Main Issues to Consider for Organic Poultry Production

Main Issues to Consider for Organic Poultry ProductionIf 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, wet land not only makes access difficult, it also creates more challenges for the birds;

Shelter: Poultry need 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 farm yard, 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 home grown feed mean that feed is a major consideration when considering setting up or converting to an organic poultry system.

Step Towards “Ammonia- Free” Environment For Poultry

Step Towards “Ammonia- Free” Environment For PoultryNitrogen 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 odour 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 volatilised from the poultry manure to minimise 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” which 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 optimiser 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 Bio-security 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.

7 Main Nutrition Requirements in Egg Layers

7 Main Nutrition Requirements in Egg Layers - Vinayak IngredientsPoultry diets are a mixture of several feed stuffs such as soybean meal, cereal grains, fats, animal by-product meals, and vitamin and mineral premixes. Here are the few main nutrients which producer must not ignore when planning the feed diet.

ENERGY

The main source of energy for poultry is dietary carbohydrates. Corn, grain sorghum, wheat, and barley are important carbohydrates to poultry diets. These adversely affect the digestive processes of poultry when present in sufficient dietary concentrations. For example, pentosan and beta glucans of rye and barley respectively increase the viscosity of digesta and helps in nutrient absorption of poultry. Supplementation of rye or barley with dietary enzyme improves nutrient utilisation and growth of young poultry.

PROTEIN

Dietary requirements for protein are actually requirements for the amino acids contained in the dietary protein. They are main constituents of structural and protective tissues, such as feathers, bone matrix, skin, and ligaments, including organs and muscles. The individual amino acids and short peptides after digestion-absorption may serve a variety of metabolic functions and precursor to biochemical pathways. Insufficient dietary protein leads to slow growth or less productivity.

MINERAL

Minerals are the inorganic part of feeds or tissues. Calcium and phosphorus are essential for the formation and maintenance of the skeleton and eggshell formation. Sodium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride function with phosphates and bicarbonate to maintain homeostasis of osmotic relationships and pH throughout the body. The forms of phosphorus, such as ATP and phospholipids if present in plants, can be digested by poultry; however, such digestible forms usually account for only 30 to 40 percent of the total phosphorus. The remaining phosphorus is present as phytate phosphorus and is poorly digested. Trace elements, including copper, iodine, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc are required in small amounts in the diet. Trace elements function as part of larger organic molecules. Iron is a part of haemoglobin and cytochromes, and iodine is a part of thyroxine.

VITAMINS

Vitamin C is synthesised by poultry and is, accordingly, not considered a required dietary nutrient. The dietary requirement for vitamin E is highly variable and depends on the concentration and type of fat in the diet, the concentration of selenium, and the presence of prooxidants and antioxidants. Vitamin K activity is exhibited by a number of naturally occurring and synthetic compounds with varying solubilities in fat and water.

WATER

Water must be regarded as an essential nutrient, although it is not possible to state precise requirements. The amount needed depends on environmental temperature and relative humidity, the composition of the diet, rate of growth or egg production, and efficiency of kidney resorption of water in individual birds.

XANTHOPHYLLS

The carotenoid pigments not only provide yellow-orange coloration of egg yolks and poultry fat but also contribute to coloration of the skin, feet, and beak. Alfalfa meal contains lutein which provides a yellow colour, whereas corn and corn gluten meal contain primarily zeaxanthin which impart as orange-red colour. Synthetic carotenoids are also used approved by the regulatory agencies used in poultry diets as the concentration of the desired pigments in natural feed stuff is not always constant.

ANTIMICROBIALS

Antimicrobial agents are nutritional feed additives/growth promoters and are not nutrients as they are essential to poultry. They are included in diets to improve growth, efficiency of feed utilisation and livability. They are added at relatively low concentrations (1 to 50 mg/kg), depending on the agent and stage of development of poultry.

Poultry diets are a mixture of several feed stuffs such as soybean meal, cereal grains, fats, animal by-product meals, and vitamin and mineral premixes. Here are the few main nutrients which producer must not ignore when planning the feed diet.