Poultry farming is the keeping and rearing of different types of birds that can be domesticated in the farm. These birds include: geese, chicken, guinea fowl, ducks and peacocks.
This type of farming is prestigious but demands lots of care from the birds, for example when venturing into chicken farming especially for layers; you have to feed the birds from the first hatching day with the required ratio meals per day. There should be water in the chicken house, light and a warm place for the chicks.
It is a tedious process but this is what you need to do for the layers so as to have quality produce. Before I forget, when doing poultry farming do vaccination of your birds at the required stages because when the diseases attack there is no cure, you will get a loss when all your birds die.
Apart from feeding, vaccination and other practices, these birds the best proper housing and shed which can protect them from predators and other human activities that give the animals stress and vice.
These are some of the best poultry rearing systems every farmer should try installing in the farm for his birds:
Extensive rearing system
Extensive poultry rearing system involves building a house and a wire mesh fence around the house. The poultry is allowed to sleep in the house at night and roams in the wire mesh fenced fence during the day.
Because the birds spend most of the time outside during the day, the feeds and water should be kept inside the fence and not in the house. Nests are the ones to be placed inside the house where these birds come for shelter during the night.
Requirements for extensive rearing system
- A house
A house is used to provide shelter to the birds at night and during a hotter day. A house also protects the birds from predators and provides a nice place for them to lay their eggs.
- A spacious piece of land
Spacious piece of land is used for building the fence and the house for the birds. A nice space will allow a larger fence hence birds can easily walk and feel they are truly outside.
- A fence
A fence if used to restrict the birds from moving out of the farm. This helps in protecting your crops like kales from being destroyed by the birds. The fence also protects chicks from being carried by eagles and other predators.
These are partitions in the fence that gives the birds freedom to move from one place to the other partition.
Semi-intensive rearing system
This involves building a movable structure which can be carried and placed anywhere in the farm. The birds are then confined in the structure. This method protects the birds from outside and provides them with protection.
Procedures for building a semi-intensive rearing system
- Find a spacious piece of land where you are supposed to install this system.
- The measurement of the fold should be 4 meters long, 2 meters width and 3 high but you can use a measurement of your choice depending with the number of birds you are rearing in your farm.
- Raise a roof at the roof of the fold to provide shelter from rain and hotter day, a third of the fold from the roof should be closed by a wire mesh for proper aeration and the rest to the bottom covered with concrete and bricks
Intensive rearing system
This type of rearing system involves confining the birds indoors forever.
There are two methods of intensive rearing system which include:
Deep litter system
Deep litter system involves the birds in the house the whole time and all rearing activities are done in the house too.
Requirements for deep litter system
Nests are locations in the system where birds to rest after a busy day. Also nests can be used by birds as egg laying points; these points should be made a little darker to avoid egg eating by other birds.
- Perches and rests
These are places where birds rest on during the day but can also sleep here if they don’t want to go to the nests.
Perches can be made from timber and straight braches and raised just above the ground.
- Feeders and water points
Feeders are places where the farmer place feeds. It’s an open thing where birds can easily locate the food and consume.
Water points should be place or hanged slightly above the ground to avoid chicks from falling into the water and drowning. The water should be clean and sometimes you can use these water points to place vaccines in the water so as the birds can consume as water.
A place where you are going to build this house should have a high security and a spacious one.
The house should have a roof and well ventilated since the animals spend most of the time here. The floor of the house should be placed saw dust to keep the house dry, the saw dusts should be changed on a regular basis.
Battery cage system
Battery is only practiced when the birds are laying eggs. The house in this system is made of a wire mesh and accommodates birds depending with its largeness.
The cage must consist of slanting floor to make rolling of the laid eggs more easily to the tray. Feeds and water points should be fitted alongside the cage from one point to the other and the eggs are collected from the tray behind the tier.