Over past few decades the poultry industry has shown tremendous growth to meet the increasing demand in supply of meat and eggs. However, poultry farming is associated with a variety of toxic compounds such as ammonia, pesticides, pathogens and other airborne emissions. So, here are the six measures to keep in mind when planning for poultry farming.
1. Diet : Chickens are omnivores. Therefore, they should typically be fed a prepared feed that is balanced for all nutrients. However, feed consumption may increase in the winter, and decrease in the heat of the summer. An important point of poultry diet is administering access to clean and fresh water. This is especially true in the summer as they cool themselves by panting.
2. Housing : A quality pen is important to poultry farming. Chickens are descended from jungle birds, which mean they like to be up high, so a place for them to roost is important. Sheds must provide protection from the weather and predators. Their main predators are rats, owls, hawks, and cats. An enclosed space for them to stay at night is essential to their protection. It should have a heat lamp for the winter months as well as ventilation for fresh air.
3. Daily care : Chickens need to be fed and water, and changed daily. The pen must be cleaned out weekly to maintain sanitation and control odour.
4. Bird Health : Healthy birds show peculiar signs such as they are alert and active with bright eyes, and they will be moving around. The poultry droppings show firm and grayish brown coloration. If the chickens aren’t normal, start taking correct measures to cure the disease.
5. Sanitation : An important element to bird health is sanitation. The shed and outdoor area must be cleaned weekly or as needed to control manure and odour build up. The waterers and feeders should be regularly disinfected and cleaned.
6. Poultry litter management : Poultry litter is made up of waste feed, digesta, intestinal flora and mineral by-products from metabolic processes and water. This causes problems with a foul odour and humidity.
- The First method is thoroughly cleaning the shed more than once a year. This will control the odour and fly populations.
- The Second method is to pasture the chickens. Moving of shelters can be a valuable tool while pasturing chickens and reducing cleaning time.
- A third option is composting. Composting can be done right in the chicken’s bedding.