Category Archives: Poultry Farming

11Mar/15
kenbro chicken breed in Kenya

Poultry general management and feeding

Feeding Birds need feeds that give the necessary elements for body functions, including growth, and egg and meat production. This is a requirement that the free-range production system does not meet adequately. To attain a balanced diet, itRead More…

Diseases may be defined as illness of one or more of the body organs or tissues, caused by pathogens or germs. Germs (virus, bacteria) and protozoa are classified according to size. Parasites, though not germs, can cause ill health. The significance of a disease depends on the rate of infection or infestation and the number of birds that die. Death rates depend on age and nutritional status.

Protozoa
Protozoa such as Emiria tenella (coccidia) are larger than bacteria hence more easily visible by microscope. Outbreaks of protozoan diseases are an indication of poor sanitation and hygiene.
Prevention and control
Vaccination and isolation of healthy birds from sick ones and proper disposal of dead birds can prevent diseases.
Vaccination
Vaccination is the use of mild, live or inactivated infective agent (virus or bacteria) to stimulate production of antibodies to a specific infective agent. Antibodies are chemical substances produced within the host body.

They recognise and destroy the virus or bacteria used during vaccination before onset of disease. Vaccines are prepared from the same virus or bacteria that cause the disease to be vaccinated against. They are sensitive to heat, pH (acidity) and therefore should be handled following manufacturers’ instructions

 

Vaccination programmes
Vaccination for indigenous chicken in a free-range system depends on age, disease incidence, severity and status of endemic diseases.

Disease

Species

affected

Age

affected

Symptoms

Treatment

NCD

Chicken,

turkeys &

domestic

birds

All

Depression, poor appetite, coughing

and difficult breathing, diarrhoea,

nervous signs, twisted neck

and death in large numbers in a

short time

Vaccination

Antibiotics to

control secondary

infections

Fowl

pox

Chickenand turkeys

All but

serious

at point

of lay

Spreading eruption on comb, wattle

nose & other featherless parts,

poor appetite/egg production, depression.

Deaths may result in

chicks

Infectious

Bronchitis

Chicken

All

Chicks/growers: Depression, huddling,

poor appetite, coughing,

gasping/difficult breathing, death.

Adult: Coughing/noisy breathing,

few eggs laid/with soft shells

Avian

Influenza

Chicken

and turkeys

All

Depression, coughing, discharge

from eyes/nostrils, swollen face,

poor sight and feeding, nervous

signs and diarrhoea

Destroy sick

birds

IBD

Chicken

2-6 wk

Depression, poor appetite, unsteady

walk, pecking at vent and

diarrhoea

Control by

vaccination

Bacterial diseases

diseases that can be prevented through good hygiene and treated using antibiotics
such as Tetracycline.
Salmonella. There are 3 types of infection caused by the Salmonella microorganism.
These are pullorum disease, fowl typhoid disease and salmonellosis.

Pullorum disease caused by sub-species S. pullorum is fatal in chicks. It is transmitted from hen to chicks during egg formation, contamination of eggs at laying or the chicks are infected from faeces. Symptoms include dead embryo in eggs that do not hatch, chicks develop wet vents (tail) within the 1st week, whitish diarrhoea, huddling and difficulty in breathing. Mortality can reach 100% in the 1st 2 weeks.
Fowl typhoid is caused by the species S. gallinarum and is severe in growers and adult birds. It is spread by contamination of feed and water by faecal matter from infected birds. Symptoms include drop in egg production, egg fertility and hatchability, anorexia and dullness followed by sudden death.

Salmonellosis is caused by any other Salmonella species. It is severe in both chicks and adult birds. It is spread by contamination of eggs at laying or to both chicks and adults through contaminated feed, water and faeces. Symptoms include drop in egg production, egg fertility and hatchability, anorexia and dullness followed by sudden death.

