Problems faced by the laying hens

Problems faced by the laying hens

Declining day length

Hens are delicate to day length, and especially to the course in which day length is changing, with regards to laying eggs. Declining day lengths demoralize egg production.

Improper nutrition

Hens require a balanced and adequate diet to keep up egg production. Every egg contains significant amount of protein and vitality, which should first be consumed by the hen as a feature of its day by day nourishment admission. Too minimal dietary vitality or an irregularity of amino acids can bring about discouraged egg creation.

Molt

After a hen has been delivering eggs for a while, she turns out to probably molt. Molting and egg production are not commonly good, so when molting happens, egg production stops. The rest from egg laying permits the hen to reestablish its plumage condition by shedding old quills and growing new ones.

Disease

Numerous poultry diseases will influence egg production. In the event that a disease is suspected, it is vital to counsel a poultry veterinarian immediately. A timely diagnosis may permit compelling treatment for a few sicknesses. On account of certain destructive diseases for example, very pathogenic Avian Influenza, a speedy diagnosis may prevent losses of entire flocks in whole area, and limit the danger of zoonotic transmission of lethal illness from chickens to people, e.g., bird flu.

Main issues to consider for organic Poultry Production

If you are considering establishing an organic poultry enterprise there are many issues you will need to think about. These are some of the most important:
• Soil type: The soil needs to be relatively free draining. Heavy, wetland not only makes access difficult, but it also creates more challenges for the birds;
• Shelter: Poultry needs a sheltered environment. Exposed locations should be avoided if possible;
• Labour: Organic poultry production is more labour intensive than conventional systems; the birds are housed in smaller groups, often in mobile housing. As the houses are often moved around the farm, there may be instances where the birds are some distance from the farm buildings;
• Infrastructure: Water should be available in the house (both at the brooding and rearing stages), and preferably also on the range. You will need good access all year round, to feed, observe and manage the birds. At certain points in the rotation, the houses may be some distance from the
farmyard and this may mean a significant amount of travelling, sometimes in less than ideal weather conditions;
• Capital: A considerable amount of capital investment is required to establish a successful and efficient organic poultry production unit of any reasonable size. This may, depending on whether there are existing slaughter facilities available to you, also require setting up a processing unit on-farm;
• Feed: The move towards 100% organic ration, increasing feed prices and the emphasis organic principles place on homegrown feed means that feed is a major consideration when considering setting up or converting to an organic poultry system.

What is the effect of KiFAY on IGF-1 and protein accretion in broilers?

A comparative study was performed to investigate the efficacy of KiFAY™ as a feed additive on performance parameters, thyroid, and pancreatic hormone levels in broilers. Ninety birds (Vencobb 400) were randomly divided into three groups viz., Control (no DL-methionine supplementation), Treatment1 (containing added DL-methionine) and Treatment2 (containing KiFAY™ and without DL-methionine
supplementation). The performance parameters (weekly body weight, body weight gain, feed intake, and feed consumption ratio) were recorded and calculated during the whole study of 4 weeks.

Analysis of insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF1), triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4) and thyroid stimulating Hormone (TSH) were performed at the end of the study. The results show that birds on supplementation of KiFAY™ performed significantly (p<0.001) better than other treatments. The weekly body weight, body weight gain, feed in-take and feed consumption ratio improved in KiFAY™ treated birds. The study shows an increase in insulin and IGF1 levels (p<0.001) in KiFAY™ than other treatments.

Serum T3, T4 and TSH levels in the treatment2 were higher than other treatments (p<0.001). The KiFAY™ supplementation was able to improve performance with associated responses at a hormonal level in broilers.

STEP TOWARDS “AMMONIA- FREE” ENVIRONMENT FOR POULTRY

Nitrogen is highly found in animal excreta and can exist in various forms. One such form is “Ammonia”. Primarily ammonia is a result of breakdown of urea present in urine of birds by the enzymes; urease and uricase. It is a potential source to create bad odor and negatively impact air and water quality and animal as well as human health. Presence of ammonia above 25ppm in the poultry house can damage the respiratory system of the birds and also there is a reduction in immune system; leading to declining flock health and performance. In addition to the effects on bird’s health, ammonia has significant hazardous effect on the caretakers and to the environmental ecology.

High levels of ammonia emission inside the poultry house have also become a cause of concern for the atmosphere outside the poultry house. Therefore there is a great need to develop strategies to reduce ammonia formation, volatilization, or downwind transmission of ammonia after it is volatilized from the poultry manure to minimize the harmful effects of ammonia on animal and human health as well as the environment.

Keeping this in mind and with a view to develop ‘ammonia- free ‘and organic environment for all, Vinayak Ingredients have launched a product with a brand name “KiFAY”. KiFAY is a blend of various herbal extracts in a diatomaceous carrier which acts as a DL-Methionine replacer and a nutritional feed additive and goes directly into the feed and acts as an amino acid optimizer and improves the apparent ileal digestibility of the feed and hence improves the protein turnover this also reduces the amount of amino acid degradation by the liver and excretion by kidney which form the major part of nitrogen compounds excreted by poultry. In turn these compounds are also responsible for ammonia and smell in the poultry house, apart from posing stressors for liver and kidney.

