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HOW TO SET UP A POULTRY FARM FOR EGG PRODUCTION

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POULTRY EGG PRODUCTION BUSINESS PLAN AND MANAGEMENT GUIDE

DEEP LITTER HOUSING AND BATTERY CAGE SYSTEM MANAGEMENT

 

 

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

GOING IN POULTRY FARMING INVOLVES THE FOLLOWING:

 SOURCING YOUR DAY OLD CHICK/LAYERS

PREPARING FOR ARRIVAL OF CHICKS BROODING

SOURCES OF HEAT BROODER GUARDS/RINGS

BROODER STOVE ARRANGEMENT FORCE FEEDING

KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL BROODING AND REARING MANAGEMENT

POULTRY DISEASES & MEDICATIONS CLEANING AND DISINFECTION TRANSPORTATION

MANAGEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LAYING HENS IN DEEP LITTER SYSTEMS BATTERY CAGES SYSTEMS

PRODUCING HIGH QUALITY CHICKEN WATER

MANAGEMENT AND RECORD KEEPING ACTIVITIES PESTS AND PREDATORS

NUTRITION AND EGG WEIGHT COLLECTING EGGS

FEED GUIDE

WASTE DISPOSAL DEBEAKING

WHY HAVE MY HENS STOPPED LAYING? LAYING BIRDS PENS LAY OUT 5,000 CAPACITIES

CAPITAL/ INITIAL COST AND OPERATING/MAINTENANCE TOTAL PROFIT ON EGG SALES FROM 1000 BIRDS

TOTAL PROFIT ON BIRD SALES

 

INTRODUCTION

Chicken, the king of the poultry business in Nigeria enjoyed dramatic growth in the last forty years or so .the thousand of poultry producers in the country are proud of their industry, which has become a multi billion Naira industry. The poultry industry has suffered some set backs of late due to the Avian influenza, salmonellosis, and the incessant power outage in the country which has taken a major chunk of its business opportunities. The industry has continued to thrive and will continue to do so because the poultry industry is here to stay.

 

Three factors have been primarily responsible for the remarkable development of the poultry industry. The first factor has been the demands for eggs and poultry meat as articles of diet. The second factor has been that poultry rising has been relatively profitable enterprise when compared with most other agriculture enterprises. The final reason is the roles being played by the poultry association of Nigerian umbrella body all poultry farmers in Nigerian. High cost of inputs, power outages, diseases, low purchasing power of consumers are the major hindrances to the rapid development of chicken industry. Chicken rising is a wide spread enterprise engaging the attention of millions of Nigerians.

Chicken is kept in most homes and farms across the country. The chicken business in Nigeria consists, the following kind of flocks

  1. Backyard flocks kept primarily to provide eggs and meat for house use
  2. Brood and sale production
  3. Broilers production
  4. Cockerels production
  5. Point of lay pullets production
6. LAYING HEN KEPT IN CAGES FOR EGG PRODUCTION
  1. Production of day-old chicks by hatcheries These flocks are kept as
  2. Part-time production to augment salaries
  3. Medium scale full-time production
  4. Small scale full-time production
  5. Commercial flocks, which very large enterprises are requiring feasibility studies before

 

 

SOURCING YOUR DAY OLD CHICK/LAYERS

All poultry birds hatched within the last 24hrs are referred to as day chicks, not minding whether they are layers, broilers or cockerels.

It is the farmers who will make special request or order to the hatchery operator on the category of bird he want to buy for rearing on his farm house. Layers are birds which are reared for the sole purpose of egg laying. The brown and black eggers are dominant in our own part of the world this resulting in large number of brown eggs in our market a good reason for this is because the brown/black eggers are more-favorable.to the tropical climate in our region that is, they are more adaptable to rearing condition found in our environment

 

GOING IN POULTRY FARMING INVOLVES THE FOLLOWING

There are a few points you should bear in mind, before you start into poultry farming business.

