Compiled by: MARTHA LEkASULA
Poultry farming makes a substantial contribution to household food security throughout the developing world.
Helps diversify incomes and provides quality food, energy, fertilizers and renewable asset in over 80% of the rural households.
Poultry farming is an income generating project as the main goal in poultry keeping.
Eggs can provide a regular albeit small income while the sale of live birds while slaughtered birds provides a bit more flexible source of cash as required.
A study on income generation in transmigrate farming system in an African country showed that farming poultry accounted about 53% of the total income and was used for food, school fees and unexpected expenses like medicines.
OBJECTIVES of poultry farming
1. School consumption
2. Income generation
Poultry farming are kept under a wide range of conditions which can be classified into one of four broad production systems.
1. Free range extensive system
2. Backyard extensive system
3. Semi intensive
In free range condition, the birds are not confined and can scavenge for food over a wide area. Rudimentary shelters may be provided and these may or may not be used. The birds may roost outside usually in trees and nests in the bush.
The flock contains birds of different species and varying ages.
Poultry are housed only at night but allowed free range during the day.
They are usually fed a handful of grain in the morning and evening to supplement scavenging.
3.semi intensive system
These are combination of the extensive and intensive systems where birds are confined to a certain area with access to shelter.
Commonly found in urban and peri-urban and in rural situations.In the run system, the birds are confined in an enclosed area outside during the day and housed at night.
Feed and water are available in the house to avoid wastage by rain , wind and by wild animals.
Categories of semi-intensive system
I. Ark system
II. Fold system
Ark-Where the poultry are confined (for security against predators) in a building mounted on two rails or skids (usually wooden) which enables it to be moved from one place to another with a draught power.
A typical size is 2*2.5M to hold about 40birds.
Fold-unit with a space allowance (stock density) for adult birds of typically
3-4 birds per square meter (birds/M2) both inside and (at least this) outside.
This fold unit is usually small enough to be moved by one person. Neither of the two systems is commonly found in developing countries.
These systems are used by medium and large scale commercial enterprises and are also used at the household level.
Birds are fully confined either in houses or in cages
Capital outlay is higher and the birds are totally dependent on their owners for all their requirements.
Production however is higher.TYPES OF INTENSIVE SYSTEMS
I. Deep litter system
II. Slatted floor system
III. Battery cage system
Deep litter system
Birds are fully confined (with floor space allowance of 3-4 birds/m2 within a house, but can move around freely).
The floor is covered with deep litter (5-10 cm deep layer of e.g. grain husks of either maize, rice, straw, wood shavings or similarly absorbent but non toxic material).
The fully enclosed system protects the birds from thieves and predators, and is suitable for specially selected commercial breeds of eggs or meat producing poultry (layers, breeder flocks and broilers.)
Slatted floor system
Wire or wooden slatted floors are used instead of deep litter, which allow stocking rates to be increased to five birds/m2 of floor space.
Birds have reduced contact with feaces and are allowed some freedom of movement.Battery cage systems
This is usually used for laying birds, which are kept throughout their productive life in cages.
There is initial high capital investment and the system is mostly confined to large scale commercial egg layer operations.
Intensive system of rearing indigenous chickens commercially is uncommon.
For our case at the Shephered school we propose to keep both categories of chicken namely:
The new hybrids are widely distributed and are present I n every
county in tropics, even in the most remote villages.
The hybrids have been carefully selected and specialized solely for the production of either meat or eggs.
This end product specialized hybrid strains are unsuitable for breeding purposes, especially for mixing with local village scavenger stock as their have very low mothering ability and broodiness.
For the small holder keeping hybrids means considerable changes are required in management there may be expensive for the following reasons:
1. All replacement day-old chicks must be purchased
2. Hatchery chicks require artificial brooding and special starting feeds
3. Hybrids require higher quality balanced feed for optimum meat and egg production
4. Requires more careful veterinary hygiene and diseases management5. Egg laying hybrid hens require supplementary artificial light (a steadingly increasing day length up to 17hrs of total light per day)for optimum profitable production.
-The meat and egg from intensively raised hybrid stock are considered by many traditional consumers thus offer to pay a higher price for village produced poultry meat and eggs.
INDIGENOUS (kienyeji chicken).
Nowadays indigenous village chickens are the results of centuries
of cross breeding with exotic breeds and random breeding within the flock.
