Date: 2018-02-13 11:57
In commercial laying flocks beak trimming should be done twice. A light trimming at 65 days and the second operation between 8 and 65 weeks of age. This is because trimming only at around 65 days will not prevent pecking entirely while if done too severely at that age will lead to a reduction in growth rate and uniformity.
To detect disease in their early stages, it is important for the flock attendants to be aware of the daily status of the birds. They should judge this by the behavior of the birds, droppings, feed intake, mortality rates, etc.
Infectious diseases are the greatest risk to a commercial layer operation and attempts must be made to control and prevent disease. In most instances, the cost of treating clinical outbreaks of disease is enormous.
In commercial layers farms an all-in all-out system is the best management practice as it prevents the build up of disease causing organisms and disease outbreaks. In cases where farmers want to keep flocks of different ages, then each flock MUST be housed in its own house, and have a distance of 65m between the units.
The flock house should be constructed in isolated areas to decrease the risk of contamination. The house should be fenced to exclude stray animals and visitors. The door should always be locked.
Broiler and layer poultry are used for commercial meat and egg production respectively. However, there are numerous world famous meat and egg producing poultry breeds available. It is important to select proper breeds according to your desired production. For commercial egg production choose highly productive layer breeds which are suitable for farming in the Kenyan environment. In case of meat production select highly meat producing broiler poultry breeds.
Temperatures should be monitored by installing maximum-minimum thermometers in the brooder area at the height of the chicks. Observing the chicks 8767 behavior is also a good guide of the ambient temperature (see diagram).
Depending on the climatic conditions, the brooders MUST be turned on at lease 6 hours prior to the arrival of the chicks. This ensures that the house environment, water and feed are at the right temperature when the chicks arrive.
In eastern Africa, layers should be vaccinated against Mareks Disease, Infectious Bronchitis (IB), Newcastle Disease (NCD), Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD/ Gumboro Disease), Fowl pox, Fowl Typhoid and Fowl Cholera.
Vaccinations should be done during the cooler part of the day either early morning or late evening. Before vaccinating always ensure that, there are sufficient vaccine doses to cover the flock and the birds are healthy. Also ensure that the vaccines have not expired.
Layers are susceptible to infestation with a variety of species of worms, especially if raised on deep litter system. These parasites reduce feed conversion efficiency causing a reduction in weight gain during the growing period and a drop in egg production in the production period.