8 Things I wish I’d known About Poultry farming. Don't neglect No 7

Posted by: Samuel Ezenwankwo 11 months, 3 weeks ago/ (17 comments)

Some mistakes can never fade, even after the amendment. It is like a broken bone that never heals completely. The pain always resurfaces when the weather gets cold.

Having gone through some hard times in poultry farming, it pains me when I see poultry farmers, especially beginners, making the same poultry farm mistakes I did in the past. I won’t want them to have the same experience of ‘I wish I had known…’ So in this post, I letting out my thought and sincere advice

Farms' thought

Some memories never fade

1. I wish I had known that nothing can be substituted for knowledge/ training when it comes to poultry farming

My dear poultry farmers, if you haven’t gone to any basic training on poultry farming, please endeavor to register yourself with a reputable farm institute. Lack of knowledge and training can be so disastrous. For example, if you cannot detect a sick bird early, the disease may get to a critical stage and wipe the whole flock.

If you have poultry workers, ensure they go for on-the-job training from time to time. You cannot do everything yourself.

Also read: Blog post: 8 Beginner's guide in poultry farming in Nigeria you must follow, If you want to be successful

2. I wish I had known that marketing isn't less important  than production

My dear poultry farmers, before you start any production, ensure you find your target market and buyer to avoid being stranded when your chickens get to market size, most especially with broilers.


 

For example, broilers are chickens bred for meat production, and they grow and attain marketable size by 6 weeks. Failure to look for a buyer before production may leave you stranded, and eventually, you might sell the bird below the cost price.

Moreover, Keeping the bird will incur more expenses on feed because the growth rate of the broiler decreases with age. You will end up running into a loss

This is the more reason you should look for buyers before production. Make use of your social medial handles like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc to market your products, the market is going digital. Always invest more in marketing than production. 

3. I wish had known that medication cannot take the place of sanitation 

(bio-security)

My dear poultry farmers, medicine has limited value; they can only help to a small extent and should never take the place of sanitary measures.

Proper sanitation is a sure way to preventing diseases

Some poultry farmers believe that, while they continue using medicines, sanitary measures can be neglected without bad results. Drug effectiveness in removing one parasite may not be of any value in removing others. Prevention is better than cure. 

One of the most effective ways of prevention is through vaccination e.g. against Newcastle disease, fowl typhoid, fowl pox, and Gumboro disease. Your veterinarian will advise you on when to give the vaccines.

Also read: Poultry vaccination schedule for layers and broilers

4. I wish I had known that washing eggs with water lead to quick spoilage.

My dear poultry farmers, please don’t wash out that fine, smooth, powdery covering on the shell of eggs,

Clean and dried litter in a nest gives neat eggs

it protects the egg from the entrance of bacterial. If the shell is washed bacteria can enter more easily and the egg spoils more rapidly. Therefore, have a clean nest; if necessary; clean the eggs with a dry brush or a small rag.

And again, eggs easily absorb flavors, so it is disastrous to leave eggs near anything with a strong smell like petrol, detergents, fertilizer, paint, etc. a cold moist room can also spoil your egg, rather store in a cool dry room.

Also read: How to hatch chicks naturally at your backyard farm

5. I wish I had known that local chickens and farm visitors are potential disease carriers.

My dear poultry farmers, ensure you observe standard bio-security measures at all times. Make sure you don’t rear or allow your local chicken into your chickens’ pen; they can pose a health challenge to your flock.
Also, make sure farm visitors are disinfected. Make sure you have a foot bath at the entrance of your pen and ensure that visitors change into farm clothes. 

Footbath

Visitor disinfecting his boot his foot bath

Most of the time, I see how some small-scale farmers neglect these simple measures. Some come from the market and straight into their farm without changing their shoes, and this could be a health threat to the chickens, especially the day-old chicks. 

6.I wish I had known that organic treatment has as much potency as synthetic drugs.

My dear farmers, stop wasting money on synthetic drugs where you have natural medicinal plants around you. Moreover, organically raised chicken is healthier and tastier than synthetic raised ones; you can attest to this whenever you eat your local chicken. 

Garlic is known for its antimicrobial effect. It is used as a natural antibiotics

Do you know that the frequent use of synthetic antibiotics increases the risk of drug resistance both in livestock and human? You may have noticed at times most of the antibiotics are not as effective as they were, even when the diagnoses are right. 

Bitter leave for organic poultry farming

Better leaf with scent is used to treat diarrhea in chickens

Organic treatment is the next big thing, and we have to key into this new approach. Example of these organic plants in Nigeria is scent leaves, better leaf, garlic, ginger, Tagiri (Christmas melon), black pepper, neem leaf, etc.

For instance, ginger has the following properties antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and growth-promoting, while a better leaf with scent leaf can cure various forms of diarrhea in chickens. 

