18 18 LOHMANN TIERZUCHT › MANAGEMENT GUIDE › EARLY MANAGEMENT Crop measuring is an excellent tool in ascertaining the feeding behav- iour of a new flock. The first two days of feeding are crucial and it can of- ten be difficult to assess the feeding behaviour due to the abundance of feed we offer in those first few days. To ensure the birds are taking to the feed crop checking should begin on day one of housing. A simple way to check this is to manual- ly check the size and shape of the crops. This should then be recorded into your monitoring records for the start of your production profile. As the hours progress you should no- tice more and more chicks have feed in the crops. By 24 hours you should find all birds have taken to the feed and it is evident in the crops. Putting the effort into crop checking now will pay dividends later in the flock. Measuring Crop Fill Step 1 Select a random chick in the house. Step 2 Gently feel the crop. You should feel a round full sac. Step 3 Mark on a simple table if you can feel a small round lump in the crop. Step 5 Repeat this step on 50 birds throughout the house. If you find any that don’t seem to be taking to the food – dip the beaks in water and place then near the food and water source. Example of Recording Crop Fill Number of chicks with full crops 4 h 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 14 h 24 h 50 chick control group Hours since placement 25 = 50% 42 = 85% 42 = 100% Crop Fill measurement is not only a useful tool for those first few days but also for the life of the flock as you implement changes into your feeding patterns. More information can be found in the nutrition section.