Setting up a Small Scale Broilers Poultry
BACKYARD BROILER PRODUCTION.
More often than not,one is confronted with the array of news on the alarming rate of unemployment in the country. A ready excuse for not initiating self-employment is the initial capital outlay. But do one need such a huge load of fund before one can start a business? I’ll say no. This article will tell you how you can raise broiler birds with minimal start up capital.Our target here is to raise 50 birds from day old (DOB) to table size (~2kg) using not more than #40,000 (Fourty thousand Naira), this includes cost of the cage.
To design a simple cage, wire nets, roofing pan (used ones), planks etc are necessary. You may decide to hammer them together or employ the service of a carpenter. The cage should have legs of 1.4-1.6ft. The cage dimension should be 7.5 x 7.5 x 3.5ft. This should be partitioned internally to 4 equal chambers of dimension 3.75 x 3.75 x 3.5ft. The internal partitions should be 1/3 wood and 2/3 wire net i.e 1.2ft wood and 2.3ft wire net (so also the external walls) . The roofing pans will be used in roofing the cage. Thereafter the cage should be sprayed with wood varnish and left in the open for at least a week. If electricity will be used for brooding (for heating up the cage during the early weeks of the chicks), the cage should be wired using 60 watt bulb in each chamber.
4 drinking and 4 feeding troughs should be purchased (medium -size bowls may be used instead). The cage, feeding and drinking materials should be disinfected and sun dried for not less than 24hrs before the arrival of the chicks.Wood shavings should be spread on the cage floor to the height of 0.3-0.5ft, thereafter used newspapers should be spread on the floor of the innermost 2 chambers.It is advisable to arrive early at the chick centre so as to get very healthy stock.
Arrival of the birds
Get at least 1/2 bag of broiler starter, drinkable water, source of heat, vitamin premix etc available. On arrival, transfer the birds from the carton to the two innermost cages, serve water with vitamin, a few minutes later serve feed using newspaper or tray. Put on heat – use sacks, tapauline or cloth to cover the whole cage. The heat is adequate if they are evenly spread round the cage (with some at the feeders and drinkers).
Change feed and water (introduce feeding trough as from the 4th day).Inspect the birds watching out for dull ones. Separate sick birds from healthy ones.Burn/bury dead birds.
Vaccination and Medication
- 8th day-First Gumboro
- 15th day-2nd Gumboro
- 22nd day-Lasota.
All these vaccines are to be applied in their water. The night before vaccination, the birds may be starved of water or water withdraw at least 4hrs before vaccination.Vaccinate early in the morning using untreated water (well, bore hole, etc). Store vaccine in a cold environment not necessarily iced, do not exceed the stated dosage, bury the vial away from the cage area. Great care must be taken in administering vaccines. Medications such as anti cocci, anti worm etc may
be necessary at one time or the other during the rearing.
In terms of feed conversion, an average bird is expected to take in 5kg of feed in order to attain 2kg live weight, so it is advisable to budget for 10 bags of feed (though this is not to be bought at a go). Broiler starter may be used throughout but for various considerations, starter should be discontinued after the fourth week and Broiler finisher introduced to the birds. The birds should be weighed randomly after every 2 weeks in order to monitor their weight. They should be spread into the cages as they increase in size. At the end of the 4th week, each cage should house birds in order to avoid over crowding. The wood shavings can be changed when it is deemed necessary. If preventive measures are greatly adhered to, 48 birds should reach market size.
At the end of the 8th week,the birds should be ready for the market,then their average weight should not be less than 2kg.
After selling the birds, another rearing may commence after properly preparing the cage. It should be noted that various research (Textbook, Google etc) can be consulted in order to broaden ones knowledge on Broiler rearing for small scale enterprises.
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