As a result it’s impossible to standardize the characteristics and productivity performance of indigenous chickens. Characteristics like adult body weight and egg weight vary considerably among indigenous chicken population through reproductive traits like the no, of laying seasons per year no. of eggs per clutch and hatchability are more consistent. Indigenous village birds in Ethiopia attain sexual maturity at an average age of 7 months (214 days) and lay about 36 eggs.GENERAL MANAGEMENT
Basic requirements for poultry housing are;
ï Protection(from weather and predators)
This density of birds per unit area, it’s the most important basic principle in housing as the space available determines the number and the type of poultry that can be kept.
For instance in deep litter system house measures 6m by 11m can hold about 200 laying birds at a stock density of 3birds/m2
Older system measures stock density in ft2/bird which is the inverse of birds/m2 used in metric system.
The recommended floor and perching space for the 3 main types of chicken is shown below.
Perch space per
25cm (10 inch)
Hen groups are comfortable at a stock density of 3-4 birds per m2 .
If more space is allowed a greater variety of behavior can be expressed
Less space creates stressed social behavior, allowing diseases vulnerability and cannibalism and leaving weaker birds deprived of feeds or perch space.
Individual birds need more room for normal behavior and adequate exercise than the 22birds/m2 (0.5ft2/bird) density currently used in commercial laying.
This is the airflow in and outside the housing. Building with open sides
is ideal, otherwise cross-ventilation at bird level should be allowed in for the through the floor level inlets and in a direction to allow the prevailing wind to blow across the width of the building.An air mass between the sidewalls of a poultry house resists being moved even across an open-ended side building.
The wider the building, the more the resistant it is to air movement
Building over 8m (26ft) wide have a significant greater problem because of this inherent property of air to resist movement, so should notexceed 8m.
Heat stress is a significant constraint to successful production and can lead to death. Though birds can withstand several degrees below freezing, their do not tolerate temperatures over 400c,this depends on relative humidity prevailing at that time, poultry do not have sweat glands and must cool themselves by panting out water in their breath, which is evaporative cooling, when the humidity is too high this cooling mechanism doesn’t work very well. In high temperatures build house facing prevailing winds.
Ground cover can also reduce reflected heat, shade should be provided especially if there is little air movement or if humidity is high.
When confined in higher temperatures poultry becomes heat stressed and irritable and may begin peck at one another which can lead to cannibalism.
EFFECTS OF HEAT STRESS
-Progressive reduction in feed intake as ambient temperature arises
-Increase in water consumption
-Progressive reduction in growth weight
-Disturbance in reproduction (lower egg weight, smaller chicks)IV. Light
A light intensity and duration is essential.
A dark house leads to lethargic, in active, and unproductive birds.
Light is important for feeding and also important for sexual maturity.ie it accelerates the sexual maturity growing pullets bringing them to lay sooner and it also increase egg production.
Shelter sheds and buildings influence the type and choice of housing to
protect poultry from the effects of weather and predators.
This includes the local climate, space available, size of the flock and the management system.
Leg traps can be set to catch large predators
Predators attack modes and control methods
Picks up stray birds and weaklings,
attacks birds so that head and toe marks are visible on back, plucks birds
Hunt the hawk and keep
chicks away from clear swoop areas.
Usually takes more than their eat
If allowed use rat poison
Stuff chicks in holes for later
If allowed use rat poison
Will swallow eggs and chicks
Use fish hooks
Try to catch them, cats can
control rats but wild cats and dogs are problem
6.fox , jackal
Will bite off the feathers over the
back and between the wings, eat the entrails and breasts and carry bird to den.
Pulls off head and eats crop will carry
Roam in the early morning,
kill for the young, trapping is the best control
May be protected in some countries.
A permit to destroy may be required
Pulls off head and eats crop will carry
May be protected in some
A permit to destroy may be
1. In free range system
Overnight shelter which sis roomy, clean and airy should be provided in this system. House may be either fixed or mobile.
The stock density on pasture should be calculated according to the soil type and pasture management system.
In cases where there is heavy rainfall a raised floor can be a solid platform which have an advantage of providing ventilation under the poultry which helps cool them in hot weather and keeps them out of flood water in the monsoons.
Walls can be made of mud, bamboo and the windows and door of the bamboo slats.
2. Semi intensive and intensive
Complete confinement is only advisable where;
ï There is good management
ï Reproduction is spread equally over the year
ï Land is scarce and inaccessible all year round
ï Balanced rations are available
ï Supply of hybrid day-old chicks is available
ï Labor is expensive
ï Parasite and disease control are readily available
ï Objectives are commercial production.Reasons for confinements are, in order of priority to;
1. Reduce mortality due to predation in chicks under
2months of age
2. Achieve higher daily gain and better feed conversion in growers
3. Allow better supervision of production in laying hens
A good confinement should meet the following criteria’s;
a. Should be easily accessible
b. There should be a reliable water supply c. The ground should be well drained
d. Should be at sufficient distance from residential areas and woodlands.
