So you may ask: what animals are poultry?
The housing system of a poultry farm is very important to the success of any poultry farm. Normally, poultry birds are reared under three (3) systems: intensive, extensive and semi-intensive systems. Commercially, the intensive system is adopted. What the housing does is to protect the birds from predators and adverse weather conditions. In the quest to achieve this, you must consider heat and its effect on poultry. Heat stress is a great threat in poultry farming; I call it an “environmental disease” that does not require any medication aside from modification of the environmental conditions to favor your poultry birds.
Feeding is very important, I know you already know but I just want to point out few things you need to know in order to feed your birds well and get good result. You must greatly consider the quantity and quality of the feed you are serving your birds. Do not feed your poultry birds with caked or wet feed. When a feed is wet, it facilitates the growth of fungi. Fungi cause a lot of diseases in poultry birds, aflatoxins is common. This will greatly affect egg production in laying birds and death in young birds; poisoned feed kills faster than any disease.
- Litter material management:
If you want to achieve the lowest mortality rate in your poultry farming operation, ensure you have a healthy litter material. The largest percentage of poultry diseases is caused by “dirty litter material”. Litter material serves as bedding for your poultry birds; it houses all their wastes. The higher the dirt concentration of your litter material, the higher the vulnerability of your birds to different poultry diseases. This is because, disease-causing organisms (Pathogens) are ubiquitous, they are everywhere, all they need is a favorable environment to incubated and multiply. A dirty litter material provides a favorable environment for these disease-causing organisms (Pathogens). Do not say because it is litter material and leave it littered.
Most farmers do not take this practice serious. It is dicey. Biosecurity is the least preventive measure you can adopt in your poultry farm. Quarantine is one of the biosecurity measures you can adopt; do not keep birds from different sources together in the same pen, irrespective of their age. There is a term called Horizontal transmission of disease; this is the transfer of disease from one bird to another. This type of infection makes diseases spread rapidly. Quarantine new birds from different sources to observe them before introducing to the main stock.
- Vaccination and other health program:
Do not run a poultry farm without having a tractable health program for your birds. Have a regular schedule of deworming and administer vaccines at the right time. If your birds are sick, do not give vaccine but use appropriate drug to treat the disease. Vaccines are meant to prevent poultry diseases and not for treatment.
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