CAGE BROODING & REARING- A TOOL FOR EFFICIENT EGG PRODUCTION
By –Dr. Anand Burra, General Manager- Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Ltd.
A recent study has revealed that about 75% of the farms are inefficient around the world. Nigerian commercial layer poultry population is about 60mill. And national average Hen Housed egg production is about 260 eggs/bird against the Bird potency of 360 eggs. The difference is 100 eggs (3.3crates) per bird. This is equivalent to 198 mill crates (118 billion Naira) annual loss.
Mostly I see the company blindness is the reason for the inefficient egg production .What is needed is the open mind to changes, changes which are heavily needed in our sector so to reduce cost of production and reduce the need for raw material.
The foundation for the best laying performance is laid in proper brooding and rearing of pullets.
The brooding period ( 0- 5 weeks) is the most critical stage. A well started chick is half grown.
The main goals in brooding period are:
- To have maximum liveability – 98 to 99 %.
- To achieve standard and uniform weight at 5 weeks – 370-380 gms.
- To create excellent and uniform immunity status for the future.
The main goals in rearing period (6-14weeks) are:
- To have minimum mortality –Not more than 1%.
- To achieve standard weight at 14 weeks-1180 (16 wks-1350 gms).
- To have a uniform flock – 80% and above.
- To create excellent immunity status for the future.
The best reared flock:
- Has less growing depletion and more pullets to layer house (95-97%).
- Good body weights at housing and timely maturity (1300-1350gms)
- Uniformity in growth – Better peaks and persistency in production (>80%)
- Timely maturity (18thweek).
- Excellent immune competence and good health.
- Less production drops in laying.
- Less non specific laying house mortality.
- More hen housed eggs (320-340 eggs/b).
Only the cage brooding and rearing system can give above stated results.
Brooding/rearing cage housing is most suitable in Nigeria where the variation in the day and night temperatures are least. Hot and humid environment results in the increased evidence of several diseases like lice, ticks, coccidiosis, worms and bacterial infections in the birds. With increasing input costs, the cost of egg production is alarmingly increasing in Nigeria.
One way to reduce the cost of egg production is to improve the efficiency of layers by increased egg production. Cage system of brooding and rearing is one such step towards this goal.
With combination of right equipment, right day old chicks and right feed, it is very much possible to tap the full potential of the layer.
ADVANTAGES OF CAGES REARING OVER DEEP LITTER REARING
- Cage rearing is one of the ways to tap the fullest capacity of the layer (360 eggs/b) .
- Less housing space required. (50%).
- Chick mortality and grower depletions are less.
- Huddling mortalities can be avoided.
- Less feed consumption compared to deep litter due to restriction in movement. The energy loss is lesser due to reduced BMR.
- Feed efficiency is better by 5 -10% =0.25kg to 0.50 kg of feed is saved per bird during rearing.
- Prompt steps can be taken to control feed wastage.
- The body weights and flock uniformity are better.
- Labour cost is reduced to one-third.
- The problem of parasitic diseases like Coccidiosis and worms infestation can be easily eliminated.
- Medication cost on de-worming and Coccidiostats is totally eliminated
- Handling of pullets is very convenient and more efficient while vaccination and transfer.
- General shed hygiene is better.
- Vaccination cost is reduced. (Ex: Cocci, and bacterial vaccines)
- Salmonella and other bacterial problems can be minimized since the birds do not come in contact with litter.
- Egg production during laying is better than deep litter.
- Facilitates correct maintenance of record.
- Easy identification and separation of sick & poor performing birds.
- Feeder troughs and water channels remain cleaner.
- Less problems of predators.
- Control of vices of cannibalism.
Your existing deep litter house can be converted to cage rearing. The Diversay Solutions Ltd is the leader in cages manufacturing in Nigeria. These cages can be fixed any type of houses. Basing on the house dimension the capacity of the house can be determined.
Two types of California cages with 3-tier or 2-tier system can be installed basing on the width and height of the house.
The 3-tier cages are more suitable for elevated houses.
In 2- tier system, the cages are fixed on the floor at a height of 2 feet above the ground on iron frames. The Brooder / Grower cage cell dimensions are 18” (L) X 15”(w) X15”(h) (270square inches).
- From 0 to 3 weeks -18 chicks/ cell. (15 sq inch/ chick)
- From 4 to 8 weeks- 9 pullet / cell. (30 sq inch/bird)
- From 9 to 14 weeks- 5 pullets / cell. (54 sq inch/ bird).
CONSTRUCTION COST COMPARISON- 10,000 birds capacity
|S.NO||Deep litter house||Cages house|
|1||Required floor area||3950 Sq mtr||1975 Sq mtr|
|2||Cost of construction (Naira)||7,800,000||3,900,000|
|3||Cost of chick drinkers (Naira)||90,000||NIL|
|4||Cost of grower drinkers (Naira)||60,000||NIL|
|5||Cost of chick feeders (Naira)||150,000||NIL|
|6||Cost of grower feeders (Naira)||250,000||NIL|
|7||Cost of cages (Naira)||NIL||6,000,000|
|COST PER BIRD||835||990|
PERFORMANCE COMPARISION (Experiment in OYO- 2010)
|Deep litter brooding||Cage brooding|
|Mortality upto 14 weeks||8.3%||2.2%|
|Body weight at 14 weeks||1030 gms||1195 gms|
|Age at maturity(1st egg)||133 days||121 days|
|Peak production in lay||86%||94%|
|Production >90%(persistency)||0 weeks||14 weeks|
INCOME ( Additional returns/ one cycle) for 10,000 birds
|1||Better livability by 5% ( 500 more POL at lay)||500,000|
|2||Better egg prodn ( 5%= 12 eggs/bird =4000 crates@550||2,200,000|
|3||Cost saving on coccivacc/coccidiostats (@N6/bird)||60,000|
|4||Cost saving on dewormer&other drugs(@N5/bird)||50,000|
|5||Cost saving on labour ( 1XN20,000X4 months)||80,000|
|6||Feed saving @ 0.5kg/bird (5tonns X 80,000)||400,000|
|TOTAL ADDITIONAL INCOME (Naira)||3,290,000|
|Extra income per bird (Naira)||329|
(Courtesy: Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Ltd. “Pulletin”)