Essential operations to be carried out before and after introducing the grower birds in the poultry shed are explained here
- Proper cleaning and disinfection of grower house is needed before introduction of grower birds.
- Provide sufficient floor space, feeding space and water space.
- Spread litter material to a height of 4” in case of deep-litter system.
- Arrange feeder and waterers in the grower house.
- Change the feeder and waterer according to the need.
- Adopt restricted feeding programme during growing period to prevent fattening of pullers and early sexual maturity and thus to improved egg production.
- Follow good litter management to avoid diseases like coccidiosis.
- Only 12 hours lighting programme is sufficient in case of open-sided houses. No artificial light is needed.
- Aim for the uniformity of the flock. Sample weights are taken once in a week to find out the average body weight as per the breeder suggestions.
- Follow strictly the recommended vaccination, medication and other management programs like deworming, debeaking etc. for the growers.
It is adopted during growing period of layers or breeders. There are two types of restricted feeding.
1) Quantitative feed restriction
In which the amount of feed is reduced below the normal requirement of birds. This can be done on day-to-day basis or skip-a-day programme or skip-two days in a week programme. But this restriction depends on the matching of the flock average body weight with standard body weight provided by the breeder.
2) Qualitative feed restriction
In which the quality of the feed is reduced below the standard requirement of the bird. This can be done by including unconventional feeds or lesser nutrient feed ingredients in place of high protein or high energy diet. Here the quantity of allotment to the bird is not restricted.
During restricted feeding programme, provide more number of feeders and see that all the birds are taking feed simultaneously or otherwise dominant birds will take more amount of feed and the weaker will be subjected feed deprivation and hence the uniformity will be affected.
Advantages of feed restriction during growing period
- A considerable saving on feed cost because, only 80% of the calculated feed requirement will be offered.
- They are likely to consume less feed per dozen eggs even during laying period when they are offered ad libitum feed.
- The pullets accumulate less fat and therefore produce more eggs.
- It is easier to identify weaker birds at an early age during feed restriction. Culling of such birds helps not only saving feed but also promoting layer house survivability because, healthier birds will be moving to laying house.
- Layers feed-restricted during growing period have been found to produce heavier eggs in longer clutches than those fed ad libitum.
At a given age, growing pullets should have average body weight very closer breeder recommendations and at least 70% of the birds’ weight within 10% of flock average. Points to be considered for getting uniformity among growing pullets are,
1) Receive chicks of uniform weight.
2) Provide proper feeding, watering and floor space.
3) Change the feeder and waterer according to the age.
4) The height of the feeder and waterer should be at the back height of the bird.
5) Provide proper energy in the diet.
6) Sample weights of the pullets are taken at regular intervals and change the feed accordingly.
7) Provide proper feeding space, so as to all birds consume feed simultaneously.