Egg Poultry Farming:
The following article is all about egg poultry farming or layer poultry farming.
Introduction of Egg Poultry Farming:- One of the oldest animal farming in recorded history is egg production on a small scale. In the human diet, poultry egg and meat add a high quality of proteins, minerals and vitamins. Layer poultry farming means growing egg laying hens for the purpose of commercial egg production and later harvesting for food. In simple words, chickens that are raised for eggs are called Layers and chickens that are raised for meat are called Broilers. In this system of farming, special species of hens are raised from day one by feeding with grains and allowed to forage for balanced diet.
Why Egg Poultry Farming?
Awareness about red meat on health implications, people are opting for white meat which is richly available in birds. Hence poultry egg and meat are constantly and consistently growing in demand that makes poultry farming feasible.
Layer farming can be main source of income for farmers or subsidiary income and even generate employment to farmers throughout the year. Farmers can start layer farming (for eggs) depending on the farm size, limited investment and huge return on investment is assured. Even the poultry manure which has high fertilizer value can be used to increase crop yield.
Egg type chicken breeds which are specially developed with an ability of fast growing and high feed conversion efficiency are now available; all it needs for a farmer is a meticulous and diligent set up and run the operations.
Scope for Egg Poultry Farming and its National Importance
One of the fastest growing segments in the agricultural sector currently in India is layer farming / Poultry farming. Based on statistics and reports from Working Group on AH and Dairying, 12th five year plan, India’s annual growth rate in egg production is 6% annually. In the last two to three decades the egg production is increasing consistently and today India is producing 5,600 crores eggs per year and standing at 3rd position in the world. The farmers are equipped with technical know-how and the availability of professional guidance has become very accessible. Farmers have easy availability of high quality egg laying birds, medicines and vaccines, equipment’s, and high quality feed. With high improvement to management practices in entrepreneurs by providing training from both government and private institutions, mortality and disease incidences have come down drastically in layer farming.
The layer population in 1961 was 3.5 crores and increased to 10.15 crores by 1996. The present strength or population of layers in India would approximately be 23 crores and statistics show the per capita of eggs has increased too tremendously. According to Nutritional Advisory Committee and ICMR recommends 181 eggs per capita consumption are required while the present per capita is 42 eggs. Though in the last three to four decades there is a growth in egg production but still there is huge requirement gap. Only 6% of the eggs produced in India are processed for export.
In the last three to four decades there is a big change in infrastructure and operation in the poultry sector in India. Farmers started investing in breeding, hatching, rearing and processing. Rearing sub-species birds to hybrids. With various government policies on agriculture poultry layer farming and private enterprises initiatives and the support from the improved supportive sectors such as veterinary health, enriched feeds, the poultry industry has grown largely.
Egg Poultry Farming – Financial Assistance from Banks and NABARD
NABARD is an apex development bank in the country facilitating loans to agriculture related establishments and entrepreneurs. Detailed project reports that are prepared for poultry farming schemes gets promoted through a well-organized Technical Service Department at the Head Office and Technical Cells at each Regional Offices.
To start poultry farming loan from banks with refinance facility from NABARD is available. Farmers who want to avail loans for poultry layer farming must approach a Commercial or Cooperative or Regional Rural bank that is near to their place. After fill up the loan application forms, Technical officer or branch manager will assist the farmers in preparing detailed project report in obtaining loan. Farmers who are applying for high value projects should prepare detailed project reports from experts having wide experience and utilize the services of NABARD Consultancy Services (NABCONS).
The project with detailed reports can avail poultry layer farming schemes. Financial assistance from banks will be provided for the following purposes.
- To construct brooder/grower, layer sheds, feed store, quarters etc.
- Purchasing of Poultry layer equipment such as feeders, waterers, brooders etc.
- For infrastructure items such as supply of electricity, feed, water etc.
- Purchase of day old chicks or ready to lay pullets.
- To meet working capital requirement for feed, veterinary aid and medicines etc, for the first five to six months (i.e. till the income generation stage).
