Poultry farmers must be familiar with basic management factors that can improve their profitability, factors to be considered are health management, stocking density, lightning, biosecurity and others will be discussed
Poultry houses should be sited in areas isolated from other poultry farms and be protected against entry of wild birds or stray animals. The houses and equipments must be cleaned and thoroughly disinfected ad strict biosecurity measures must be implemented.
Vaccination programmes must be designed for farms by an experienced veterinarian depending on a number of factors such as the diseases prevalent, availability of the vaccine, labour cost, etc. Therefore, it may not be possible to generalise a vaccination programme for all production and birds should be vaccinated should be in a good health condition. They birds should be starved of water for some time before vaccination to ensure an adequate consumption of the vaccine when administered via either medium.
Birds must be reared on the recommended floor space so that the flock can perform excellently. High stocking density leads to increase in temperature, humidity, CO2, and ammonia levels which lead to various respiratory diseases and other infections. Growth performance will also be reduced not only because of the reduced feed intake under such disease conditions, but also because of the loss of feed energy in immunological responses and in other body adjustments. Inadequate floor spacing leads poor uniformity, high mortalities, physical injuries, leg disorders and breast blisters.
Light should be distributed evenly in the chicken houses and light intensity increases must increases up to 100%.
Farmers assumed that increasing hours of lighting encourages feed intake thereby making the birds to achieve the target weight in the shortest time. Recent studies have confirmed that feed is better utilised by birds after their digestive tracts are emptied during the periods of darkness.
Feeds and Feeding
The feed presented to the birds must meet the nutritional requirements of the birds, farmers must do proximate analysis of their feed samples from time to time. Pelletized feeds improve growth, feed efficiency and maintains function of the gastrointestinal tract. The gizzards of birds fed pelleted rations were better developed compared with other birds whose gizzards were atrophied when fed ground ration, since they had no hard particles to grind down. Use of pelletize feeds usually results in improved growth and feed efficiency. The efficiency and absorption of food nutrients in the gastrointestinal tract has effect on health, growth and overall performance of the birds.
Poultry feed and ingredients must be free of mould growth as it poses great danger to the birds. Moulds in feed leads to poor feed conversion ratio, poor uniformity, decrease body weight, susceptability to diseases, poor carcass quality, drop in egg production and quality. An effective toxin binder at a recommended dose should be included in all rations and farmers must take note that any attempt to give animals poor quality feed, it leads to a nutritional stress that can lead to an economic loss.