Sanitation, and eggs and nest fumigation using formaldehyde pellets in the nest can prevent it. Broad-spectrum antibiotics such as sulphur drugs can control infections. Control is by vaccination

Collibacillosis is acute in chicks and chronic in adult chicken. It is transmitted through eggs to chicks and through contaminated faeces, feed and water to both adult birds and chicks. Symptoms include respiratory distress, diarrhoea and high mortality in chicks while those in embryonic infection include dead embryos in spoiled eggs. It can be avoided by maintaining standard egg sanitation and using broad-spectrum antibiotics such as sulphur and tetracycline to treat and to reduce transmission. It can be controlled by vaccinating with bacterin.

Infectious Coryza can be acute, mild or chronic. It is spread by faecal matter, aerosols or through contaminated feed and water. Symptoms include swollen watery eyes, nasal discharge, laboured breathing and drop in egg production. It can be prevented by vaccinating with bacterin in water at 10-12 weeks and 16-18 weeks. All clinically ill birds should be destroyed.

Disease

Species

affected

Age

affected

Symptoms

Treatment

Salmonellosis

Chicken,

turkeys,

ducks

Chicken,

turkeys,

ducks

Severe in

chicks up

to 3

months,

moderate

in adults

Dejection, ruffle

feathers, dosing,

huddle together in

chicks, poor appetite,

thirst, soiled vents, and

high deaths

Vaccination

Furazolidone

sulphur

drugs (SDime)

Collibacillosis

Chicken,

turkeys,

ducks

4-8 wk

Coughing, sneezing,

dejection, poor

appetite, poor growth

Antibiotics

Furazolidone

and Sulphur

Infectious

Coryza

Chicken

All

Swollen face, sneezing

and difficult breathing,

loss of condition, low

egg production and

variable death

Antibiotics

 Parasitic diseases
Parasites are organisms that live on others without benefit to the host and include worms living in the opening of organs, and lice and fleas on the external. The parasites may cause diseases, weakening the system so that other disease-causing agents thrive or transmit diseases. Worms are internal parasites that inhabit the alimentary canal and other internal organs such as provendriculus, gizzards, trachea, lungs. There are 2 groups of worms, round worms and flat worms

Round worms Ascridia galli infects both chicks and adult chicken. Eggs are laid by female worms in birds’ intestines and are passed out in droppings. They mature in one week or more after which they may be swallowed up by chicken, hatch and cause fresh infection. Clinical signs include slow growth (stunted), culled feathers and drooping head, thirst, low egg production and death due to intestinal obstruction
in young birds. Due to their feeding habits, it is difficult to prevent this condition in scavenging chicken.

Gape worms Syngamus treachea roundworms infect the trachea (windpipe) of chicken. Adult worms live and lay eggs in the birds’ trachea; the eggs may be coughed out or into the oesophagus and swallowed in which case the hen passes the eggs in stool. The eggs hatch to larvae which infect chicken or enter simple
carriers (intermediate hosts) such as beetles and earthworms. Symptoms include difficulty in breathing and gasping for air, hence the term gapeworm, culling and huddling and death due to suffocation. The condition can be controlled by giving Thiabendazole or Gapex in drinking water.
Tape worm Raillietina tetragona infests scavenging chicken. The worms pass eggs either as free eggs or retained in a segment. Intermediate hosts such as beetles and snails ingest the eggs or segments. The eggs develop in the host and in turn infect chicken that feed on the intermediate hosts. Symptoms include stunting, thirst, poor health, low egg production and death in young birds on poor diets. it is  prevented in scavenging chicken by using clean containers and drenching at 3- month intervals with Albendazole and Fenbendazole.

Isolation disposal of dead birds
Do not introduce new birds purchased from markets or given as gifts directly in to the flock. Keep them separate and observe them for at least one week. Sick birds should be confined away from the rest. Carcasses should be disposed of by burying at more than 3 feet underground

Viral diseases
Viruses are the smallest germs and cause incurable viral diseases. They should be
prevented by early vaccination.
Newcastle disease is the most economically important and the only notifiable disease in chicken. It is spread by sick birds, dogs, wild birds and man. Symptoms include respiratory stress, lack of appetite, diarrhoea, nervous symptoms and high mortality.

