Poultry farming is the raising of domesticated birds such as chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese, for the purpose of meat or eggs production and Poultry production is one of the lucrative farming in our great country Nigeria. The breed at EBSU teaching and research farm is totally broilers and the method of broiler production at EBSU research is highly intensive. Birds are totally confined, Most efficient, Convenient and economical system for modern poultry production.
MAJOR ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT IN POULTRY UNIT
· Brooding period of day old chick
· Orderly feeding of birds regular supply of drinking water
· Orderly vaccination of bird
· Record keeping
BROODING PERIOD OF DAY OLD CHICK
The first two (2) weeks of a chicken's life are known as the brooding period. In this period, important developmental and physiological processes occur.
Although the bird is anatomically complete at the day of hatch, the digestive, immune and thermoregulatory systems are not fully developed yet.
In this period a chicken' cannot regulate its own body temperature. If environmental variables, such as air temperature and air velocity, are not optimum, it will have a direct affect on the chicken's body temperature. If this body temperature is too high or too low, a chicken will not start eating and drinking and/or will suffer from stress. The first days of a chicken's life are decisive for the technical results subsequent to the growing period. The chicken strongly depends on the ambient conditions provided by its farmers.
Controlling the brooding period requires professionalism and dedication. In poultry houses variables, such as air temperatures, floor temperatures, air velocity and humidity levels, are difficult to control. Abnormalities will be a direct cause of poor technical results. Practical experience learns us that not controlling the brooding period leads to high first week mortality and moreover creates huge uncertainties with respect to growth curves, feed conversion and other future technical results.
Turn the heat on at least one day before the birds arrive on the farm. The temperature 1 cm (Va ) below the litter surface should be at least 26°C (80°F) even if the air is the correct temperature, the birds can be chilled by the cold floor under them. Temperature on the floor, at the edge of the heat source, should be 32 to 35°C (90 to 95°F) for the first week. As long as the temperature at the edge of the heat lamp or brooder stove is this warm, the air temperature 2m (6') away from the heat source can be as low as 28°C (82°F). The birds can then chose where they feel most comfortable.
But at Ebsu teaching and research farm, electric bulb was used and kerosene lantern and stove was also used incase of power outage. One of the pens was covered with a black polytene sheets to control the temperature needed in brooding pen.
Material Needed for Brooding
Prepare the brooding pen.
Clean and disinfect the brooding pen and equipment thoroughly, e.g Izal Wood shavings or newspaper should be spread on the floor. Start ventilation in good time to avoid high CO2-concentration. Take chicks out of cartons immediately on arrival in the house, to avoid them becoming overheated.
Have fresh/ clean water and feed easily accessible to the birds after arrival. Source of heat must be in place to maintain their normal body temperature.
Material Needed For Brooding
Ø Feed and clean water
Ø Wood shavings or Newspaper
Ø Polythene Sheet
Ø Vaccines Drugs: Antibiotics and Vitamins).
Ø Feeders and Drinkers
Ø Overall Uniform and Safety Shoes for workers
Ø Storage house
Ø Writing material for record keeping
Ø Weighing balance
SUBSEQUENT INSPECTION OF BIRDS
Inspection is a close examination of the birds before attending to them and it is done every morning on your arrival to the farm Or the most generally/ an organized examination or formal evaluation exercise. Both the birds and the equipment are among the things under inspection.
Inspection promote efficient management practice in the poultry production. It also in checking criminal activities in the farm as well as sincerity for the poultry record.
This is a practice carried out in the poultry house in order to ensure proper hygiene. This includes removing the poultry droppings when due, sweeping the poultry vicinity and washing of the floor with detergent, drinkers and cleaning the feeding troughs.
FEEDING OF THE BIRDS
This is the subsequent supply of different kind of feeds to the birds depending on their age to attain maturity.
Starter Mash: This feed is a kind of feed that is given to young broilers (chicks) from day-old to fourth week of age. The feed contains about 20% crude protein and energy of about 2600kcal ME/kg to be able to meet up with what is needed in them. In order to facilitate maximum feed intake, the feed has to be regrind do to their age. The crude protein (CP) is higher in starter mash than that of finisher and the feed was served to the young chicks in a small shallow plastic tray to increase the rate at their access the feed and reduce stress. A quality water was also supplied to the birds (chicks) to increase digestion and utilization. But at Ebsu teaching and research farm, all the feed used throughout my attachment period was procured from the market but from a reputable poultry feed formulator (C. Y. FARM at Ugwuachara).
