Sorry to be gone so long. Let me catch you up on what’s been going on. A mistake was found in the settlement for our last flock. Our final numbers changed a little. We had a 5.69 lb. plant weight with a 1.698 feed conversion in 42 days. This put us in second place for the week.
We placed flock 128 on Thursday, November 7. The chicks averaged .091 lbs. (41.4 g) at placement. At 7 days, I like to see the birds at 4 times their placement weight. This was achieved and the birds averaged .385 lbs. On day 7, the birds were water vaccinated for ILT. Due to the vaccine, I expected a little lull in performance at 14 days. The Cobb target for 14 days is 1.012 lbs. We were .044 lbs. under target at .968 lbs. Based on previous flocks, I would expect that we will catch up by 21 days. The 21 day target is 1.964 lbs.
This is a quiet flock for us as far as research goes. We have the LED lighting trials continuing. We are documenting the effect of the water vaccination process on water quality. The process includes the use of a water stabilizer and citric acid, both of which can aid in bacterial growth. I am also looking at bacterial growth on three types of chick feeders in the first seven days. The dust emissions and water run off research is continuing.
We have few projects coming up. We will be doing some more water quality work with anthium dioxide. We are building more test pens for a nutrition trial on the next flock. I’d like to start the turbo feeder-chick tray trial back up. I am working with an engineering group on some alternative cooling strategies for summer. We will run that for two flocks starting in May. With the new year, we have a couple different animal well being projects planned.
Our students are already interviewing for summer internships and educational opportunities. Of the current farm crew, two have already had offers and made commitments. Stephanie Philpott will be interning with Cargill Turkey. Landon Gross, another of my farm students interned with them last summer and will be going to work for them after he graduates next month. Stephanie will be working in all parts of turkey production from breeders through growout and on to the plant.
Callie McCreery will be going to Mozambique and South Africa as part of a study abroad program. She will be working with the poultry industry in those countries as well as going on a three day safari. Jeff Neal is number one on the waiting list to go on this trip also. It will be students from Poultry Science, Ag Business and Health Sciences all going together and working within their specialties. Quite a trip. The students that have been in past years have said that the trip was life altering. Even the student who got bit by the monkey loved the trip.
All of the rest (except Landon), are continuing to interview. Many of the final internship interviews will take place at IPPE in Atlanta in January. This is a really exciting time for the students.
Its really nice when we have enough people to put our supplemental feed as we place chicks. In a few minutes, they will have spread out and this will be hard to do. Also, chicks are ‘programed’ to follow anything that moves. This helps them find food the first time. Its difficult to put the feed out with all the chicks following.
There is Stephanie Philpott putting out chicks. Stephanie will be interning with Cargill Turkey next summer. I believe Stephanie was the first one of our students hired for a summer internship next summer. Well deserved.
That’s about it for this week. Leave me a comment or email me with questions or comments.