Sometimes death can be sudden without the symptoms  Chicken that reach the tertiary stage showing nervous symptoms may survive but will always show lack of nervous co-ordination. The only way to protect chicken is by early vaccination.

Fowl Pox is a chronic disease in adult birds but acute and fatal among chicks and growers. It is caused by Pox virus and transmitted by mosquito bites and mechanically through broken skin. Clinical symptoms include pimples or scabs on the birds’ combs wattle and eyelids, a watery discharge from eyes, difficulty
in breathing indicated by whizzing sound and loss of appetite. Mortality is low in adult chicken but high in chicks and growers. There is usually a drop in egg production in laying birds. The disease can be avoided by clearing bushes or controlled by vaccinating the chicken when they are 4 weeks old by wing web stab
using a needle. Follow this by examining the vaccination site after 7 days for reaction. Pox virus can survive for 10 years in the soil. Since infected chicken are predisposed to secondary infections, infected chicken should be covered with an antibiotic treatment.

Infectious bronchitis is a contagious disease, acute in chicks and chronic in adult birds. The disease is transmitted from sick birds through faeces, contamination of litter and by air. Symptoms in adults include sneezing and watery eyes, nasal discharge, wet droppings, poor egg shell with no death unless from secondary infection. Chicks gasp and cough, breath noisily, have watery eyes and nostrils, become depressed and huddle. Mortality can be as high as 25%. It is controlled by vaccinating with multiple serotype or covering with antibiotics during outbreaks.

Avian Influenza (Fowl plague) is an acute disease in chicken, ducks, turkeys and wild birds. It is transmitted through contaminated faeces, water and air. Symptoms include respiratory distress, sneezing, sinusitis (swollen head and face), emaciation and nervous disorder. Infected birds should be destroyed and the location of infection quarantined.

Infectious Bursa Disease (Gumboro) (Fig. 9) is common in hatcheries and birds are likely to be infected by the time they are acquired. It is spread through feed, water and faeces. It affects young chicken aged 2-6 weeks. It is rare in indigenous birds. Symptoms include diarrhoea, sleepiness and depression, ruffled feathers, and trembling of the head. Mortality is between 50 and 80%. The disease causes
immuno-supression, predisposing the bird to other infections. It can be controlled by vaccinating the chicken when they are 2-6 weeks old through drinking water.

Get eggs incubators from Ecochicks Poultry. Call us on 0727087285 or visit us at Terry House 2nd Flooor, Mfangano St, Next to KNUT House Nairobi.

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10Mar/15

External parasites of Kienyeji chicken

External parasites infest poultry houses and breed in cracks of the buildings. The species commonly found include lice, mites, fleas and ticks, though very rare. They affect all ages of birds but are severe in chicks.Read More…

20Jun/13

Lawyer turns passion for rare birds into lucrative venture

Peter King’ara, 44, has always been passionate about birds. He has travelled to different parts of the world looking for rare species to keep at his sanctuary in Gichiche Village, Othaya. Under his Barefoot Venture project,Read More…

20Jun/13

Former fisherman hatches an idea for poultry business

Communities in the lakeside region have traditionally relied on fishing as their main source of livelihood but with declining stocks, most fishermen are diversifying their sources of income. Stephen Ogembo, 39, is one such man whoRead More…

20Jun/13
kenbro chicken breed in Kenya

Poultry farmers adopt improved indigenous breed of chicken

This comes against a backdrop of increased cost of production for broilers and layers variety, where 70 per cent of the expenditure emanates from feeds, according to the stakeholders. Kenbro, which belongs to Kenchic, was developedRead More…

Poultry farming is a very lucrative aspect of agriculture under livestock farming. For you to achieve maximum result in your poultry farming business, there are certain equipments that are necessary.

Now for those who are in the process of starting a poultry farming business or you are still in the planning phase, this writeup will prove valuable to you. It is also important you know that this article is a continuation of our poultry business plan publication. Without wasting your time, below is a comprehensive list of poultry equipments and there uses.

