Layer Poultry Farming:
Layer Poultry Farming – A Complete Guide For Beginners
Layer Poultry Farming is a commercial egg production business, where poultry birds are raised for eggs. Layer birds are special breeds of hens, they lay hens till the age of 72 to 78 weeks. Layer birds start laying eggs from the age of 18 to 19 weeks. In layer poultry farming chickens, you must raise the chicken from when they are one day old. These birds produce one kg eggs in laying period consuming 2.25 kg of feed. To produce hybrid egg layer bird, you need consider various characteristic of cock and hen before breeding.
There various types of layer egg breeds that are highly productive. Layer hens are categorized into two types depending on the nature and color of eggs.
White Egg Laying Hens
- Lay white colored eggs.
- Smaller in Size.
- Eat less food.
- Some popular white egg laying hens are: Isa White, Lehman white, Nikchik, Bad Cock BV-300, Harvard White, Hi Sex White, Sever White, and Bovanch white etc.
Brown Egg Laying Eggs
- These hens lay brown colored eggs.
- These hens have large size compared to other layered eggs.
- Some popular egg breeds are: Isa Brown, Hi Sex Brown, Sever 579, Lehman Brown, Hi Line Brown, Bab Cock BV-380, Gold Line, Bablona Tetro, BablonaHarko,Harvard Brown etc.
How to select a suitable layer hen breed for your Layer Poultry Farming
Before selecting the layer hens for your poultry farm you should consider the following instructions:
- Select the suitable breeds that are adaptable to your climates and your area.
- You should the high productive layer birds, for commercial egg production.
- Select the hens depending their capacity to lay eggs.
- Select the breeds that have a good production capability.
- Breed of layer hens should have an adaptable nature that matches your environment and reputation for egg production.
- Purchase healthy chicks from a popular hatchery.
- Check the layer bird’s catalogs before purchasing.
Housing for Layer Poultry Farming
- The layer bird house should have a comfortable environment that protects the birds from extreme climatic conditions.
- The house should have sufficient place for the flock, the ideal stocking density is 2 sq.ft per bird.
- The house should face east-west direction to reduce the amount the sunlight entering the house.
- The house should be constructed in rectangular shape with 3 foot walls on the longer side, longer side walls should be made of iron sheets, silver boards or bricks.
- And the remaining walls should be made of wire mesh.
- Roof of the house should have a reflecting surface.
- Flooring should be made of cement; cement flooring is easy to clean.
- You should arrange a foot bath at the entrance of the house.
- Surrounding of the house should be cleaned from grasses and plants, to reduce the risk of predators. The house should be fenced, and doors of the house should always be locked.
- Feed store separate from the birdhouse.
How to prepare the house for Layer Poultry farming
- Once all the flock is sold, clean the layer house, walls, ceiling and equipment with disinfected cleaners.
- The house should be kept empty for 1 to 2 weeks.
- While cleaning the litter, make it wet with water. Remove the litter and throw it away from the farm.
- Unused feed should also be disposed, only feed in airtight bags can be used.
- After water wash, dry the house for a few weeks, once the house is dry,arrange the house with all the cleaned equipment’s and good moist-free litter.
Sanitation Requirements for Layer Poultry Farming
- Labor in farm should wear as clean foot ware and cloths.
- Use the disinfected cleaner to clean the house regularly.
- Material or equipment should be cleaned and then used inside the house.
- Keep flocks separated into different units depending on their age.
- Each unit should have 10m distance.
- Always visit the younger flocks first, then elder ones and last sick birds.
How to treat the day-old chickens in Layer Poultry Farming
- You should get the chickens when they are 1 day old.
- During the transporting, chicken feel place change and tiredness.
- In the first week of birth, chicken don’t drink water due to place change.
- Train the chickens, to drink sufficient water, provide a good number of drinking systems in brooder houses.
- Provide water with 5% of glucose, that gives the instant energy.
- Give them a good quality multivitamin, mix it in water as per instructions.