Perches and roosts
Chickens prefer to roost at night on perches
Perching space of 15-20 cm should be allowed for each bird
The cross-sectional area of each perch bar should be 2-3 cm and the length depends on the number of birds to be housed.
The perches should be placed within a frame and aligned parallel to the wall and horizontally with a sliding removable platform called thedroppings bar about 20 cm below the perches to catch the manure droppings.
The first perch bar should be placed 20-25 cm from the wall and subsequent ones at 30-40 cm intervals.
The droppings board should touch the back wall and extend 30 cm in front of the front perch bar. Droppings board should be a maximum of
75 cm from the floor of the house and the perch bars should be about
20 cm above the droppings board.
In intensive and semi intensive systems, laying hens need constant
access to food and water, feeders should be distributed evenly throughout the chicken house.
In the semi intensive system birds scavenge during the day mostly for protein from things like insects, warms, larva etc
Minerals from stones, grit and shells, and vitamins from leafy greens, oil palm and nuts but energy supplements like maize, sorghum and millet are important for higher productivity.
HOW TO GROW A HOME MADE MAGGOTS
Mix blood, offal and cow dung in a large open pot filled with one third
full water. Flies will lay their eggs in the mixture and the maggots will feed on it.
Leave the pot open during daytime and closed during the night.After 5-10 days depending with the temperatures when the maggots are ready to pupae you collect the maggots by gently pouring water into the pot, maggots will float and you collect them and feed them directly.
HOW TO GROW TERMITES
Take a pot with a short neck and at least 10litres of water in it.
Fill it up with cow dung and straw and sprinkle it all with a little water. Set pot upside down with the opening on sandy soil.
After one day and one night the pot will be full of termites and you may empty them leaving contents in front of the hens.
A good feeder should be;
a. Durable enough to withstand frequent cleaning b. Stable enough not to be knocked over
c. Of correct height and depth
d. Birds proof(birds can’t get in it)
e. Equipped with a lip to prevent birds from spooning feeds out on to the floor.
Feeder space is measured as the linear distance of lip available to the birds, this is either the circumference of a round tube feeder tray or twice the length of a trough if the birds feed from both sides.If troughs are used at least 10 cm of feeding space should be accessible to each bird, when circular feeders are used there should be at least
4cm feeding space per bird.
15 and above
Creep feeders are used to enable baby chicks to have access (by
creeping through a small doorway) to a high quality (high in energy and protein) feed while blocking access to large sized birds
Better nutrition for young stock boasts their immune response to diseases challenge ant to vaccine response by developing full immunity.
Clean water is a priority that must never be neglected;
-the amount of water,
-the right type of equipment and
-where it is situated are important considerations.Simplest equipment is a tin can inverted into a soup plate or the bottom of a large tin can.
Alternatively a nipple drinker may be provided for every ten birds.
BABY CHICK MANAGEMENT
Baby chicks should be kept warm and dry, the house must be clean and
in colder climates (below 200c) the house should be kept warm with a fire place or electric heat bulbs.
There is a close relationship between chick weight, growth and mortality so very close vaccination program me should be followed
Sufficient feeds, feed supplements and proteins should be given.
Proper atte3ntion must be paid to manure management which can be
very dangerous if mismanaged and very useful as an organic fertilizer, as animal feeds, fish feeds and as raw material for methane gas generation in biogas plant for cooking fuel.
Good ventilation discourages both spread of diseases and pests so floor should be kept warm and dry, swept daily to break the breeding cycle
of a common house flyPractice of keeping chicken and ducks together should be discouraged for this result in wet floors giving raise to diseases like fowl cholera and Newcastle to chickens.
Over the last decade, the consumption of poultry products in developing countries has grown by 5.8% per annum, faster than that of human population growth and has created a great increase in demand.
Poultry farming has the potential to satisfy at least this demand through increased productivity and reduced wastage and losses.
And for this to remain sustainable adapted breeds and better management of stock health and local affordable feed resources must be within reach.
Not excluding technology which needs not to be so sophiscated however technology in inputs must be inexpensive for economic considerations.
Further more emphasis on genetic improvement usually through the introduction of Exotic genes, improved feeds with no effect of birds of low genetic potential.