Best Management Practices in Poultry Farming During Cold Weather
There are 5 best management practices that are vital for improved productivity in poultry farming during cold weather. This is because the environment for rearing and maintaining poultry is a major factor that affects productivity.
Design the poultry house in such a way that it provides all the comfort required by birds during the cold season with proper ventilation. In regions where it rains heavily, you should raise the floor with a generous roof overhanging, particularly over the entrance to prevent rainwater from getting into the pen whenever it rains.
The raised floor can be a solid platform of the earth to prevent floods. Install electric brooders or heater in the pen to serve as a secondary source of heat for the birds. This would help the birds drink enough water and stay warm without getting the reserved energy used up in the process.
Also, provide fluorescent light to mimic daylight to sustain egg production level.
Since birds increase their level of feed intake to generate heat and stay warm during the cold season, add energy-rich sources like oil/fat should to their diet or reduce the level of other nutrients to keep the energy at the same level.
This will help reduce cost and avoid wastage. Because as birds take more feed with energy, other nutrients which they don’t need become a waste.
Therefore, when the weather gets colder, it is essential to give the birds a high energy feed. This is because they require extra energy for maintaining body temperature during this period.
Read also: Feeding management for rabbit
During the cold season, birds take less water. For the maintenance of water in the body, a continuous supply of freshwater to the birds is necessary.
Provide birds with warm water periodically to encourage consumption. Warm water also helps them keep warm without using up energy reserved in the process.
You should cover the floor surface of the poultry pen with a bedding material called litter. Litter gives comfort to the birds.
A good quality litter serves as insulation in maintaining uniform temperature, also absorbs moisture and promotes drying. It dilutes faecal material, thus reducing contact effects of the ground and provokes protection cushion between birds and floor.
You need around 6 inches of litter in housing during cold weather. If litter management is proper, it will feel warm when taken in the hand.
Vaccinate birds at the right time. Administer a broad-spectrum antibiotic to the birds routinely to boost the immune system of the birds. Also, it is important to deworm poultry birds bi-monthly with effective dewormers such as piperazine. They help manage parasitic infestation from intestinal worms that might result from drinking from ground rainy water.
In conclusion, poultry farmers need adequate preparation during the rainy season when it comes to improving productivity on the farm. Hence, to maintain a reasonable yield, poultry farmers have to adopt these 5 best management practices.
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