Hercules breed chickens
As a result of crossing crosses with meat and egg direction, breeders of the UAAS and the Research Institute of Borka managed to get a good breeding herd. The newly bred Hercules chicken breed has good body weight, egg production and is characterized by the rapid growth of young animals. Thanks to such qualities, the breed has become widespread throughout Russia.
Hercules breed chickens
The description includes several distinctive qualities:
- head of medium size, rounded;
- eyes are orange;
- the beak is yellow, slightly bent at the tip;
- scallop of scarlet color, leaf-shaped, divided into 4-6 teeth, erect;
- earrings and earlobes are red;
- small tail, in roosters with long hanging feathers;
- stocky and yellow legs;
- It has a strong and massive frame with a wide back and chest.
The plumage is diverse, combines several tones - white, black-striped, golden, silver and pockmarked.
Today, Hercules chickens are one of the most common breeds in Ukraine and other CIS countries.
The bird has a calm and peaceful disposition. Hens are good for young animals. Roosters do not show aggression towards the owner and representatives of other breeds, therefore, their joint content in one herd is allowed.
Almost all breeders report high performance of chickens. This breed is characterized by the following productivity indicators:
- egg production - from 210 to 220 eggs per year;
- at the age of one, the male, like broilers, reaches 4.2–4.5 kg of weight, the female about 3.4 kg;
- large eggs - average weight from 65 to 70 g;
- puberty and readiness for egg laying occurs at 5-6 months of breeding;
- young growth has good survival - up to 92%, adult individuals - 93-94%.
The price of this breed is quite high - daily chickens cost from 40 to 50 rubles, young growth has grown - 60-100 rubles.
Despite such a high price, birds quickly recoup their investment - intensive weight gain and the ability to lay eggs at the age of five months.
Adult individuals cost from 1200 to 1500 rubles.
Advantages and disadvantages
The characteristics of the Hercules breed include several advantages for poultry farmers:
- like broilers, they quickly gain weight;
- calm and peaceful disposition;
- great taste of eggs and meat;
- high resistance to many diseases and parasites;
- good tolerance of sudden changes in temperature, humidity;
- eggs are large, contain large yolks (occupy 35% of the weight).
Among the shortcomings, there is one nuance - birds of the second and third generation are less productive than their parents.
Features of care and maintenance
Very stress resistant chickens
One of the main advantages of the breed is its excellent adaptive properties. The bird easily tolerates stressful situations and sudden changes in temperature, without compromising productivity.
Given the large dimensions of this breed, a lot of space is required in the house - for one individual at least 50 m³. Chickens do not need perches, because due to their heavy weight, they will not be able to fly at them.
Before starting the livestock in the room, it must be carefully prepared:
- to clear of the remains of garbage, to whiten walls and a floor surface with slaked lime to destroy all bacteria and microbes;
- the bottom can be sewn up with boards or tin, covering all cracks and access to penetration by rodents;
- the floor is covered with a thick layer of hay, straw or sawdust - 40 cm in the winter season, in the summer - 10-15 cm;
- the litter is laid on a warm and sunny day so that it remains dry;
- indoors they make nests for laying hens in a place that is quiet and inaccessible to roosters and other individuals;
- place feeding troughs at the rate of 4 and 3 cm for each individual, respectively;
- additionally install a basin or other bathing tank, fill them with dried clay, sand or ash.
To protect against diseases and parasites, it is necessary to maintain stable heat - in winter 23-25 ° C, in summer about 13 ° C. Regular airing will provide an optimal microclimate in the chicken coop. To do this, open windows or doors daily.
The health of birds and their productivity largely depends on feeding.
- Throughout the year, chickens are given compound feed, which forms the basis of daily feeding at the rate of 120-130 g per individual. You can buy a ready-made composition or cook it yourself by mixing mineral additives, fish and meat and bone meal, sunflower meal, chopped wheat, corn in a ratio of 1: 1: 1: 3: 4.