The cost of land is not considered for loan. However, if land is purchased for establishing a poultry layer farm, land cost can be treated as party’s margin upto a maximum of 10% of total cost of the project.
Egg Poultry Farming – Scheme Formulation for Bank Loan
Egg poultry project reports can be prepared by farmer or the beneficiary by consulting local technical persons of State Veterinary department, Poultry Corporation or private commercial hatcheries. Discussing the profitability of farming by visiting progressive layer farms in the area is desirable. Having practical training and work experience on Egg Poultry Farm is highly desirable for starting a farm. A regular and constant demand for eggs and proximity of the farm to the market should be ensured.
The scheme should include information on land, water and electricity facility, marketing aspects, trainingfacilities and experience of entrepreneurs and the type of assistance available from State government,Poultry Corporation, local hatcheries. It should also include data on proposed size or strength of the farm, total costof the project, margin amount to be provided by the beneficiary, requirement of bank loan, estimated annualexpenditure, income and profit and the period for repayment of loan and interest.
Egg Poultry Farming Project Requirements
The project scheme must include information on various aspects in detail such as
- Technical Aspects
- Location of the land and site development, Suitability of climate, potentiality of the area, proximity to road, site map.
- Poultry Layer Farm size or proposed capacity.
- Civil structures such as sheds, feed mixing unit, egg room, office space, staff rooms, store room, etc.
- Plant and Machinery such as feeders, vaccinator, debeaker, waterer, cages, feed mixer etc.
- About birds such as number of birds, chick procurement, vaccination of chicks etc.
- Availability of water, electricity and fuel.
- Procurement of feed and types of feed.
- Services such as Veterinary Aid and transport facilities.
- Brood projection chart.
- Marketing and basis of payments on eggs, culled birds and other byproducts.
- Financial Aspects
- Project and recurring costs such as land, shed, birds, plant and machinery etc.
- Expenditure statement and economic assumptions.
- Cash flow analysis.
- Mode of Repayment .
- Other aspects
- Profile Individual/Partnership/Company/Others.
- Technical/Other qualifications.
- Name of the financing bank
- Training facilities.
- Central/State Government assistance.
- Regulatory clearances if any.
And documents such as loan application forms, security aspects, margin money requirement etc., will be examined. Documentation of Egg Poultry Farming project has to cover all the aspects as mentioned above and should be submitted to the nearest bank for availing loan. Conducting techno economic feasibility study for appraisal of the scheme will be undertaken by a field visit to the project site.
Egg Poultry Farming – Sanction and disbursement of Bank loan
After being certain on technical feasibility and financial viability, the egg poultry farming scheme is sanctioned by the bank. Even though the loan is sanctioned it will be disbursed in phase wise such as for construction of sheds and other civil structures, purchase of machinery and equipment’s, recurring cost on feeds, chicks, vaccines and other medicines, labour cost, electricity etc. Regular visits till the end use of the loan will be verified by the bank.
Lending Terms – General
The cost of the project depends on various aspects such as local conditions, unit size, and the investment components. Regional office of NABARD has constituted a State Level Unit Cost Committee having members from various developmental agencies, commercial and co-operative banks in reviewing various investments on a half-yearly basis. These costs are only indicative in nature and banks are free to finance any amount depending on quality of investment.
Depending on the type of category tabled by NABARD, down payment is collected from the beneficiaries where subsidy is not available. Below is the category list and the payment percentage.
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|S.No||Category of Farmer||Beneficiary’s Contribution %|
Rate of Interest
Banks are free to fix the rate of interest on the loans within RBI guidelines. However, for working out the financial viability and bankability of the model projects we have assumed the rate of interest as 12% per annum.
Security will be as per NABARD/RBI guidelines issued from time to time.
Loan Repayment Period
Depending upon the gross surplus in the scheme, repayment periods are calculated. Repayment of the loan can be repaid in monthly/quarterly installments usually within a period of seven to eight years while the first year as grace period.
The chicks/birds and other assets (such as poultry sheds, machinery etc.) may be insured. Wherever necessary, risk/mortality fund may be considered in lieu of insurance.
