There are many companies available throughout the world producing commercial feed and feed supplements for layer chickens. You can buy feed from your local market or make the feed at your own house. However, you have to be sure that the feed and feed supplements you buy are enriched with essential food value.
Protein, vitamins and minerals are very important for laying hens because they affect the quality of eggs, layer poultry fertility and layer bird’s health.
Here are some basic things you need to attend to:
- Provide 2% of calcium for two weeks after their birth.
- If you notice they are not gaining expected weight, then you have to serve starter feed for eight weeks.
- Serve feed two or three times a day till they are 18 weeks of age.
- Demand an increased supply of feed very fast when the birds start laying.
- Serve them layer poultry feed according to their age and weight.
- Don’t decrease the amount of feed while laying (even if their weight increases).
Water Management for Layer Poultry Farming
The good health of chickens depends on the supply of pure, clean and fresh drinking water. You have to provide adequate water according to the demand of your laying hens. For purifying the water, mix Aquacure.
Then you need to determine a suitable place to keep the water pot inside the poultry house. Also, supply cold water during the summer season and hot weather, and slightly hot water in cold weather or winter season.
In accordance with the age and species of chickens, you can use food to control the weight of chickens. Use sufficient calcium, phosphorus, vitamins, amino acid and other mineral substance in their food.
If you follow the methods mentioned above, then you can make better profit from your layer poultry farming business.
Layer farm sequence
A standard procedure is followed for the Layer Farm Sequence. This procedure starts when female chicks are raised into pullets for commercial egg production. This stage is called ‘rearing’, and there are several common rearing systems. Some farms raise layer chicks on a litter floor in a shed similar to a meat chicken shed. Other pullets are either finished off or reared entirely in wire-floored cages.
Brooding for Layer Poultry Farming (Day-old to 6 weeks)
When a hen sits still for a prolonged period without eating or drinking normally, she is said to be ‘broody’. This is a normal process during which the hen stops producing eggs in order to incubate a nest full of eggs. When the eggs hatch the hen then cares for the chicks by keeping them warm and finding feed and water for them. Modern strains of chicken have been selected not to go broody so that more eggs are laid over a period of time.
When rearing chicks commercially the aim is to do the same thing as the hen. The stage of life when chicks need some additional heat is called the brooding stage. It lasts up to six weeks, depending on the temperature of the environment until the chicks can control their body temperature themselves. From day-old, they usually receive chick starter feed which aims to ensure they have plenty of protein (19%) and energy for body growth.
Growing (6 to 20 weeks)
Even after chicks are able to control their body temperature they still need to be protected from climate extremes. At this stage they receive pullet grower feed which is less expensive and contains only 15% to 17% protein and 7% less energy than the starter feed.
Beak trimming and some vaccinations are done during the grower stage to prepare the birds for their adult life as laying hens. Anything that limits growth at this time can affect their ability to lay well. However, excessive feeding at this time can be harmful, again leading to poor production.
Restriction to feed supply to birds during growing stops them from growing at a fast rate and results in both feed savings and increased egg production when the birds mature. Careful weekly weighing of the birds is essential to restrict body weight and work out how even the flock is growing. Breeding companies recommend what weight birds should be at each age.
Pullets are usually moved into their laying quarters at 16-18 weeks of age, before they reach sexual maturity. This ensures that they are settled in before egg production begins.
Handling birds at any time during moving must be done with care to avoid injury. As pullets mature into laying hens they are fed a layer ration designed to enable them to perform best.
Adult layer (20 to/up to 78 weeks)
Adult hens are the real workers of the industry. For best performance, they need to be fed carefully and kept in a house at 21-28oC. This means that hen houses are designed to keep as near as possible to this temperature year round. The hens are checked regularly to monitor their health and medicines may be administered as needed. Tinted egg strains usually require less feed (105g feed/hen/day) than brown egg strains (120g feed/hen/day).
The quality of feed provided to hens may be varied for the level of production. Hens may need more nutrients just before and during their peak production than at other times. This is called phase feeding. It can be economical to adjust rations for such high-demand periods.