LOCATION – your poultry farm should be situated in a area which is not exposed to extreme climatic conditions.

Especially during summers, where the temperatures soar & affect the profitability due to high mortality rates. Your poultry should be situated away from other poultry farms preferably at a radius of 3-5kms!

 

EQUIPMENT & LIVE STOCK – There are many Hatcheries which deliver day old chicks to your farm. You will have to check the one which closest to your farm and which has a proven ‘timely’ delivery record. This goes well with the feed companies too. You should opt for the latest feeding, watering & lighting equipments which will save on your labour cost. You should also tie up with a good vet.

You need Doctor who can visit your farm at regular intervals and who is easy approachable during crisis. Keep a schedule for vaccinations and medication in consultation with a Vet.

 

PREPARING FOR ARRIVAL OF CHICKS

 

The poultry house should be cleaned and disinfected and allowed to rest for at least 7 days prior to chicks’ placement. Also, equipment such as feeders, drinkers, brooders etc. should be cleaned and disinfected. Fresh litter (straw, wood shavings etc.) should be spread over the up.

Wood shavings are the common litter used in Nigeria. Litter provides insulation from the

floor and will soak up moisture from the droppings. It also helps to prevent damage to the birds’ legs due to slipping on slippery surfaces. The depth of the litter should be 8 to 10 cm. Feed and clean water should be provided before chicks’ arrival. Feed may be placed in flat surfaces such as egg flats or box lids to encourage chicks’ to feed. The producer should introduce chicks’ to water by dipping their beaks in the water immediately they are placed on the floor. Chicks’ may be encouraged to drink and feed by hanging bright 100 watt bulb 1 m above litter level. Furthermore, poults may be encouraged to eat by placing feed in small silver-coloured trays, and to drink by placing coloured marbles in the drinkers. The heat source should be on 24 hours before the arrival of poults.

 

BROODING

The term brooding refers to the period of the chicks’ life extending from one day- old to about 6 weeks of age. Chicks’ are usually placed in brooder rings for the first 5 to 6 days. From 7 days to 5 weeks, they are given from 0.9 to 1.4 m2 (1 to 1.5 square feet) of floor space per bird. During this time, the chicks’ needs supplemental heat, special starter feed, and protection from exposure to disease. One way of reducing disease exposure is separately locating the brooding phase from growing and reproductive phases.

 

 

 

 

Chicks’ in correct spot brooding conditions

 

Approximately 100 square feet – 10 x 10 feet is required for raising a small group of 10-12 day old chicks’. Pens should be planned in such a way that provision is made for enough space for their growth

Key Points

Temperature is critical and should be maintained as recommended.

Temperatures should be checked manually at chick level. Poults behaviour should be observed closely and frequently.

SOURCES OF HEAT

In Nigeria, the main sources of supplemental heat to poults are cooking stoves, coal stove that uses coal and to lesser extent paraffin stoves. Brooder stoves provide chicks with supplemental heat from time of placement until they are relocated to growing facilities. The stove is suspended from the roof and can be raised or lowered as needed.

 

BROODER GUARDS/RINGS

In the early stages of brooding, it is ideal to confine newly hatched chicks to a smaller space to keep chicks close to brooder stoves for heat, feed and water for the first 5 to 7 days of age or longer in colder weather. Brooder guards usually consist of a 30 to 45 cm wide strip of hard board which has been cut to an appropriate length in order to form a ring 2.4 to 3.6 m in diameter. It is set up in the pen where the chicks are placed, and is removed once they are a few days old and are starting to jump out. The size of the guards is increased as chicks get older to give them enough room to move about or to move away from brooder as temperature gets higher than they can tolerate.