Common Management Practices recommended for Egg Poultry Farmers.
In Egg Poultry Farming, farmers are encouraged for modern and well established scientific practices to obtain maximum economic benefits. Some of the important norms and recommended practices are given below.
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- The site must be large enough to accommodate the required number of sheds, egg store room, feed store room, and office room.
- Raised land for egg poultry sheds is highly recommended. Land with hard rock or murram soil is more suitable. The site or land must have proper drainage and avoid water logging or flooding near the sheds. Separate sheds must be provided for growers and layers (egg production).
- Adequate facility such as water, electricity, easy transport/road approach, supply of chicks, feed supply, veterinary aid and services, and well connected with the nearby markets. Ensure the water at the site is tested and fit for consumption in a laboratory.
- Hands on experience or training in egg poultry farming is recommended before starting a farm. Be prepared to stay on the farm for constant supervision.
- Birds in the shed must have adequate floor space per bird. For more information go through BIS specifications for construction of egg poultry farming sheds.
- End walls of the sheds must be East-West facing while side walls must be facing North-South direction. Doing so the sheds will be protected from rain water entering in.
- The plinth area or the floor of the shed must be raised one feet minimum above the ground level and there is no water logging during rainy season around the farm. The roof must be strong with hard flooring. Provide three to four feet overhang of the roof to avoid rain entering inside shed.
- Poultry housing systems must have an environment that keeps birds in constant temperature which satisfies the birds (cool in summer and warm in winter). One week old chicks have a poor ability to control body temperature, supplementary heating must be provided.
- Sheds must have proper lighting and ventilation.
- Sheds must be protective from predators such as cats/dogs/snakes attack. The civil structures must be rat proof.
- Sheds must be free from flies/mosquitoes etc., by keeping it clean.
- With every disposing batch of growers/culled birds, the sheds must be cleared from manure and litter material. Walls and floors should be cleaned. Walls must be white washed with lime and the place is disinfected with 0.5% malathion or DDT insecticide spray.
- In deep litter system, spreadfour inch layer of fresh litter material such as sawdust, paddy husk, etc., on the floor. Brooders, feeders and drinkers equipment’s must be clean and disinfected with every new batch of chicks brought in the shed.
- Litter material should always be kept dry and loose. Stir the litter twice a week. Any wet litter/droppings etc., should be removed and replaced with fresh dry litter.
- In cage system, ensure the droppings are spread with lime powder or 10% malathion spray twice a month to prevent flies menace. The droppings under the cage can be removed after 6 months.
Egg Poultry Farming – Poultry equipment
Follow BIS specification standards for equipment. Scientifically designed cages and equipment must be used for brooding, feeding and watering. Farmer can reduce cost on equipment by showing good designs to the local manufacturer.
- Purchase chicks that are a day old healthy egger type chicks from reputed hatcheries. Usually two to five percent extra chicks are supplied.
- Ensure proper cage space for housing of birds if cages are used i.e, half of the recommended floor space on deep litter.
- All equipment’s must be washed, cleaned and disinfected with 0.5% malathion spray after every batch of birds is disposed.
- Many companies provide feed in commercial way for layer chickens. One can buy feed from local market or even can prepare feed at the farm.
- For egg laying hens, Proteins, Vitamins, and Mineral are very important for quality of eggs, poultry fertility and layer birds health.
- High quality balanced feeds are given in three stages.
- Starter Feed (up to 8 weeks)
- Grower Feed (9 to 16 weeks)
- Layer Feed (17 to 72 weeks)
- 2% of calcium must be provided to hatchlings for first two weeks along with starter feed for eight weeks. Feed must be served two or three times in a day up to 18 weeks. As soon as birds start laying eggs, demand of feed increases. Even though the weight of the birds increases at the egg laying period do not decrease the feed amount. Layer poultry feed must be served according to age and weight.
- Layer poultry feed must be stored in clean, dry and proper ventilated room. Wet feed may lead to fungus infection. Control rats to avoid feed wastage.
- Feeding space must be adequate per bird. Feeders must be in proper design.
