Egg producers, meat birds and dual-purpose types are the three basic categories of Chicken breeds.
Breeds of broiler chicken
Chicken breeds fall into three basic categories – egg producers, meat birds and dual-purpose types. Broilers, in the second category, have been engineered to mature quickly, ready to market as early as 6-weeks of age.
The physical traits used to distinguish chicken breed are size, comb retype, skin colour, number of toes, amount of feathering, egg colour and place of origin.
The following are the 6 best breeds of broiler in Nigeria
1. Cornish Cross Broilers: It is a fast-growing kind of chicken. You may also recognize it by the name “Cornish Rock.” To grow such a chicken broiler will take you from six to eight weeks.
2. Grinphield Marshall: It usually takes approximately 6-8 weeks for a broiler chick to grow up to the “table size.” These birds are big and tall.
3. Moyer’s K-22 (also called Red Broilers): Consumers appreciate these birds for the features of their meat. It is less fatty, has a special fragrant, and excellent texture. However, to grow such a bird will take the farmer a bit longer – approximately eight weeks.
4. Red Broilers: The chicken of this kind also grows up a bit slower. However, the primary advantage of these birds is their strong resistance to diseases, what makes them more appropriate for outdoor production.
5. Roaster chicks (also called Moyer’s Broiler or Cornish Giants): These birds can reach the weight of over 4 lbs by 6 weeks of age. Their skin texture is good, while breast meat is tender.
6. Rosambro Broilers: These broiler chickens belong to a medium-growth kind. However, they grow a bit faster than the red broilers. The unique taste also characterizes their meat.
Management system of broiler chicken
The environment to which the fowl is exposed to determines the management and the type of housing designed for the birds. This is because of chicks performance is unsatisfactory if housing is poor. The system of management defines the extent to which birds are exposed to sunshine, ultraviolence rays and pastures and it also describe the housing patterns.
The extensive system allows for maximum exposure to pasture and sunlight.
The extensive system practically reduce and minimize this exposure but in between the two the semi intensive system.
Extensive system of management
The extensive management system has 2 housing types such as range system and fold unit system.
Range system features a shelter of simple construction. The birds derive nutritional benefit from pasture while shelter is provided for them to sleep at night. The birds fend for themselves nutritionally.
Intensive systems of management
This system typically keep meat chickens in overcrowded conditions where many of their natural behaviors cannot be expressed. Their ability to exercise, forage for food, dust-bathe, and perch is restricted. This causes chickens serious physical and psychological discomfort. The types of hosing that is involved are; Deep litter and cage system.
i. Deep litter: is a system where chickens are reared on floors made of concrete but covered with litters like saw dust or wood shavings to make birds feel comfortable. Poultry equipment sets such as feeding and drinking troughs are then placed in convenient places inside the coop.
ii. Cage system: are small wire cages where about 95 percent of laying hens spend their entire lives which all they need for optimal performance is provided for them.Here,each hen is given about 67-76 square inches of space (a standard sheet of paper measures 94 square inches).