- In the winter season, nutrition should be enhanced due to a lack of vitamins and minerals. Separate containers with shells, pieces of chalk, meat and bone and fish meal are installed in the chicken coop. Every day they give a mix of boiled and grated root vegetables, fruits, vegetables. Scatter chopped cabbage, beets. They are fed sprouted grain crops (wheat, rye, oats). Add fish oil, vitamins and minerals.
- In the summer, when the bird has the opportunity of free walking on the street, it eats fresh herbs. At the courtyard, hens are fed nettle, clover, green peas, and dandelion. Also scatter pieces, chalk, shell.
- Be sure to give sieved sand every day, which helps to get rid of residues of feed and prevents clogging of goiter, the development of various diseases.
- To compensate for the lack of protein in the cold season, the bird is given steamed legumes - peas, beans, beans.
In addition to proper feeding, fresh drinking is required. Water is changed daily, in winter it is served at room temperature, in summer it is cold.
Chickens and males with a decent weight rarely take off, so the place for walking is enclosed by a low fence. There is no need to cover the enclosure with a net. The optimal space for one individual is 2-3 m².
In the spring, they plant grass so that closer to summer there is fresh greenery. In winter, you can make shelter from the slate at the place of walking - so the bird can walk all year round and peck the remains of food.
Shedding and egg laying break
Shedding is a traditional procedure for each breed of domestic chicken. The bird begins to drop feathers en masse, loses decorative qualities and ceases to lay eggs.
Full renewal of feather cover occurs after 1-1.5 months.
For quick recovery, foods with a high protein content are added to the feed - meat or fish broth.
A planned replacement of old chickens by youngsters is carried out after a decrease in egg production - usually this happens for 3 or 4 years of maintenance.
Youngsters are launched into a common herd, and old chickens are allowed to slaughter.
Hens of this breed have a good instinct for incubation, but only the first offspring can adopt all the qualities of their parents.
With further breeding, only 25% of all characteristics are transmitted, so breeders breed this bird by the incubation method.
To get healthy and strong chicks without defects and pathologies, you need to choose a quality material:
- they take eggs no older than five days old, of medium size with a flat surface, without cracks;
- do not use too blunt or pointed specimens for breeding, as from them chicks with pathologies may appear;
- eggs are laid unwashed.
The temperature is set at 40 ° C, every 7 days it is lowered by 1 ° C. During incubation, instances need to be turned 3-4 times to ensure uniform heating.
Chicks hatch on 20-21 days from the moment of laying eggs.
Young offspring are placed in a cardboard or wooden box covered with straw, sawdust or a rag. Install an IR lamp on top at a distance of 50 cm. Such lighting will provide an optimal microclimate for chicks.
Caring for chickens of this breed is no different from the rules for keeping other chicks. The most dangerous age is up to 3 weeks, when young animals can wither and die. Later, when the chicks get stronger, the risk of death is minimal.
Conditions of detention:
- on the first day for drying the gun provide a temperature of 31-32 ° using an infrared lamp, then every day it is reduced by 2-3 ° C, bringing the indicator to the level of 19 ° C;
- after 2 weeks of leaving at home, the chicks are taken out on sunny days - such walks have a beneficial effect on health;
- in a month and a half, young growth is transferred to a common herd.
In the first days of life, they offer a boiled and finely chopped chicken egg. Starting from the third day it is mixed with green onions, small cereals and low-fat cottage cheese. On day 20-21, food is made more diverse - add sunflower meal or chopped seeds.
After a month, dandelion, carrot tops, clover, nettle are mixed into the feeding. These plants have a good effect on the digestive system of the chicks.
All supplied grain mixtures are forbidden to steam - after heat treatment they lose useful components.
You can not give food rich in fiber and flour, because they can cause blockage of the goiter.
Daily chickens are soldered with glucose solution - 50 g per 1 liter of water. Later give clean water at room temperature.
The characteristics of the Hercules breed include high resistance to various types of diseases.
But in poor conditions and poorly balanced feeding, a bird can be affected by several diseases.