Guards/Rings

BROODER STOVE ARRANGEMENT AND TEMPERATURE

Usually, each brooder has 3 drinkers and at least 3 feeders. As mentioned earlier, to encourage day-old poults (DOP) to start eating and drinking, 3 to 5 clean egg flats or some news papers may be placed around each brooder with feed sprinkled on each one. Drinkers are placed next to the feeders. Depending on the season, brooders should be adjusted in such a way that it provides a comfortable environment for the poults. The height of the brooder stoves may need to be increased slightly each day after 2 days of age. Brooders in curtain type buildings do not have to be raised often, but need to be adjusted to keep poults from roosting on them and burning their foot pads. The temperature for DOPs should be around 35

°C, as DOPs need plenty of heat. This temperature should be reduced by 1 °C every 3 days until a temperature of 21 °C is reached. Temperatures are used only as guides because the best way to adjust the temperature for the comfort of the poults is to observe their behaviour if poults crowd near the heat source and chirp loudly, the temperature is too low. If they move well away from the heat source and start panting, they are too hot. Ideally they should be fairly quiet and spread evenly under and around the heat source.

 

LIGHTING

Constant lighting at a fairly high intensity (20-50 lux) is required to aid chicks in getting used to their new environment as well as to find the water and feed. Light intensity is lowered to 5 lux after about 5-7 days. At this light intensity it is nearly impossible to read a news paper in the shelter. The lower light intensity helps to minimize cannibalism. After 3-7 days, lighting programs that reduce the number of hours of light a day during the growing period can be used to reduce the incidence of various metabolic diseases and lame birds when raising broilers or turkeys. Reducing day length to 8-12 hours per day, even having lights on only during natural daylight hours should help reduce the number of lame and diseased birds. If continuous light is used, an hour of darkness should be provided daily to prevent crowding and piling up in corners (causing suffocation) when a power failure occurs. Birds raised for egg-laying purposes should be provided a maximum of 8- 10 hours of light daily until they are sexually mature and produce eggs, which is usually at 22 weeks of age.

 

FORCE FEEDING

Chicks are not the best starters in their life and will really need some tender loving care to get them safely through the first four weeks of life. The average mortality rate is 6-10% during this period. Young chicks by nature are reluctant to eat and drink in the first few days of life, primarily because of bad eyesight and nervousness. Hence, they have to be force fed. Starve out problem is one of the major factors for early mortality in chicks.

So special care has to be taken for supplying feed and water. In force feeding, milk should be fed at the rate of 100ml per liter of water and one boiled egg have to be given at the rate of one per  10 poults up to  fifteen days and that will compensate the protein  and energy requirements of the poults.

 

Chicks can be attracted to the feed by gentle tapping of the container with the fingers. Colored marbles or pebbles placed in feeders and waterers will also attract chicks towards them.

KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL BROODING AND REARING

 

There are a number of reasons that some bird raisers produce high quality pheasants year after year. It’s not luck! There are six “keys” to a successful pheasant brooding and rearing program. They include ventilation, temperature, water, feed, lighting, and cleanliness.

 

Ventilation – Pheasants require fresh air to grow properly. Venting the brooder house to maintain a room temperature between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit will ensure a good growing environment for the chicks. Intakes and outlets should be constructed with ducts which permit good air flow and good air circulation but exclude light. Wall fans, if used, may be thermostatically controlled so that they will vent air when the room temperature rises too high. Generally, the chicks need more ventilation as they grow.

 

Temperature – Initially, young chicks are subject to “escape panic” and must be taught to stay close to the brooder. It is necessary, therefore, to encircle the brooder with a guard 16 to 18 inches high. The guard can be corrugated cardboard, metal flashing or any other rigid material. On day one it should be placed close enough to the brooder so that the chicks can move from the heated area to a cooler area if they desire. Each day thereafter the guard may be expanded to allow the chicks to roam over a wider area. On the sixth day, the guard is removed and the chicks allowed to roam over the entire floor area of the pen. If the chicks tend to crowd into the corners after the guard is removed, litter should be piled-up in such a way as to round off the corner. This practice will prevent crowding and smothering. The brooding temperature during the first week should be around 100 degrees Fahrenheit at floor level near the center of the brooder. The brooder should be turned on and the temperature stabilized at least 24 hours before the chicks arrive. Watch the chicks closely, especially for the first day or so. The height of infrared heat lamps should be adjusted so that the chicks will lie in a doughnut-like pattern around the center of the heated area. If they huddle together in a tight group temperatures should be increased a few degrees. If the chicks move out and are using only the very fringe of the area, reduce the temperature a few degrees. Increasing or decreasing temperatures is accomplished by raising or lowering the heat lamp. Decrease brooding temperature by five degrees at the end of the first week and again at the end of each subsequent week until the temperature has reached 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat can be discontinued after the birds are four weeks old.

