Poultry Farming Practices In Nigeria: Integration With Fish Farming






In poultry farming along with fish the following management practices are followed:

1. Poultry farming systems.
2. Construction of poultry house.
3. Selection of poultry birds.
4. Housing of birds.
5. Feeding of birds.
6. Egg laying management.
7. Health care.
8. Production.

Poultry farming systems:
There are 3 systems of farming of poultry birds along with fish farming-
1. Extensive system (free range).
2. Semi-intensive.
3. Intensive.

The intensive system of raising of poultry bird is of 2 types-

A. Battery system (cage system): In the cage system of poultry farming the poultry house are constructed over the pond water surface in a row manner and the poultry dropping are allowed to fall to the pond water directly. However, if the poultry house are constructed on the embankment of a pond below the cage some pots are placed to collect the poultry droppings and from these pots the poultry droppings are applied to the fish pond.

B. Deep litter system: In the dip litter system the poultry houses are constructed on the pond embankment or any convenient places of the fish farm. In this system the floor of the pen is covered with 10- 15 cm thick easily available dry organic matter like- dry leaves of tree, chopped straw, hay, saw dust, lime, etc. The dropping of the birds which fall gradually combined with the materials used and bacterial action started. When the depth of litter becomes less, more organic matter is added to maintain the sufficient depth of litter. The litter is regularly stirred and after 2 months it becomes dip litter and in about 10- 12 months it becomes fully built up litter In case of litter becomes damp lime is applied to make it dry. This is preferred over the battery or cage system because of higher manorial value of dip litter or fully built up litter.

2. Construction of Poultry House:
Production of good number of chicken eggs and meat can get if the farmed poultry stock remains comfortably in the poultry house. Poultry house must provide adequate space, cool during summer, warm during winter and provide adequate supply of sunshine, good aeration and dry environment. In construction of a poultry house it should be noted that the house should always remain clean and dry. In direct integration the house is constructed above pond water surface and in case of indirect integration it is constructed either on the pond embankment or in any convenient places of the fish farm. The height of the house from floor to the roof should be 3.6 m and the height of walls should be 2.72 m.

Through the control of light and air the house should made air-conditioned. The ceiling of the house is needed to be covered with a screen. In direct integration the house floor is constructed with small holes. This poultry house may be constructed at cheaper rate with locally available materials like- bamboo, thatch, wood, etc. But this house may also be a concrete structure. In case of direct integration the floor of the house should remain at least 1.2- 1.5 m above the pond water surface. The space of the house required is calculated based on the number of birds going to stock. Normally for every bird 0.3- 0.4 m2 space per bird is required. In intensive farming of poultry in 1 house up to 250 birds can be farmed.

3. Selection of Poultry Birds:
Depending on the utility, economic value and fancy purpose, etc. the poultry birds are classified as-
1. Meat type (Broilers)
2. Egg type (Layers).
3. Game.
4. Ornamental.
5. Bantam (Fighter).

In the integration of fish and poultry farming both egg type and meat type are farmed. In the cage and dip litter system both egg type and meat type are grown. But in storied house (chang ghar) egg type birds are farmed. In the dip litter and cage system any of the high yield (egg and meat) variety of poultry birds like- Rhode island, Leg horn, etc. are suitable, but in storied house Kisten golden breed is only preferred.

4. Housing of Birds:
Just 1 month prior to stocking of fish pond with fish seed after vaccination against viral diseases and after providing all prophylactic measures about 8 week aged poultry birds are brought to the house for farming. Before introduction of birds into the house the house and
the utensils to be used in the poultry raising practice should be disinfected with disinfectant like- potash.

When the poultry birds becomes 18 months aged then their egg laying capacity will be reduced and the old stock should sale out and a new stock should introduced to the house after cleaning the house with disinfectant. For every 1 hector water spread area 500- 600 (67- 80 birds/ bigha water spread area) birds are sufficient for poultry-cum- fish culture practice.

5. Feeding of Birds:
Poultry are fed with balanced poultry feed available in the market in different trade names. Under litter system the poultry birds are fed according to their age. The normal feeding practices followed-

1. Chicks' mash- 40- 45 gm/ day in 3- 4 times a day up to the age of 8 week of birds.
2. Grower mash- 50- 70 gm/ day in 5- 6 times a day from 8- 18 weeks age of birds.
3. Layers mash- 80- 120 gm/ day in 3- 4 times a day from 18 weeks age of birds.

Along with feed there should be sufficient supply of drinking water to the farmed poultry birds is required. For dust bath of birds an earthen pot of about 2 feet diameter filled with clean and dry earth are place in the house. Roosting starts from 8 weeks age of the chicken and so perches are provided in the pen for roosting of birds at the rate of 8 inch/ perch/ bird.

6. Egg Laying management:
Chicken starts laying eggs from 22 weeks onwards and they lay eggs from 22 weeks to 18 months. When their egg laying stopped then the old stock of chicken is replaced with a new stock of poultry birds. For egg laying they need nest. This nest may be of wood or bamboo or tin made. For every 5-6 birds 1 nest is required. Therefore, based on the numbers of chicken the required numbers of nests are kept in the house.

7. Health Care:
Poultry birds are suffered from viral, bacterial, parasitic, fungal and nutritional diseases. Keeping the poultry house clean and dry and vaccinating the farmed stock of the poultry birds against all the viral diseases can help in maintaining a healthy stock of chicken. Before bringing the poultry birds into the house the house and utensils to be used in the farming practices should be disinfected. The farmed chicken should be fed with balanced feed. The poultry birds should fed the medicine for worms at least once in a month. The veterinary expert is needed to be communicated for any type of poultry diseases and accordingly advice may be taken up.

8. Production.
In this farming from a hector of area in 1 year, 650 kg chicken meat and 120000 nos. of chicken eggs can be produced.

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