We are a breeder of oriental gamefowl. Our specialty is the Thai and Pama breeds. Our farm here in western North Carolina was established in 1997, but our experience with oriental gamefowl stretches back to the late 1970s when we began raising these birds in Thailand. As any breeder will tell you, breeding and maintaining good quality stock takes a lot of hard work. By focusing most of our time and attention only on the Thai and Pama breeds, we ensure that we have devoted as much effort into caring for these birds as we should.
FACILITIES AND HOUSING
Our farm facilities are divided into a number of sections, each generally serving a single purpose. For example, the breeding section of our farm is where we house our breeding pairs and is where our breeder hens lay their eggs and hatch their chicks. Each section is made up of clusters of pens that contain the roosts for the birds and the feeding and watering stalls, and large, fenced-in yards into which the birds are let out on a rotating basis to play and forage.
The pens that house our birds are purpose-built and fall into four general categories: breeding, individual, nursery and brooding. Breeding pens are where paired breeder birds are kept. Each is equipped with a nest for the hens to lay their eggs. The hens also incubate their eggs in these pens until the eggs hatch. Individual pens are where we keep our young adult birds, or those breeder birds that are currently not being bred. Nursery pens are where we keep our newly hatched chicks and their mothers. The chicks and hens will usually stay in these pens for only about a week or two, after which they are moved to a brooding pen. Brooding pens are where we keep older chicks until they reach adulthood.
BREEDING AND STOCK SELECTION
We usually let our hens hatch their own eggs and rear their own chicks rather than use incubators and mechanical brooders. Sometimes we may foster the eggs of one hen to another hen to hatch and to raise, but this only occurs under special circumstances, such as when a hen abandons her eggs, or is known to be a bad mother or poor sitter.
As soon as the eggs hatch, the hen and chicks are moved to a nursery pen where they will remain for about two weeks. Within this time, the chicks will grow their initial wing feathers, which will help keep them warm as well as aid them in moving about. After this time, the chicks and hen are moved to a brood pen. Throughout the next several months, the chicks are let out during the day to forage and range, which helps to build muscles, increase bone strength, and improve coordination. The hen is usually removed when the chicks reach about two or three months of age, but the chicks are usually kept together until they are about six or seven months old.
FEEDING AND NUTRITION
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