Water – Water is the most important requirement of young pheasants. Cool, clean water should be available at all times. Replace the water in your fountains twice daily and clean the units to help prevent disease. Begin by using at least one quart jar fountain per 50 chicks. Place the fountain on a piece of hardware cloth to help keep the wood shavings out of the water. Coloured marbles or stones may be added to the water dish to prevent drowning. Stones may be removed from the water dishes after the fifth day. Place water fountains near the brooder but not directly under the heat. As the chicks grow and drink more water, replace the quart fountains with one or five gallon fountains. Provide three one gallon fountains per 100 birds. If you are monitoring the chicks twice daily you will be able to see how much water the chicks are drinking at each visit. If the water fountains are empty at either of your visits, add an additional water fountain. After two weeks of age, 200 growing pheasants will require about 5 gallons of water per day.

 

Feed – The feed given to chicks is extremely important. Chicken feed is not acceptable. The starting ration must contain 28 to 30 percent protein to meet the needs of the chicks for rapid growth and good feathering. Crumbles are satisfactory, but pheasant chicks cannot swallow pellets until they are three weeks of age. The starter feed should contain a coccidiostat, a medication to protect the chicks from the disease coccidiosis while in the brooder house. At nine weeks old in the outdoor pens, the pheasants can begin eating grower feed in the form of pellets. Feed scratch grain the entire two weeks prior to releasing any pheasants. Scratch grain is cheaper than grower pellets and grains or seeds are likely to be found near release sites. Changes in diets and feed size occur gradually over a one week period by mixing the different diets or different size feeds together. Within first 2 days of arrival, your chicks do not eat much, instead provide constant water spread small amount feed in feed tray for them. Give your chicks intra-ocular vaccine (1/0) within first 3day of arrival some farmers argue that their bird have already inoculated from hatchery.

 

Note: that you can’t be so sure hence prevention is far better than cure. If you are rearing a large number of chicks you need to sort out some members of your flock that are smaller in size/weight compared with the general number of birds. Do this to prevent these birds from becoming runt or stunted in growth, selected birds are separated from the rest flock and allowed to feed and grow at their own However if you feed entire flock adequately, you may

not need to do any form of sorting since they will grow to fairly same size with very few exceptions

 

 

MANAGEMENT

Day-old chicks require the same care and attention given all young animals, especially an adequate diet and protection from the elements. Protection must be provided in the form of adequate brooding space in a structure, such as a brooder-house, barn, garage, or clean poultry house. The room must be cleaned, disinfected, and well constructed to prevent drafts. It must have no cracks, holes or loose boards. Young chicks are very adept at finding ways of escaping from confinement when rearing pens are not suitably built. Pens must be constructed to prevent entrance by all types of predators which could potentially prey on the young birds. Each chick requires one-half square foot (72 sq. in.) or more of floor space. For example, an area 10 feet x 10 feet is sufficient for 200 chicks. The floor must be covered with softwood shavings, chopped straw, dried sugarcane, or some comparable type of commercial litter. Fine particles like sawdust are not acceptable, as chicks will ingest these. Litter should never be covered with newspaper or other smooth materials. Pheasants have difficulty standing on slick surfaces and may develop “spraddle-leg” unless the appropriate precautions are taken.

————————–This  egg production manual is incomplete ——————————

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