- Electrolyte and multivitamins provide energy and nutrients keeps chick active for long periods.
- Giving electrolyte reduces tiredness and dehydration and makes chick normal.
Disease control Steps in Layer Poultry Farming
- Should check the daily health status of the birds.
- Any difference in birds behavior, droppings, feed, intake mortality rates should be checked.
- Any signs of illness, report a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.
- Vaccinations should be reviewed periodically.
- While vaccinating through drinking water use purified water free from chlorine.
- Water mixed with medicine should consume within two hours.
Deworming for birds in Layer Poultry Farming
- Layers are susceptible to infestation with many species of worms.
- Most common deworming medicines are Piperazine, levamisole etc.
- These drugs are used on veterinarian advice.
- Layer birds are de-wormed at 8 weeks of age and at 18-20 weeks of age. Again, de-worming medicine should be used after the production period.
- Flocks should be dewormed for every 2 to 3 months, depending on the necessity.
Vaccination required for Layer Poultry Farming
Vaccinations at regular times, keep birds protected from many common diseases.
Why should we vaccinate layer chickens?
- Vaccination increases the resistance power for chickens.
- Frees chickens from infectious poultry diseases.
- Vaccination reduces the mortality period (Low the mortality, high the production).
Types of Vaccinations for Chicken in Layer Poultry Farming
Rule for Vaccinating chicken in Layer Poultry Farming
- While vaccinating, hold the chicken very carefully.
- Don’t give any strain to chicken while vaccinating.
- Don’t give vaccinations to ill chickens.
- Sterilize the vaccination equipment’s before using.
- Vaccination should be given in only cool weathers.
- Preventive vaccine is given only for healthy chickens.
Growing Healthy Chicken In Layer Poultry Farming
- Take proper care of the birds until they reach 4 to 5 weeks of age.
- Serve the chicken with pellet feed after brooding. This increases the egg production.
- Giving good quality pellet food makes chicken healthy and increase their body weight.
Egg Production in Layer Poultry Farming
Production of eggs increases with proper care and good farm management.
- 5% of birds start laying eggs at the age of 20 weeks.
- 10% of birds start laying eggs at the age of 21 weeks.
- At the age 26 to 30 weeks, all the birds lay eggs.
- After laying maximum number of eggs, they stop laying for a few days.
- Egg laying rate and size of eggs increases gradually.
- Layers eggs will grow up to 50 weeks, and weight and size of the eggs till they’re 50 weeks of age.
Lip Cutting/Beak Trimming
- Lip Cutting is very crucial.
- Lip cutting reduces fights between the birds.
- Lip cutting should be done at the age of 8 to 12 weeks of age.
- Lip cutting should be done up to 0.2cm from their nose.
- For growing chicken lip cutting should be done up to 0.45cm.
- For growing chicken, cut both upper and lower lips.
- Don’t cut both the lips at a time, cut each one separately.
- Lip cutting of chickens should be done by chick trimming machine.
Time for Lip Cutting
- Don’t do lip cutting two days before or after vaccinations.
- Don’t do lip cutting when the hens are in strain and in adverse weather conditions.
- Don’t do lip cutting when the hen starts laying eggs.
Precautions during Lip Cutting in Layer Poultry Chickens
- Give the chicken, water mixed with Vitamin K before three days of lip cutting.
- Be attentive while lip cutting, it may harm their eyes and tongues.
- Use cold water for cutting lips.
- A professional technician should guide the lip cutting process.
- Serve chicken with water in deep pots and feed them with vitamin rich feed.
Feed Management for Layer Poultry Farming
- There are commercial feed and feed supplements for layer chickens available in the markets.
- You buy or prepare the feed yourself.
- Feed you use should be enriched with essential vitamins and minerals.
- Proteins, vitamins, minerals are very important for chicken to produce good eggs, birds fertility and health.
- Feed 2% of calcium for two weeks after birth.
- In case of low weight gain in chicken, serve them with starter feed for eight weeks.