A List of Poultry Farming Equipments and their Uses

1.Water equipments

  • Pan and jar type.

This type of waterer is circular in nature, having two compartments i.e. jar for filling water and pan for delivering water.

  • Water basin made of plastic / wood/GI with grill

Basins of different diameters are available (10”, 12”, 14” and 16” diameter).

A separate grill is available to prevent the entry of birds inside the water.

  •  Bell type automatic waterer 

These are made of high-impact plastic in a bell shape usually suspended from separate pipeline for the purpose.

This type of waterers has control over the water flow and maintains the required water level always.

There will be a continuous flow of water so as to ensure water available for the birds throughout the day.

Height at which the water is available can be easily adjusted by simple clamp mechanism and rate of flow water is adjustable by a valve (spring-mounted). Plastic drinkers will be brightly colored (red,blue) and hence are expected to attract layers, especially chicks to water.

No. of bell-drinkers=1.3*(circumference÷ Drinker space)

  • Nipple drinker 

It can be used both in deep-litter and in cage system.Nipple drinker

When used in deep-litter system, it is attached with cup under the nipple to prevent wetting of litter material.

These drinkers look like a nipple and water drops comes out when they are pressed.

They can be used for all types and classes of birds, but most commonly used in laying cages.

One nipple drinkers in each cage housing 3 layers is sufficient.

  •  Manual drinker

In case of chicks during first week of brooding, manual drinkers are popularly used.

They also referred as “fountain drinkers” because water comes out of the holes like that in case of a fountain.manual drinker

The main advantage of manual drinkers is the ease of giving vitamins and other probiotics/medicines/vaccines through water.

Manual drinkers with stand made of high-impact plastic in bright colors (red or blue) are available.

Arrangement of drinkers at an equal distance of 0.6m between any two feeders and feeder and a drinker.

2.Feeding Equipments

Feeders are equipments used in feeding poultry birds. The food is deposited in the feeder and the birds feed from it. The amount of feeders provided for a poultry farm should be according to to amount of birds available. It is important that you always keep the feeders clean to ensure the health safety of the birds.

  •  Linear feeder 

Different sizes of linear feeder with guards are available.

Provision is also made to adjust the height of the feeder.Linear Feeder

Linear feeders are usually made of Galvanized Iron. However it can as well be made out of any locally available material like wood, bamboo, etc.

Provisions for stability and adjustment in height at which the feeder stands have to be made in its design.

Birds can stand on either side of the linear feeder.

Total feeder space available = 2* length.

No of linear feeders = (2*Length of the feeder) ÷ Feeder space with all measurements in cm.

  • Circular feeder 

These are semi-automatic feeders and can hold 5 to 7 kg feed in its cone at a time.

The feed is slowly delivered to the bottom by gravity.

It can also be attached with feed grills to prevent wastage.Circular Feeder

These are made of high plastic and usually suspended from roof/ roof-truss or from separate pipeline for the purpose.

These are also called as ‘hanging feeders’.

These feeders are available in different capacity and when completely full, the feed will suffice 4 to 7 days, depending upon the age and number feeding on them.

The height at which the feed is available can be easily adjusted by simple clamp mechanism.

Plastic feeders will be brightly colored (red or blue, generally) and hence are expected to attract layers, especially chicks to feed.

No. of hanging feeders = 1.3* (Circumference ÷ Feeder space) with all measurements in cm.

30% more birds can be accommodated in a hanging feeder when compared to that in linear feeder.

  • Shell grit box 

It is used to provide shell grit to the layer birds as a supplemental source of calcium.shell grit box

  • Automatic feeder 

In case of automatic feeder the feed is supplied to the entire length of the poultry Automatic Feederhouse by specially designed feed troughs with auger type or chain type devices to move the feed from the feed bins to the other end.

These are operated with electricity and the height of the feeder can be adjusted depending upon the age of the birds.