- Feed consumption per bird for each batch records must be maintained. About 7 kg feed upto 20 weeks and 38 kg feed from 21 to 72 weeks of age must be provided.
Watering of Birds
- Fresh and clean drinking water must be provided. Ensure the availability of water to the birds be always.
- Water equipment must be in proper design with adequate watering space per bird.
- Keep water-pots clean always and avoid birds entering inside water pots.
- In summer provide cool water and the water tanks must be exposed to hot sun in summer.
Egg Poultry Farming – Disease Prevention and Control
- Clean sanitary conditions at the poultry sheds and equipment’s, balanced feed, fresh and clean water will keep the chicks healthy and prevents diseases.
- Visitors entering inside the sheds must be avoided. It is recommended the visitors dip feet in a disinfectant solution and wash hands with soap. Apron with boots are to be worn by the visitors.
- Proper vaccination schedule must be maintained. High quality vaccines from reputed manufacturers must be used. Vaccines must be stored in cool-dry conditions away from sunlight.
- Expired vaccines must not be used and left-over vaccine should be properly disposed off.
- Dead birds should be immediately removed from the shed and samples or the whole bird is sent to laboratory for post-mortem examination. After post mortem or sending the samples the dead birds must be burnt or buried away from the poultry sheds.
- Sickly and week birds must be isolated and quarantined for medication. Birds showing advanced signs of disease must be removed from the shed and culled. It can be sent to laboratory for diagnosis. Medication and treatment must be provided according to qualified veterinarian recommendations.
- Infected manure can spread diseases from one batch to another. Dispose manure properly and quickly after every batch.
- Keep proper records on mortality and its causes and treatment given to the birds. Dates of vaccination for each batch must be recorded properly.
- Use suitable rat poisons or traps to control rats. Rats are one of the important poultry disease carriers.
- Most of the medicines are water solvent and given through drinking water. At the time of medication, remove previous evening water. Medicines must be given according to the prescribed dosage and quantity of water.
- Some mild infection may not lead to bird’s death but will affect the growth and production of eggs. Keep records of grower body weight, mortality rate and egg production. Study possible causes for low weight or low egg production and take necessary steps to improve the management of the subsequent batches. A constant vigil and analysis of records and results will boost the efficiency of egg poultry farming.
Egg Poultry Farming – Processing and Marketing
- Eggs are stored in a cool room and transported in an insulated truck.
- Availability of eggs to the market constant demand must be ensured. Market demand for particular egg weight must be studied.
- For every five birds one nest box must be provided. Collect eggs from the shed four times a day and store in a cool dry place and market them quickly.
- Egg production will go down after 18 months of age; even feed conversion will reduce progressively, hence older birds must not be kept in the shed.
- Dressing hall and processing equipment must be clean for dressing live culled birds. Dressed birds are sealed packed in clean plastic bagsafter the dressed birds are washed in chilled in ice-cold water for 3-4 hours and excess water is removed.
- Processed birds must be marketed quickly. For long distance transport refrigerated vehicles may be required.
Egg Poultry Farming – Important points for Higher Egg Poultry Production
Egg Poultry Farming – Egg laying Poultry Breeds
Chicks that will perform best with high mortality rate and disease resisting under reasonable environmental conditions must be preferred. Though the chicks might be little costlier but they will perform better and pay more too.
Egg layingbirds are of two types by nature and color of egg.
Egg Poultry Farming – White Egg laying Birds
Hens are comparatively smaller in size in this type of breed. The consumption of feed is relatively low and the egg shells are white in color. Some of the white egg laying popular breed varieties are – Hi line white, Hi sex white, Bovanch white, Bab Cock BV-300, Isa white, Lehman white, Nikchik etc.
Egg Poultry Farming – Brown Egg Laying Birds
These hens are comparatively larger in size. In comparison to white egg laying hens they consume more feed and the shell of the egg is brown in color and lay bigger size eggs. Some of the brown egg laying popular breed varieties are – Isa brown, Gold line, BablonaTetro, Bablona, Harko, Harvard Brown, Hi sex brown, Hi line brown, Sever 579, Lehman brown etc.