Note:  Organic poultry farming is still a work in progress, therefore, you should use it at the right time and in the right proportion.

Also read:  How Do You Use Garlic For Chickens For Better Performance

 

7.I wish I had known that all those times in my pen I was having itching eyes with a pungent smell was a sign of a high concentration of ammonia 

My dear poultry farmers, never underestimate the effect of ammonia in your poultry house. It is produced from the chemical decomposition of uric acid in droppings by certain bacterial in the litter.

In high concentrations ammonia can introduce disease to the respiratory tract, cause conjunctivitis (Inflammation of the conjunctivae), and damage the cornea of the eye.

Poultry farms should have good airflow for healthy living

So, whenever you notice that pungent irritating smell with an itching effect in your eyes, know that the concentration of ammonia in your poultry house is high, and you need to do a thorough cleaning. 

Also, ensure that there is cross ventilation in your poultry house to reduce atmospheric dust particles that harbor bacteria.

Good litter management and ventilation will minimize the level of ammonia, improve productivity, reduce the likelihood of respiratory diseases, improve the birds’ welfare, and provide a pleasant, safe environment for workers.

8. I wish I had known that most wounds in my chickens’ bodies were not caused by rats or wide animals, but a product of cannibalism 

My dear poultry farmer, stop blaming the rats or cats for what they did not do, those wounds were inflicted by the chickens themselves through a process known as cannibalism. Cannibalism means a poultry bird consuming another bird for food.

It is common among domestic hens reared for egg production. What leads to cannibalism most of the time is pecking order-a social vice that is associated with dominance among the flock and this can lead to aggression and escalate to cannibalism. 

Bare skill resulting from pecking can encourage cannibalism

They are two forms of cannibalism feather pecking and vent pecking or cloaca cannibalism. The feather pecking occurs when there is the exposure of bare skill, which may have resulted from fighting or injury, while vent pecking is common with chickens that are fully feathered. The only unfeathered place is the vent, and that is where they peck on and inflict injury.

The outcome of Vent pecking

There are several causes of cannibalism such as light and overheating, crowd size, nutrition, injury/death, genetics, and learned behavior.-reason for these actions has not been understood by researchers.

However, there are methods you can use to control it, like crowd size control, beak trimming, light manipulation, perches, and selective genetics.

So, farmers stop suspecting rats, they are too busy with your feeds to attack your birds, rather focus more on preventing cannibalism.

Also read:  How Can I Make My Broiler Eat More? Follow These 5 Steps.

 Additional Tips

3 Powerful marketing ideas for every farmer by Dr. Deji Folutile

  1. Give free products to influencers around your farm location, like chiefs, traditional rulers, principals, religious heads, women leaders, youth leaders, etc
  2. Reward 20% of your customers that buy 80% of your farm products every month
  3. Call your 10 best customers every month for the next 6 months just to appreciate them.

If you find this post helpful, comment and share

Comments

Fatima yahaya 11 months, 2 weeks ago

The content was very educativr

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Samuel Ezenwankwo 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Thanks Fatima

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Biodun 11 months ago

Great tutelage. Yes no.7 is noted but all the points are critical and noteworthy.
Training and retraining strikes me and the Folutile tips are enlightening.
Regards

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Samuel Ezenwankwo 11 months ago

Thanks Biodun

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Mrs kukui 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Very educative and understanding,it really help me as a new poultry farmer to understand some ways around my pen as well as the welfare of my birds

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Samuel Ezenwankwo 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Best of luck Mrs. Kukui

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Egerue Geraldine 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Can the bitter leaf be made into powdered form ,if so can it be put in the water or feed.
I also need the link for feed formation

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Samuel Ezenwankwo 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Yes you can, but it is not advisable because the leaves will lose most of it vitamins and nutrients during processing. Just extract the juice and give to the birds.

I will send the feed formation guide when I am done ok?

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Egerue Geraldine 9 months, 1 week ago

God bless you for educating us please can you send me the link for organic treatment thanks

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Samuel Ezenwankwo 9 months, 1 week ago

Thanks Geraldine. Organic treatment for which disease? Can you be specific?

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Sidi Toma 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Thanks for your write-up which is quite insightful. Though I haven't raised any bird before, I'm interested in organic medication/management of broilers from DOC till table size as well as Feed Formulation.
God bless you for shearing your knowledge.

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Samuel Ezenwankwo 8 months, 2 weeks ago

You are welcome, I am glad you find it insightful. Subscribe to my Newsletter for Contents relating to feed formulation and organic farming.

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murendeni maphari 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Well informed

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Dr. Maurice Nwaodu 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I so much like your write up and appreciate. Kindly send me details on the most basic things to do before I startup a poultry farm.
Dr. Maurice Nwaodu

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Samuel Ezenwankwo 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I am glad you like it, Dr.Maurice. I will contact you Dr. or message me at [email protected].

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