Biosecurity and Health Management
Farmers keep chickens safe from predators and the elements, but they also work to keep them safe from introduction to disease through advanced biosecurity measures. Especially during the first few weeks of life, chickens need extra care and attention to stay healthy and grow well.
During the first two weeks of life, chicks are more susceptible to illness due to their young age, so farmers keep a watchful eye on the flock to make sure the chicks are eating and drinking well and remaining healthy. Chicks are vaccinated before they come to the farm against common illnesses, but farmers are still watchful for new illnesses, or chicks that are simply not thriving.
As chickens near the end of their 2nd week of life, they will begin to molt – shedding their soft, downy fuzz and growing feathers. This marks the end of the brooding period, and at this time, farmers are able to open the whole barn up for chickens to roam and explore as they please.