Poultry business is a very lucrative agribusiness, either egg production as in layers or meat production. Egg production seems common because it pays daily unlike meat production which is more or less like an investment. Aside from that, egg production seems the best because at the end of the production when the layers have fully reached their genetic potential, they can be sold as spent layers providing another source of revenue to the farm.
A farmer has to be cautious when running a poultry farm because any slight mistake can leads to tremendous drop in production which is detrimental to the venture. Here are some tips you should take note to run a successful poultry business:
Feeding is key to poultry production success, it is said to be about 75% of the total production costs. Laying birds need nutritious feed to lay economical eggs. All the nutrients required for egg production must be provided at adequate proportion. Buying finished feeds seem to be the best but to reduce cost, farmers now formulate feed themselves. This is also good provided it meets all the nutrient requirements required for the birds growth. The birds must not be starved for no reason, this can reduce egg production drastically. Layers feed are always low in crude protein like 15-17% but high in energy and minerals like calcium and phosphorus for egg shell formation, this is because layers should not be fed in a way that makes them gain weight or fat as these are detrimental to their production. They are egg producers not meat producers, farmers formulating their feed should have this at the back of their mind.
Water must be served always, they must have access to cool and clean water because water aids egg production, its about 70% of the egg composition.
The water must be served cool always, the adequate temperature to serve poultry is
10oc. However, during hot season ice block can be added to the birds water trough to keep the birds water cool. Feeding should be taken seriously to run a successful poultry business.
Housing is another key factor to be considered. The orientation of a poultry house affects the well-being of the birds while the well-being of the birds determines their productivity. The poultry house must be constructed or designed such that the longest side, if rectangular, faces the direction of the wind, to aerate the farm and keep the litter dry always. Also, if this orientation is adopted, the birds will have sufficient inflow of air to make them healthy.
There are two main systems of housing, the deep litter system and the battery cage system. The latter seems to be the best as it is mostly used by most farmers. The birds are housed in each confinement where water and feed are supplied adequately. In it, there is little or no habit of cannibalism and birds utilize their feed optimally. Poultry house should be constructed such that it protects the birds from harsh weather conditions and predators. Local birds should not be allowed into the layers pen because they are vectors of diseases and parasites.
Layers have a particular daylight requirement, which is 16 hours. Daylight stimulates egg production and egg production is the aim of a poultry business. So lightening should be managed well to have good egg production. During the raining season when the day is always cloudy, the length of day light is reduced there by reducing egg production. To mitigate this effect, an artificial lightening in form of florescent bulb can be used to imitate the day light to enhance egg production. For good egg production, 16 hours of daylight must be achieved.
Poultry pen should always be kept clean. The level of cleanliness in a poultry house determines the level of disease occurrence. The feeders and drinkers should always be kept clean, especially the drinker to avoid fungi and bacteria growth. The water must be clean always.