  • Heaters or Brooders

It is essential that the temperature of the poultry farm be regulated especially during cold weather. The heater or brooder is an equipment used in regulating and increasing the temperature of the poultry farm. These helps to keep the birds warm when the weather is cold.

  • Charcoal stove / kerosene stove

Charcoal stoveThese are used in places where electricity is not available or costly and where power failure is quite common.

These stoves are covered with plates or pans to sustain the heat in the brooding area.

  •  Gas brooder

Gas brooderNatural gas, LPG or methane is connected to heating element which is hanged 3 to 5 feet above the chick to provide heat.

It is attached with canopy type reflectors to reflect the heat towards the chicks.

 

  •  Infra-red bulbsinfra-red bulbs

It is a self reflecting bulb and hence no need of reflector over the bulbs.

150 and 250 watt bulbs are available to provide sufficient heat to 150 and 250 chicks, respectively.  

  •  Reflectors/ Hovers 

These reflectors are called Hovers.Light reflector

These are reflectors of heat and light.

These hovers are flat provided with heating element, heating mechanism and pilot lamp and in some cases thermometer are also there in order to record the temperature.

Generally they are mounted with stands on all four corners, instead of hanging from the roof.

Other Poultry Farming Equipments and their Uses
  • Incubator

This is an instrument used in hatching eggs. Egg hatchery with an incubator can be described as a means of hatching of eggs in an unnatural way. These means can be employed when there are many eggs to be hatched.

  • Chick box

The chick box is an equipment where the poultry birds are kept for egg laying. It has a roll away egg tray attached to it so that when eggs are layed, they roll away and the birds will not trample on the eggs. This particular equipment help in preventing egg damage.

  • Fly Tray

Fly trap is an equipments used in controlling the number of  flies around a poultry farm. It helps to poultry farmer reduce the number of  flies in the poultry.

  • Poultry Plucker Rubber Finger

This is an equipment applied to chicken dressing machine. These rubber fingers are fixed to the bottom and side plate of the of the dressing machine in order to produce many dressed chicken in a short period.

  • Egg Tray

This is an equipments used in setting the eggs. Just like the name, it is a tray-like equipment where the eggs are place for sampling.

  • Poultry Incubator Controller

Poultry incubator controller is an equipments used for controlling the incubator and timer counter. It displays the temperature and humidity condition of the incubator.

  • Ventilation Fan

The ventilation fan is an equipments used for ensuring maximum ventilation in the poultry farm. It is also an equipments used in reducing the temperature of the poultry farm  during a hot weather.

  • Laying Nest

Laying nest is another equipment that help the birds for laying of eggs. One of the advantages of this equipment is that it increases the egg productivity of the poultry birds.

  • Egg Scale

This is an equipments used in weighing the weight of the eggs. It helps the poultry farmer know the eggs that are fertile enough for hatchery because it is assumed that an under weight egg does not have what it take to form a chick.

  • Egg Washer

Egg washer is an equipment  that makes use of a powder called the egg washing powder. Water is added into the egg washer and then the egg washing powder is added also. It is used for washing the eggs before delivery.

  • Water Pots and Drinkers

Neat water is required for growth and digestion in poultry birds just like in humans. Therefore, the drinkers are equipments used for supplying water to the birds. You must ensure that the drinkers are washed regularly to avoid disease.

  • Cages and Coops

This poultry equipments is used for keeping poultry birds. Coops and cages are poultry equipments suitable for small scale poultry farming.

  • Dressing Machine

This is an equipment used for feathering birds after slaughter. The use of a dressing machine  makes chicken dressing easier, clean and hygienic.

Lastly, the use of protective clothing for humans is very necessary. Special protective clothing like hair caps, disposable sleeves, boots and coverall are required to avoid  transfer or contamination from the birds to man or from man to the birds. Also, it is important to ensure that visitor disinfect their hands before touching the birds.

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28May/13

How to make mobile Poultry Structures

Technically, the pastured poultry method doesn’t allow chickens to roam freely, eating whatever they want. Instead, it’s a system of confining chickens on a piece of grass or pasture that should be managed or cared forRead More…