Common Mistakes Everyone Makes in Poultry Farming

Common Mistakes Everyone Makes in Poultry Farming

Many of us make mistakes when it comes to poultry farming. These mistakes are due to lack of experience, improper guidance or any other reason. Every farmer's mistake is different. New farmers may suffer due to insufficient knowledge and skills, while experienced farmers may suffer due to overconfidence or carelessness. All poultry farmers should avoid these common mistakes and pay special attention to these mistakes. Following are the simple guidelines to avoid many mistakes in poultry farming.

Not seeing a sick bird in time

It is very important to observe your birds every day so that if you have a sick or injured bird, you can see it in time and remove it for treatment. It's a good idea to get used to your bird's normal behaviour and observe them daily. All of your birds should be active and have a nice bright, healthy red or pink comb over their eyes, and their feathers should be clean, shiny and well groomed.

Symptoms of sick birds include;

1. Moving slowly, and not interested in eating
2. Not eating or drinking
3. Swollen feet or legs
4. Head pulled in tightly
5. Hanging Wings and Tail
6. Heavy or strained breathing
7. Reduced egg production
8. Stress
9. Acting Sluggish
10. Sneezing, wheezing or coughing
11. Pale or purple comb, and tingling
12. Cloudy, watery, swollen or watery eyes

If there is a sick or injured bird, it is best to isolate it as soon as possible. Check the sick bird's weight, vent, face, mouth and nostrils and look for blood, scabs and other signs of injury. Treat the bird, examine it before sending it back to the flock.

Inadequate accommodation - To make it commercially viable and sustainable, a budding farmer should provide the right kind of housing for the poultry farming system. The main purpose of poultry housing is to provide a healthy, comfortable environment for chickens to ensure maximum production at a reasonable cost. 

The main environmental conditions inside chicken houses are as follows;

Temperature - Chickens are warm-blooded animals with body temperatures ranging from 40.6 °C to 41.7 °C. When the hen comes out, its body temperature drops to 39.7°C. Chickens cannot maintain their own body temperature. Therefore, to maintain it inside the house, it is necessary to have insulation of the roofs and walls.

Air Flow - Its purpose is to introduce fresh air, remove stale air, and regulate the temperature in the home. In open houses, this flow is controlled by plastic curtains. So, these curtains need to open from top to bottom leaving a 'skirt' at the bottom. This prevents cold air from blowing directly on top of the chickens. Many of the failed projects were closed or barricaded from top to bottom.

Placing toxic chemicals around or inside the poultry house - Chemicals, insecticides, herbicides and rodenticides are dangerous for your poultry birds. It is best to avoid using such items near your poultry house or in areas where your birds have range. If you sprinkle grass or hay around your enclosure, or wherever your birds live, they may overeat it, and ingest chemicals that can cause illness or death in your birds. It is best to avoid using these chemicals in your poultry environment. If you must, use them sparingly. Always wash your hands before and after handling poultry because residues of these chemicals can remain on your hands. Before starting your own poultry farm, it is advisable to get some training. If training is not possible, do poultry farming under the guidance of an experienced poultry farmer.

Poor sanitation and poor ventilation in poultry houses - This is a common mistake. Keeping birds in dirty, poorly ventilated and dark enclosures can lead to many health problems such as respiratory problems, mite/lice infestation, reduced egg production and other health problems and diseases. Make sure the poultry house beds are clean and change them frequently. Make sure your coupe is well ventilated and has plenty of air. Lighting is also important. Don't keep your birds in a dark enclosure without natural light. To do this use dwarf wall system for your poultry house and rotate the poultry house facing east and west direction.

Impure Water - The water you give to your birds should be clean. If it should be free from contamination.

Keep the farm clean – Before bringing chickens to the farm, make sure that the farm is antibacterial and antiviral.

Not choosing the right breed - While starting a poultry farm, you should choose a breed that suits not only your desired goal but also your lifestyle. However, we have many different breeds for different purposes.

Overcrowding your bird in a small space - Overcrowding your birds can lead to stress, cannibalism, feather pecking, and other problems. The floor space requirement for broilers varies depending on their body weight, housing system, age at marketing and ambient (room) temperature at the time of marketing. 18-day-old broiler chickens require 450 square centimetres, while 19- to 42-day-old broilers require 1,000 square centimetres.

Not using quality poultry feed - When your poultry birds are given a quality (balanced) diet, they are fed without adulteration, which leads to an increase in production. This is seen in faster growth of birds, increase in egg production and general wellbeing of birds. Making the mistake of not feeding your birds properly (i.e., not timely feeding with quality feed) can lead to a decline in bird growth, egg production which will ultimately affect your bird's profit and your birds' income. Make sure you feed your birds with a high nutrient diet. The feed you give to the birds should be suitable for improving their health.

Not identifying poultry diseases - The farm must have a biosecurity program designed to prevent diseases from entering or spreading on the farm. The two most important aspects are the control of access to the premises and vehicles and disinfection. A farmer should not voluntarily allow people and vehicles to enter and exit the premises, and buyers should not be allowed to freely enter chicken houses. This is one of the safest ways to introduce the disease.

Rahul Aske
Assistant Professor
School of Agriculture
SAGE University Bhopal

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