Tips on Poultry Raising


Chicken broiler and egg production are the most progressive animal enterprises in the Philippines today. The poultry industry, in fact began as a backyard enterprise but has shifted to the formation of very large integrated contract farming operations.

The growth of the poultry industry in the Philippines has indeed been impressive but its problems including inefficient management and the prevalence of many destructive poultry diseases and parasites cannot be ignored.

This manual provides technology and management know-how for poultry raising which we hope present poultry raisers and prospective poultry producers may find useful in effectively managing their poultry farms and also help them realize substantial financial returns from their enterprises in this period of high production cost inputs.

CHICKEN BREEDS/STOCK TO RAISE

The following can be used as a guide in selecting the foundation stock to raise:

 Stock should only be purchased from a reliable hatchery or franchised dealer where the parent stocks as well-housed and well-managed.

 The kind of stock to buy depends upon the purpose for which it is going to be raised.

 Chicks should be free from diseases and deformities.

 Chicks should have uniform size and color and in the case of broiler chicks should not be less than 33 grams at day-old.

 For a start, a popular strain raised in the community can be selected as it is an indication of the bird's good performance under existing farm conditions.

 For broilers, choose those that have high livability and are fast growers.

 For layers, choose those that have good egg size, high egg production and long productive life.

The following are the strains of day old chicks that are now commercially available:

Egg Type & Meat Type/Sources of Stock

1. Arbor Acres

San Miguel Foods Inc.
Population Center Bldg.
Nichols Interchange
Makati City
Tel. No.:878-4042

2. Babcock

Sarmiento Agricultural Devt. Corp.
Sarmiento Bldg. II, Pasong Tamo Ext.
Makati City
Tel. No.816-7461

3. Lohman

Console farms
Batuhan, San Miguel, Bulacan/
2 Samat St., Quezon City
Tel. No.:731-1842

4. Starbro

Universal Robina Farms
CFC Bldg. Bo. Ugong, Pasig
Metro Manila
Tel. No.: 671-8303

5. Avian

JAKA
211 Pasong Tamo
Makati City
Tel. No.: 844-7209; 845-0236

6. Avian

Swift (RFM)
2nd Floor RFM Bldg.
Pioneer St., Mandaluyong
Tel. No.: 631-8101

7. Pilch-Dekalb

General milling Corporation
E. Rodriguez avenue
Pasig, Metro manila
Tel. Nos.:8195451;671-9943

8. Avian/Hubbard

Tyson Agro Ventures
Mariano Ponce
Kaloocan City
Tel.No.: 366-5213

The following space requirements may serve as guide:

Layers

a. Day-old to four weeks - 15 sq.in./chick
b. Four to eight weeks - 30 sq. in./chick
c. Nine weeks to laying eggs - 50-60 sq.cm./bird

Broilers

a. Day-old to three weeks - 0.3sq.ft./chick
b. 3 weeks to 4 weeks - 0.5sq.ft./chick
c. 5 weeks to market age - 1.0sq.ft./bird

Recommended Minimum Feeding Space requirements:

a Day-old to 4 weeks - 2.5 to 5 cm./bird
b. 4 weeks to 8 weeks - 5 to 6.5 cm./bird
c. 9 weeks to near laying age - 7.5 to 9 cm./bird
d. Layers - 10cm./bird

Recommended Minimum Watering Space Requirements:

a. Day old to 4 weeks - 0.5 cm./bird or two 1-gal drinking fountains/100 birds

b. 4 weeks to 8 weeks - 0.6 to 1 cm./bird or two 2-gal drinking fountains/100 birds

c. 9 weeks to near laying age - 1 to 2 cm./bird or four2- gal drinking fountains/100 birds

d. layers - 2 to 2.5 cm/bird or six 2-gal drinking fountains/

Environmental factors

Birds must be protected from poor ventilation and extremes in temperature. When the land dimension allows it, the poultry houses should be constructed with their length parallel to the wind direction. This setup will expose to the wind only the southern or the northern most portion of the houses. If it were the other way around, that is, the length of the house facing south, all the pens with the birds therein would be exposed to draft and heavy rain during typhoons and bad weather.

Discarded feed sacks when available, can be utilized as win and sun breakers. Planting trees will also serve as wind breaks.

Sanitary Provisions in the Poultry House

In planning the construction, due consideration should be given to facilitate cleaning of the poultry house. Thus, in the case of brooders, the floors, sides and partitions should be detachable. This will permit their removal for thorough cleaning and disinfecting after every batch. There should have a good water drainage from the house site.

Due consideration should be given to the aspect of poultry disease prevention and control. When there is ample land area, the breeding, growing and laying houses should be reasonably spaced from one another as a health safely measure.

Provision for Easy Expansion

Consider future expansion plans. The buildings that are to be constructed should consider the setting up of additional new houses that may be needed later.

Economy of Construction

Poultry houses need not be very expensive to construct. There are many locally available cheap materials which are very common to poultry raisers like bamboo, coconut trunks, cogon, nipa and rattan. The rule is to use local materials which are very common to poultry raisers like bamboo, coconut trunks, cogon, nipa and rattan. The rule is to use local materials that are readily available.

HOUSING EQUIPMENT

1. Feeding troughs or feeders

Feeders can be placed inside or along the front of the cages. When making feeders, consider the ease in cleaning and avoidance of feed spillage. Feed spillage may be avoided by placing a metal or wooden strip along the inner mouth of the feeding trough.