Vinayak Ingredients have also launched A Biosecurity product which combats the remaining ammonia emission in the droppings of the birds which acts as a litter amendment system under the brand name of “ESSENTIOLITT-POULTRY”. Essentiolitt poultry is an ammonia binder and has bactericidal action on urease and uricase enzymes and inhibit the ammonia formation by increasing 45% nitrogen retention and ammonia emission.

All We Need To Know About Methionine Requirements in Chickens

All We Need To Know About Methionine Requirements in Chickens

We all know amino acids are building blocks of life. The application of amino acids in feed industry has been since four decades. Amino acids for feed now play key role in improving the efficiency of protein utilization in animal feeding. Among others, let’s discuss DL-Methionine since it’s the first limiting amino acid, followed by L-Lysine and L-Threonine.

Methionine is an essential amino acid required by poultry an insufficient amount for optimum body weight gain or egg production. The deficiency of methionine, therefore, causes retarded growth in broilers and reduced egg production in layers. On the other hand, surplus of methionine has been associated with arthrosclerosis. Methionine is also a major constituent in feather formation. Its deficiency leads to poor feather growth and rise in the feather pecking in order to obtain adequate methionine. This behavior can lead to cannibalism among the flocks. This could be the worst nightmare ever possible to farmers. To our rescue, synthetic DL-Methionine began finding its way into the poultry industry since the late 1950s. Till now broiler requirements are been met by the use of synthetic methionine since it’s affordable to the farmers. By now we can sense how adverse effect can DL-methionine have on chickens.

The question that comes to our mind is- How safe is synthetic Methionine to poultry?

To answer this, we first need to know little background chemistry about DL-Methionine. DL-methionine contains two isomers L-form and its mirror image D-form in equal ratios. However, only L-methionine can be utilized to synthesize protein. The second half D-methionine first needs to be converted to L form and then it’s available to use. To our surprise, D-methionine is not converted completely but around 90% in chickens. So what happens to the rest of the 10%? So if you learnt what happens in calves, it seems that it may result in elevated plasma methionine, then it could be evident that traces of DL-methionine can be found in the carcasses of Methionine fed broilers. (J. P. Felix D’Mello, Amino acids in animal nutrition, CABI publishing, UK).

Poultry methionine requirements have always been into controversies. It has been heavily criticized for the use of synthetic amino acid in the feed to increase the bird growth rather than its health. Moreover, synthetic methionine disturbs the whole system of nitrogen cycle in the poultry. This has led to the prohibition on the use of synthetic methionine in animal feed formulation by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 2000.

But not forgetting that a well balanced dietary protein and amino acids for poultry is a high priority issue among nutritionists for various reasons. First, cost of proteins and individual amino acids can be expensive nutrients in feed per unit weight. The price fluctuation of DL-Methionine and supply chain discrepancies result is massive shift of feed prices and reduces your profit. Therefore, selecting the appropriate level of amino acids becomes your critical economic decision. You will reach this goal only if you are dosing your methionine correctly. Inconsistency can never be avoided in an industry where raw materials are heavily applied. Therefore whatever you add in your feed diet, will surely affect your main objective.

Therefore, addition of supplemental methionine in feed formulation requires precision. Second, the environmental pollution issues about nitrogen excretion from the poultry farming which can cause pollution of soil, air and water. A study shows that one percent reduction of crude protein in a diet can yield 8 to 10% reduction of nitrogen excretion. Hence it can be said that 3 to 4% reduction of crude protein with supplementation of first, second and third limiting amino acids can yield same growth performance with 30 to 40% reduction of nitrogen emission. And third, poor quality dietary proteins and amino acids can have major negative impact in heat stress conditions which is because of inefficient amino acid digestibility.

Well, many of the scientists are in constant discovery or invention to combat these hurdles. Moritz along with its colleagues in its article explains the use of feed restriction to increase commercial broiler forage intake. Thus, the plant material consumed along with any insects if available can be sufficient to obtain methionine.

Synthetic methionine and feed restriction effects on performance and meat quality of organically reared broiler chickens. Journal of Applied Poultry Research 14:521–535). However, the availability of the methionine solely depends on the forage composition and its management. Also providing large scale flocks with quality pasture would be difficult. In addition, the forage quality and quantity will differ significantly time to time.

Halder and Roy have compared the performance of broilers between no added methionine group, synthetic methionine fed group and herbal derived methionine group (Halder, G. and B. Roy, 2007. Effect of herbal or synthetic methionine on performance, cost benefit ratio, meat and feather quality of broiler chicken. Int. J. Agric. Res., 2: 987-996). The results show that liver triglycerides in methionine fed group were evidently high in contrast to herbal derived methionine group.

Overall performance in both methionine-supplemented groups was found similar (higher than the methionine deficient group). However, the quality of the protein makes it difficult in digestibility in the intestine. To summarize, there is still no proper way out to this crisis. Remember, Science is never done, it’s always changing. The goal of science is to devise framework, to describe how things works together, to study things are right now so that we can predict how things will be in the future. And so if we learn to trust science in all its fuzziness and incompleteness, it can prove to be best tool to find solution to these problems. After all, animal welfare, managing food safety and environmental issues are our major concerns.