The sole aim of every business is to increase productivity, likewise in agribusiness, productivity of the flock is the prominent objective the farmer craves for. After huge investment on a poultry farm, what the farmer expects is returns to justify the investments made earlier. It would be saddened and discouraging for a farmer to get negative returns on his investment.
There are ways to increase the productivity of a poultry business, especially in egg production. These ways will optimize egg production and the production of viable chicks. There are basically two ways to achieve this, which are;
- Retard growth.
- Force molting.
Retard growth basically implies the delay of sexual maturity to optimize egg production and viable chicks from the eggs produced if used for hatching. This starts at about 7th to 9th week of the pullet till about 23rd week when the layers are placed on standard layers diet. Its solely a feeding pattern and this can be achieved through the following ways:
- Reducing the total feed to be consumed by the bird to about 70% starting from 7th week to 23rd week before introducing the standard layers feed.
- Feeding the birds on a skip-a-day program from about 7th week to about 23rd week.
- Feeding the birds with diet containing 10-10.5% Protein from 7th week to 23rd week.
- Use of diet containing 0.40-0.45% lysine and 0.60-0.70% arginine after the 7th week.
All the aforementioned ways will help boost egg production at the beginning of egg production.
Force molting or induced molting is another method to boost egg production, egg quality and profitability of the business at the second phase of egg production, egg production has three phases. The first phase is the first 3 months after the commencement of production, its characterized by increase in egg size and body weight. The second phase reigns for about 7 months, it is characterized by a gradual fall in production but not in egg size or body weight. This is the adequate time to force molt the birds to regain and sustain the production till the next phase. The third phase is marked by a conspicuous drop to practically nil in egg production, the birds are referred to as old or spent layers during this phase.
Force molting is done by withdrawing feed and water for about 7 to 14 days starting from when egg production is gradually decreasing. During this period, the birds loose their feathers and cease production for about 2 weeks, which allows the bird’s reproductive system to regress and rejuvenate and increase egg productivity.
These two measures can help a farmer boost his flock productivity by increasing egg production and egg quality for some period before the birds are disposed as old layers.