Road Runner Farming

Commercial Road Runner production business has become big business in Zimbabwe. This is due to its significant contribution in egg and meat on the market. The low capital required for this business has enabled most farmers to start from humble beginnings. At Feedmix we often call these indigenous chickens “road runner chickens” because of their nature of free ranging coupled with high production of eggs and meat.

An ideal poultry house should have an East to West orientation. The house should be open sided, 100m long and 10m wide. A height of 2.8m under strong roofing sheets, eaves with 30 – 45 cm should be supported by strong bird mesh. A storeroom for stock feeds is important. The foundation should be strong with 50cm wall height on the lengthy sides. The floor should be concrete.

Stocking density should be 30 – 33 chicks per square metre during brooding and 7 mature laying birds per square metre

the most common production system is Deep litter 

The Road Runner Feed Specifications and Feeding Rates per period 

Feed typeCrude Protein %Feeding PeriodFeed /bird/phase or (day)
FM Road Runner  Starter Mash         20.0          0 – 8   weeks  2.0 kg/Chick/Phase
FM Road Runner Grower/ Finisher Mash         15.0          9  –  18  weeks   6.5kg/bird /phase
FM Road Runner Layer Breeder Mash         14.8           19 weeks onwards    120 g per bird per day 
  • Choosing quality road runner feeds from Feedmix
  • Correct daily feeding rates to achieve target weights
  • Feeding ad libitum basis at each stage of growth
  • Good brooding management (temperature, ventilation, litter, water management)
  • Records for the daily/cumulative  mortality rate, average daily/ weekly gain, PEF, FCR, slaughter weights, batch number, number of feed bags used  
  • Manage feed spillages to improve FCR.

Use your God given five senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste)

Pay particular attention to details – weights, age, spillages, mortality, sensitivity of the birds, 

 Follow the road runner vaccination and routine programs to prevent disease out breaks

  • Practice good biosecurity management 
  • Shower room
  • Boundary fence
  • Wheel bath and foot baths on all entry points 
  • Hand sanitizers 
  • Log book
  • Protective clothing 
  • Houses put under lock and key 
  • Manure disposal management 
  • Biosecurity standard operating procedures 
  • Farm gate sales for live birds at 16 weeks as point of lay

Removal of manure from the poultry houses and disposal after a batch should be carried out immediately to allow the houses to be cleaned, washed and disinfected. This process should not take more than 5 days. Rest the houses for a minimum of 14 days before the next batch.

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