The chicken coop should be clean
It is transmitted by airborne droplets, affecting the digestive system of chickens and adults.
Symptoms - immobility, increased thirst, foamy droppings, shortness of breath and lack of appetite. In young animals, crowding, tightening of the legs and frequent squeaking are noted.
They are treated with two drugs - furazolidone or biomycin.
Transmitted through eggs, air, food and water. It affects internal organs and is dangerous for humans when eating infected meat and eggs. Signs - refusal of food, foamy bowel movements, increased thirst, swelling of the joints, abdomen and cesspools, tearing.
To prevent the disease, immune serum is administered. Treatment is carried out with furazolidone for three weeks. At the same time give streptomycin 10 days. The habitat of sick individuals is subject to disinfection.
This disease is dangerous for both birds and humans. Chickens and young growth are more susceptible. The disease is accompanied by increased thirst, diarrhea, shortness of breath and poor appetite.
In treatment, biomycin or terramycin is used.
High risk of infection in chickens up to 3 months old. The main carriers of infection are rodents and sick birds.
The first signs are the appearance of foamy discharge from the beak, the bluish color of the crest, an increased need for drinking, and refusal to feed.
Treatment is effective only at the initial stage of the lesion. Several drugs are used - sulfamethazine, tetracycline 2% or norsulfazole.
In addition to viral, fungal and bacterial infections, non-infectious diseases can develop in birds.
- Atonya goiter. The main reason is the accumulation of food, resulting in obstruction. The goiter hardens and becomes saggy. To resolve the problem, it is necessary to instill a few drops of vegetable oil in the beak of the bird, hold a light goiter massage, turn the body over and remove the remaining food.
- Dyspepsia (indigestion). This disease occurs for two reasons - giving the chickens solid food or soldering with dirty water. Symptoms - hardening of the abdominal region, liquid droppings with pieces of undigested food, fever. To restore health, the bird begins to give food suitable for age, soldered with a weak solution of potassium permanganate or give alkalized water.
- Bronchopneumonia. The reason for the development is frequent overcooling of chickens. In sick individuals, rapid breathing, lack of appetite and abundant mucous discharge from the beak are noted. If no action is taken after 2-3 days, the bird dies. Treatment is with Terramycin or Penicillin.
- Avitaminosis. This often occurs in laying hens, which are contained in the cells and do not receive enough vitamins and minerals in the winter season. As a result of this, the bird loses feather cover, becomes lethargic, reduces weight, it develops conjunctivitis. The solution to the problem is soldering chickens with a vitamin complex.
The most common parasites that appear in conditions of dampness, crowding and the presence of dirty, wet litter:
- Worms. Simple species can be identified in chicken droppings. Tape can live in the body all his life, causing serious illness, even death. To remove parasites, chickens are given anthelmintic drugs.
- Trematode. Signs - swelling and redness of the cloaca, the bird looks disheveled, feathers are dirty, the state is lethargic. For treatment, carbon tetrachloride is used.
- Pooh and peroids. These parasites eat feathers, leaving bald patches behind them. You can destroy it if you treat the feather cover with Insectol aerosol.
Compliance with simple preventive measures will help to avoid infection and infection with various diseases and pests:
- You can’t keep adult birds and young animals in one chicken coop, since chickens have a weaker immune system, so even a frivolous infection can provoke their death.
- At the first symptoms of sick individuals need to be resettled in a quarantine room.
- The place where infected birds are kept must be thoroughly disinfected.
- Provide the herd with good and balanced nutrition throughout the year, as well as fresh and clean water.
- Keeping the coop clean - timely disposal of feed residues, replacing litter once a year and maintaining stable microclimate indicators.
Most breeders are happy with the Hercules breed:
- despite the high cost of incubation material and young growth, it is possible to achieve good meat and egg productivity in a short time;
- others like that hens easily adapt to any conditions of detention, have a calm character, this greatly facilitates the care of them;
- many breed this breed for meat and eggs for sale.