is necessary for a good result. Small faults in the beginning of the brooding period (first five days) can have huge effects on production performance at slaughter age. Broilers have a changing need for warmth during the growing period. At the start of the production cycle the broilers are not able to control their body temperature (‘cold-blooded’) and at the end they produce a lot of excess heat. Installing recirculation fans for the ‘wind chill factor’ can prevent heat stress at the end of the production cycle.
Besides this important issue of optimising temperature and ventilation in the broiler house, the water system and quality is another issue determining the success of a broiler farm. Heating up of the water system and the development of a biofilm should be prevented. Many broiler farms in West Java need to pay more attention to the quality and supply of water to the broiler flock. Different examples and practical measures where covered during the training.
Another important topic during the training was to recognise and respond to different broiler signals. Broilers in the house show different behaviour under different circumstances. It is important to recognise these signals (with smell, sound, sight), analyse whether these are important and if and how to respond to prevent huge problems with health, production, etc.
A series of three one-day training sessions were conducted on May 31, June 1 and 2 trainings were organized in Bogor, Bekasi and Bandung, respectively. On average 20 participants attended each training. Almost 50% of the participants were farm managers or staff of the farms selected for the DIFS-Live pilot programme in West Java. Another 15% of the participants works for the regional livestock services (DINAS). The rest of the people works for the organising partner PT Medion. At the end of the training days all participants received a certificate from the leader of the training: Dr. Rick van Emous from the Wageningen University, the Netherlands.