Gross composition of broiler starter mash
· Yellow Maize
· Soya Beans
· Wheat Offal
· Bone Meal
· Limestone ysine
· Fish Meal
Finish Mash: This is another kind of feed given to broilers from fourth (4th) 1 week to twelve (12th) week which is the last week because at this week broiler is assumed to have matured to table size or dispose to culled. The energy content of this feed is about 2800kcal ME/kg and crude protein (CP) is always 16% and at this stage birds are know longer chicks, so the drinkers and feeders is always bigger than the one used when their where still chicks in the brooding house.
Gross composition of broiler finisher mash.
· White Maize
· Wheat Offal
· Bone Meal
· Toxic Binder
V Fish Meal s Salt Premix
Quantity of feed to be offered: This is simply the amount in kg or grams that a farmer feeds to his or her birds per/day. But in Ebsu teaching and research farm, feeding of birds is based on 10% of their body weight and that is standard for broiler feeding as recommended internationally. And to ensure quality feed, poultry feed has to be purchased from a reputable supplier or a farmer can choose to formulate his or her feed but don't forget you have to a professional or consult the knowledge of an animal nutritionist.
ORDERLY VACCINATION OF BIRDS
This is known as the normal vaccination birds to avoid uncalled disease outbreak in the farm. Antiboitics like Keproceryl which prevent and also treats diseases caused by gram-positive and garm-negetive, Vitalyte which supplies vitamins/ electrolytes and amino acids and also Glucose that works as an anti-stress and also helps to control their body temperature where also used. This diseases like Newcastle disease, gumboro disease and possibly fowl box and other related diseases that constitute about 70% mortality rate of broilers.
The chart bellow shows the vaccination program of broilers at ebsu teaching and research farm during my attachment with the institution.
Vaccination programme for broilers
Gumboro vaccine (fow box and other viral diseases)
Lasota vaccine (Newcastle disease)
Their litters are usually removed at three days interval or if wet can cause its removal before that date. At ebsu teaching and research farm, rise dust was used to cover the floor after brooding stage.
This is simply the overrun farm accounting of ebsu teaching and research farm:
v Inventory record
v Sales record
v Production cost record
v Revenue record
There should be dipping in front of the poultry house/ where—farm attendant should disinfect their foot before entering into the poultry house. Attendant and other people working in the farm should be discourage from visitine other farm.
Overall should be worn before attending to birds.
-Attendant should have their baths after attending to the birds to avoid transmit!ng zoonotic diseases.
Extreme cold and dry conditions should avoided.
Clean water and fresh feed should be given to the birds to avoid poisoning.
Feeders and drinkers should be washed before use,
Feeds should be kept in cool and dry environment and also rodent free store house.
Already in use feed should not be allowed to last more than two weeks. Visitors should not be allowed to advance into poultry house unchecked.
Source of birds should be from a reputable farm to maintain good genetic make-up breed of broilers.
Avoid overcrowding of birds
Policy should be adopted to guide in and out the farm.
Sick birds should be isolated from the rest of the flock and dead once removed for autopsy.
Avoid transferring birds into your from other farm as that can dangerous risk.
Prevention of disease is best advice to farmers as their say prevention is better than cure. It is important to prevent some of this disease causing organisms like: Bacteria, Fungi, Virus and Protozoa.
FOWL TYPHOID: Fowl typhoid is kind disease that causes rule feathers/ loss of appetite and dehydration in birds. The liter becomes watery and this disease can causes up to 70 - 80 (%) motility rate.
There need to isolate all the affected bird and be given furadis 25 to weigh the disease down.
Proper biosecurity measures should be adopted and maintained. COCCIBIOSIS: This disease is another major disease of protozoa which is caused by Eimeria spp and this disease affect birds at younger age and it has the power to cause up to 80% of mortality rate in some cases.
Blood stain in the excreta/ slow growth and weakness. Treatment
A recommended dosage of coccidiostat should used to bring it to terms, (e.g. Embazine forte).