When raising birds it is important to know what conditions are best at each stage of the chick’s growth. Different birds require different conditions in general and as they grow. In order to accommodate for these differences we make separate rooms where we can control and adjust the conditions based on which bird is residing in it, and at what age. The main reason we move the birds is probably density and 7-week-old birds are a lot hardier than young birds. Older birds aren’t as needy as far as feed and water at close quarters and heat. This is an example of what we do to raise Pheasants.
The first room, called the “A room” is the room the birds are in for about their first 3 weeks. We calculate the density of the room by giving each bird about .25 square feet. Smaller birds need less space so the A rooms are smaller than rooms the birds will move to later on. The smaller size of the rooms also helps to keep the birds warm towards the edges of the room and makes it easier for them to find their food and water. For the first week we set the breeders so the temperature of the barn to 95º and beginning on the 8th day we drop the temperature by one degree each day. As the temperature drops we increase our exhaust fan operation to move more air. At the end of the 3 weeks the birds are ready for the “B room” where the temperatures will be cooler.
The B rooms are twice the size of the A rooms because larger birds need more room to live; this comes to about .55 square feet per bird. We start the rooms a few degrees warmer than the final temperatures in the A room (about 85º) because birds are attracted to warmth and that makes them less reluctant to be moved. The B rooms are no longer warmed by brooders, but by a stationary LB White heater and once all the birds are moved we begin gradually dropping the temperatures again. While in the B room our birds are given an environment that will end up being as close to outdoor conditions as possible. By the seventh week – the last they spend in the B room – the temperature will get down to at least 60º, the fans go more consistently, and occasionally we mist the birds so their oil glands work to keep their feathers weather resistant. In the B room we also “peep” the birds so they can live in close quarters without attacking each other
Once the birds graduate from the B room they are moved outside. For this move we need to make sure the vegetative cover is grown, corners of the pens are strawed, huts are placed and feed is added under the huts. This helps the birds by keeping the commonly used areas insulated and keeps feed within close proximity to adequate shelter.
(Information from Brian Davis)