- Feed should be given twice or thrice a day till18 weeks.
- During the laying period increase the feed as per the demand.
- Feed the birds with layer poultry feed depending on their age and weight.
- Feeding should not be decreased during the laying period.
- Give the chicken the best quality feed with calcium, phosphorous, vitamins, amino acids and other minerals.
Water Requirements for Layer Poultry Farming
- Layer chicken should be provided with fresh, pure, and clean drinking water.
- Provide the chicken with water as per demand.
- Arrange the water purifying system in your farm.
- Provide the cold water during summer seasons.
- Provide the hot water during winter, and cold seasons.
Brooding in Layer Poultry Farming
Broody: Hen is said to be broody, When the it sits still for a prolonged time without eating or drinking normally. In this process the hen stops laying eggs to incubate eggs. When the chicken hatches the egg, it stops laying eggs and takes care chicken by feeding and keeping them warm. In commercial Layer poultry farming, artificial techniques are used for to not let the chicken to brood so that it can lay more eggs for long periods.
Brooding Period (Up to Six weeks): At a period of life, hen needs some additional heat that period is called Brooding period. The brooding period lasts up to six weeks, depending on the temperature of the environments until the birds can control their body temperature themselves.
- After the brooding period, chicken should be protected the climate changes.
- In growing period, we should feed the birds with pullet grower feed, that contains 15% to 17% protein and 7% less energy levels than the starter feed.
- Growing stage is the best stage to give vaccinations and do beak trimming for the chickens.
- You should make them fit for laying hens.
- Give good quality feed in appropriate quantity, excess feed can harm the chickens.
- Giving the recommended amount of feeds fastens the bird growth and increases the egg production.
- Birds weight of the bird should have maintained as per its height. Overweight and underweight may affect the egg production.
- Birds should be weighed weekly, to control the body weight and work out how even the flock is growing.
- Birds age and weight is recommended by the breeding companies.
Moving in Layer Poultry Farming
- When the pullet are 16 to 18 weeks of age, they should be moved to laying quarters.
- They should be settled to laying quarters before sexual maturity period.
- During the maturing period they should be given a layer ration the helps hens to lay more eggs.
Adults hens in Layer Poultry Farm
- Adults hens give more profits in layer poultry farming business.
- They should give good feeding and kept in house at 21-28 °C.
- Adults hen houses should be maintained at this temperature throughout the year.
- Regular healthy checkup and medicines should be provided.
- Brown egg stains need more feed than the tinted egg strains.
- The quality of the feed to the hens, depends on the level of production.
- During peak production periods hens need more nutrients than regular days.
Egg collecting and grading
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- A hen takes 26 hours to develop an egg, and most of hens lay eggs in the morning time.
- The eggs are collected manually or mechanically; regular picking of egg should be done.
- The eggs collected from hen house send to egg house for grading.
Packing of eggs in Layer Poultry Farming
- Eggs are packed in egg trays for sale.
- Price of eggs may vary depending on the size of the eggs and its weight.
- Egg grading machine does that work.
Marketing for Layer Poultry Farming
- Egg should place in a room temperature of 13°C.
- Eggs market demand depends on the breed of layer birds you raise.
- Some Layer breed eggs have huge demand.
- They should be transported in an insulated truck.
- The marketing of an egg includes a range of prices, depending on the different sizes of eggs, different brands, other differences.
Management Tips for profitable Layer Poultry Farming
- Don’t do over-stocking or over crowd the birds.
- Create a healthy environment the for the birds.
- Give good ventilation and follow good sanitary rules.
- Give the ideal amount of feed to layers as per age and weight.
- Keep Surroundings clean.
- Giving adequate lighting.
- Keep track of vaccination records.
- Give proper medication to the diseased chicks.
- House of birds should be away from loud noises, noise can cause stress in birds.
- Poor handling of birds can cause stress in them, which leads to diseases.
- Keep birds house safe from extreme climatic conditions.
- A veterinarian should visit the farm regularly.
- All chicks should be treated separately.