2. Waterers

To facilitate cleaning the shape and size of the waterers should be semi-circular, fairly wide and supported by an adjustable bracket to permit easier adjustment. It may have a removal stopper at the drainage end to allow for easier cleaning.

For chicks, the waterers are usually one-gallon plastic jars.

The most common waterers are the plastic waterers because they do not rust therefore they will last longer.

Backyard poultry raisers usually use bamboo waterers. They are cheap but there is a great tendency for slime (lumot) to develop and oftentimes they do not last very long. They need constant changing.

Portable Catching Panels

This is usually made of either bamboo, wood or wire frames. This device comes in handy during vaccination.

Feed Carts

In a well-planned poultry house with cemented service alleys, the feed card is a handy piece of equipment which can reduce the number of hours spent in feeding the chickens. It makes the feeding less laborious and tiresome. In the absence of a feed cart a wheelbarrow will do.

POULTRY MANAGEMENT

REARING OF THE DAY-OLD CHICKS

Brooding is essential for the chicks. Brooding is the process of supplying artificial heat to the chicks from the time they are taken out from the incubators up to the time their bodies can control their heat requirements and they are covered with feathers.

The following are the basic requirements for brooding day-old chicks;

1. Sufficient Heat

 Provide sufficient artificial heat to keep chicks comfortably warm during the day or night. Avoid abrupt changes in brooder temperature during the first-two weeks of life.

 The following set of temperatures have been found to be ideal for brooding under Philippine conditions. Use this as a guide only.

Age of Chicks(weeks)/Brooding Temperature (C)

0-1 weeks - 32.2 - 35.0 C or (90-95 F)
1-2 weeks - 29.4 - 32.2 C or (85-90 F)
1-3/2-4 weeks - 26.7 - 29.4 C or(80-85 F)
Above 4 weeks - Remove the supply of heat

The behavior of the day-old chicks in the brooder can be used as guideline for the correct brooding temperature. When the temperature is hot, the chicks will pant, spread out their wings, eat less and remain inactive, move away from the source of heat and stay close to the edges of the brooder. When temperature is low, the chicks will crowd under the heater, pile up and make known their comfort loud chirping.

Adequate Light and Ventilation

 A well-lighted brooder attracts and encourages the chicks to start feeding.

 Provide sufficient ventilation to supply plenty of oxygen and facilitate the removal of carbon dioxide and excess moisture. When there is not enough ventilation, the chicks will not only be weak and in poor condition will also be more predisposed to respiratory diseases.

Ample space to avoid overcrowding

 Provide the brooder with enough space to avoid overcrowding which leads to poorly developed chicks, high mortality as well as harmful vices like toe picking, feather picking or cannibalism.

Healthy Stocks

 Select only healthy chicks, which can be easily recognized by their dry, fluffy feathers, bright eyes and alert active appearance. Avoid chicks with wet vents and dull eyes.

Correct feeding

 Provide the chicks with good quality feeds either home grown or commercially source.

 Feed the chicks intermittently rather than continuously. Research studies have shown that when using intermittent feeding chicks utilize nutrients better.

 Do not allow feed troughs to go empty longer than one to two hours.

Proper Sanitation

 Cleanliness and dryness of the brooding quarters will prevent contamination of the chicks from parasites and diseases which may be carried by previous brooded chicks.

Regularity of Care and Management

 Environment should be kept as uniform as possible. Sudden changes in surroundings cause a certain degree of stress or insecurity. Such examples are removal of brooder canopy and slamming doors of brooder houses or the presence of drafts.

 It is advisable that a regular caretaker feed the chickens following a definite schedule during the first 3 weeks of the chick's life.

Environmental Control

Optimum house temperature for laying birds is between 18 C-29 C. Within this range, maintain a uniform house temperature when possible. Flock health and performance are highly dependent on temperature control and good ventilation. Fans may aid in keeping the birds more comfortable during hot summer months. In an environmentally-controlled houses be sure to provide for adequate air movement especially during hog weather. Evaporative cooling may be used to lower the house temperature.

 Make sure that feeds and fresh water are always available. Vitamins, minerals and antibiotic supplements may be added to the drinking water during the first few days. Consult your feed dealer.

 Always check the chicks at night before going to sleep.

 After 7 to 10 days the brooder floor mats can be removed.

 More feeders and waterers should be made available as the chicks grow.

 Vaccination against avian pest is a good measure to prevent the outbreak of the disease.

 All weak, deformed and sickly chicks should be culled right away and properly disposed of.

 The immediate burning or burying of dead birds is an important part of a good sanitation program. Use an incinerator if dealing with large numbers or bury them in the ground right away. Do not expose to flies or rats.

Rearing of the Growing Stock

 Broilers are marketed when they reach 45-60 days of age depending on strain.

 For the egg type, chicks are transferred to the growing houses or pens at 6-8 weeks old. They are kept in these quarters until they are 16-18 weeks old at which time then they are transferred to the laying house.

 Birds are given anti-stress drugs, either in the feed or in the drinking water 2-5 days before and after they are transferred to the growing houses.

 Thoroughly clean and disinfect the growing houses prior to the transfer of the growing stock. Transfer birds only during good weather.

 During hot summer days, the appetite of the birds diminishes but this may be sufficiently restored by wet mash feeding or by taking appropriate measures to lower house temperature like spraying, misting or sprinkling the roofing with water.

 Provide clean fresh drinking water at all times.

See next post for MANAGEMENT OF THE LAYER FLOCK

Source: Livestock Development Council (LDC), photo courtesy of www.bsmagri.com

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