Major Factors involved in Poultry Management

Poultry Management:

Poultry management involves understand the role of poultry in a farm system, with an emphasis on chickens, Learn how to care for adults & chicks, Learn how to produce eggs, meat, and other products, Learn about pasture-based production models etc. It involves monitoring poultry health; ensuring that the poultry house is maintained with appropriate brooding, rearing, growing and laying conditions; and ensuring that recommended vaccinations are given and appropriate feeding programmes are used. So major Factors involved in poultry management which are as follows:

1. Nutrition Effects: In terms of cost, feed is the most important input for intensive poultry production, and the availability of low-priced, high-quality feeds is critical for the expansion of the poultry industry. Managers need to ensure that the diets provided to birds in commercial operations meet the nutrient requirements of each age group and strain of chickens. Smallholder systems in developing countries typically place less emphasis on achieving maximum production, and more on maximizing profitability by using diets comprised mainly of local feedstuff ingredients, rather than imported feeds. Key management practices by farmers who mix their own feed include ensuring that micro-ingredients are kept cool, mouldy ingredients are not used, and storage facilities are weather- and rodent-proof.

2. Good hygiene: An essential management task is to maintain clean sheds, surroundings and equipment. A clean shed improves health and limits parasites, dust and microbial contamination, while clean shed surroundings reduce vermin and fly loads. This is important not only for litter and manure management but also for biosecurity.

3. Lighting:

A. Lighting programmes for broilers: Lighting programmes for commercial broiler operations vary widely from company to company, and depend on the strain of bird used, the housing type (naturally ventilated versus controlled-environment), the geographical location and the season. Where light can be excluded from sheds, birds are typically reared under low-intensity (5 to 10 lux) lighting, to keep them calm and to prevent feather pecking. During early
brooding, 25 lux is used to stimulate feeding.

B. Lighting programmes for layers and breeders: Birds are more sensitive to light compared to humans. Hence, effective Lighting Management is essential in poultry management. Light is critical for the onset and maintenance of egg production. Lighting can influence the onset of lay, early egg size and the total number of eggs produced. 

4. Record Keeping: Record keeping and meeting production targets are good management practices that allow the identification and solution of problems. When a problem is identified, the next step is to attempt to fix it. Identifying the cause of and fixing a problem is an important part of the farmer’s knowledge base. One of the most useful record-keeping documents is a diary, which can be used in combination with record-keeping sheets to record major activities, problems identified, equipment repairs, deviations from equipment settings, and any staff issues. Records of production, growth, feed, egg weights, mortalities, treatments given, and response to treatments should be maintained to assist investigations of sub-optimal performance. In all production systems, signs of ill health can be detected when poultry reduce their food and water intake; reduce production or growth; undergo a change in appearance, behaviour or activity level; or have abnormal feather condition or droppings.

5. Stockpersonship: Farmers and their staff play a critical role in looking after the birds and maximizing productivity. They need to empathize with and care about their birds, and to avoid exposing them to adverse situations that may cause stress. The people responsible for the care of poultry should be well trained, experienced and dedicated. The first task for poultry staff is to learn how to carry out routine checks on the birds, so they can identify what is normal in the flock and what the signs of trouble are. Good stock attendants minimize the risks to their animals’ health and welfare. By doing this, they allow production to reach its potential, while treating the animals with care. This is sometimes called “stockpersonship”. Staff should be able to identify quickly any changes in the flock and in the birds’ environment, and any physical, chemical or microbiological threats, such as damaged equipment, mouldy feed or infectious disease, and should prevent problems from escalating. The more sophisticated the poultry farming system, the greater the management skills required.

6. Breed effects: Intense genetic selection for economically important traits like body weight, growth rate, feed efficiency, and those associated with carcass-processing characteristics have been instrumental in increasing productivity and efficiency of the broiler industry.

7. Temperature effects: Environmental extremes (heat and cold stress, excessive or inadequate ventilation, poor air quality) can be managed if the design of the poultry house is appropriate for the conditions. Heat stress has detrimental effects on egg production, egg quality of laying hen and reduced growth rate in broiler production. Exposure of environmental stress during the growing period of broilers has been coupled with undesirable meat quality. Heat stress has adverse effects on behaviour, welfare and immunity of poultry and decreases the egg production resulting in massive economic losses of farmer. The management approaches to minimise the adverse effect of heat stress in poultry production viz., provision of ventilation, density of bird, nutritional manipulation, supplementation of minerals and electrolyte. Controlling the environmental variation is a critical to successful poultry production and welfare.

8. Litter management: Poultry litter is used in confinement buildings for raising broilers, turkeys and other birds. Broiler litter is the material used as bedding in poultry houses to absorb faecal waste from birds and to make the floor of the house easy to manage. Litter should be light, friable, non-compressible, absorbent, quick to dry, of low thermal conductivity and – very important – cheap. The litter quality in a shed is determined by the type of diet, the temperature and the humidity. Proper house ventilation is the primary and one of the most basic means available to maintain good litter quality and proper poultry litter management.

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