Egg Poultry Farming – Housing
The farm should have ample fresh air, with fresh air circulation and free from noise pollution. High level of non-desirable gases will have decrease growth rate and high susceptibility to respiratory disease. A well-managed litter helps birds improve feed conversion, and reduces coccidiosis problem.
Egg Poultry Farming – Feeding
Adequate fresh feed must be maintained. There will be a drop in growth and egg production when birds are without feed for six hours and results in moult of wing feathers when birds are starved for 12 hours. Health, growth and egg production will be high when nutritious feed is supplied. Maintaining of daily feed consumption and guarding against feed wastage must be checked. This will enable to determine feed utilization and performance of the birds.
Egg Poultry Farming – Watering
Health of birds depend on supply of drinking water. Water restriction directly leads to moulting. Plentiful clean and disinfected water must be available at all times. This is commonly neglected by growers, drinkers must be placed in easy accessible ways to the hens.
Egg Poultry Farming – Lighting
Ample lighting must be provided. 16 hours of light per day must be met which is recommended while it must not exceed. For every 200 sq.ft.area one 40 watt electric bulb must be provided.
Egg Poultry Farming – Vaccination
Birds must be free from all types of diseases. Proper and timely vaccination is a must for chicks as it will increase body resistance power in the body of chick. Frees from infective poultry diseases and mortality rate will come down. Low mortality rate means more production and which leads to high profits. There are many poultry vaccines available to farmers for egg laying chickens depending upon the diseases. Ensure all layer chickens are vaccinated for Marex, Ranikheth, Gamboro, Bruchaities, Bosonto, Salmonela etc.
Egg Poultry Farming – Debeaking
Debeaking or cutting the lip is very important in egg poultry farming. Debeaking must be done on 8 to 10 days old chicks. This will reduce mutual fights.
Egg Poultry Farming – Culling
Birds which are infected with contagious diseases, uneconomic and unsuitable must be timely culled.
Egg Poultry Farming – Health
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Watch for any of these signs and give timely treatment before it flares up. Some of the early signs of disease are as follows:
- Drop in Egg Production.
- Drop in Feed Consumption.
- Increased morbidity and mortality.
- Lack of vigour and inactivity.
- Droopy ruffled appearance.
- Respiratory distress.
- Sudden change in egg quality.
Sanitary measures are very important in egg poultry farming. Disinfection of the place will protect the birds from roundworms, tapeworms and caecal worms under check. External parasites are serious threat and reduce production if unchecked. Deworming at regular intervals is highly recommended.
Egg Poultry Farming – Egg Quality
Usage of Tetracycline can improve the quality of egg shell. Respiratory and other intestinal diseases must always be checked for and kept under control for quality of egg shells.
Egg Poultry Farming – Records and Routine Checking
Record keeping is one of the good management practice that will allow identification and for problem solving. Record major activities such as problems identified, equipment repairs and any issues faced by staff. A daily record of production, growth, feed consumption, egg production, mortality, any treatments given, expenditure and income is essential to help improve egg poultry farming efficiency.
The record management should be listed on a daily, weekly and seasonal check list. Cleaning and refilling of drinkers and feeders, egg collection are some of the daily activities to be recorded. Cleaning of the floor, shed, spraying insecticides, stirring the litter, dusting and culling of birds are recorded on a weekly or on seasonal basis.
Egg Poultry Farming – Egg Poultry Farming Tips
- Get high-quality chicks before you start farm.
- Ensure Proper and Healthy Housing of The Birds.
- Buy feeds on bi-weekly basis to safeguard its freshness.
- Avoid Overcrowding as it increases mortality, stress, as well as production cost.
- Deworming at regular intervals should be practiced.
- Avoid poor quality feed ( low in protein, calcium and energy).
- Check for toxins in feed or forage.
- Sudden changes in temperature inside the shed will lead to stress on birds.
- Always dry eggs thoroughly before storage.
- Discard eggs that are broken or with damaged shells.
- Drinkers must be cleaned daily and feeders on weekly basis.
- 16 hours of light per day is recommended.