All posts by filipinopoultry

Brooding Temperatures: How to Monitor Chick Behavior

To reduce stress and mortality, the brooding temperature should be monitored closely in order to ensure that it is just right. The best indicator that the conditions inside the brooding ring are optimal is generally the chick behavior to heat. This will give you a very clear idea on whether you have provided the best conditions.

If the chicks in the brooding area are spread out evenly and are comfortable, this is generally a sign that the conditions in the brooding area are just right and you will not need to make additional adjustments on the temperature and humidity. The below pictures illustrate the effects of various temperatures on the chick behavior:-

Chick behaviour when environmental conditions are right
Chick behaviour when environmental conditions are right

 

The behaviour of the chicks when environmental conditions are too cold. They will be huddled together under the brooder or close to the heater.
The behaviour of the chicks when environmental conditions are too cold. They will be huddled together under the brooder or close to the heater.

 

The behavior of the chicks when the conditions are too hot. They will spread out away from heat source and will be panting.
The behavior of the chicks when the conditions are too hot. They will spread out away from heat source and will be panting.

 

Chicken Breeds in Philippines

If you are planning to venture into poultry farming in the Philippines, one of the main decisions that you will need to make is deciding on the niche where you want to get involved. Some of the areas where you can get involved in include the following:-

  • Meat production or commercial broiler farming
  • Egg production or commercial layer farming
  • Chicken breeding or hatchery business
  • Free range chicken farming

Whether you are buying poultry stock for layer or broiler farming, you must ensure that you are buying from a reputable hatchery which applies best practice in its production techniques to give you quality chicks with excellent livability. It is important to study the characteristics of the poultry that you are planning to rear in the Philippines before you choose the right breeds or hybrids that will suit your requirements.

Commercial Broiler Breeds or Strains in the Philippines

In the Philippines, you can choose any of the following commercial broilers:-

Arbor Acres: This is one of the most popular broiler breeds in the Philippines and is from the American company Aviagen. Arbor Acres have excellent growth rate, excellent livability, good feed conversion rates as well as great breast meat yield. You can get your supplies from San Miguel.

 

Hubbard: This is another popular broiler strain in the Philippines which is also excellent for free range poultry meat production.  You can get Hubbard broilers from Tyson Agro Ventures.

 

StarBro: In the Philippines, you can get this variety from the Universal Robina Farms  based in Metro Manila.

 

Ross: Ross is one of the most robust broilers and assures buyers of excellent breast yield. These broilers generally assure farmers of excellent overall performance.

 

Cobb: Cobb broilers are great all rounders and  can be reared in various kinds of environments including alternative poultry farming systems.

 

Commercial Layer Breeds in the Philippines

 

Lohmann Chickens: Lohmann chickens have their origins in Germany and are some of the most prolific layers in the Philippines.

 

Dekalb Chickens in Philippines: Dekalb Chickens are by ISA and have excellent characteristics that make them some of the most preferred chickens for poultry egg production in the Philippines. They have a great temperament and are generally quiet in the cages as well as in alternative systems such as enriched cages, backyard chicken farming and free range chicken farming in the Philippines.

Dekalb chickens in Philippines have various excellent characteristics such as excellent livability, high number of eggs laid, good egg sizes as well as great egg quality. They lay crisp white eggs which are quite popular with many Filipinos. Average egg weight is 63.1g and they also have excellent feed conversion which makes them a high performing and potentially profitable to raise for poultry egg production in Philippines.

Babcock white layers: The babcock layers produce a large number of big-sized eggs. The Babcock white layers perform well in all kinds of climates and are known for their calm temperament.

Broiler Chicken in Philippines: Arbor Acres

If you are planning to venture into broiler farming in the Philippines, your best bet for chicken breed would be the Arbor Acres by Aviagen. The bird has excellent characteristics that make it a top choice for many Filipino poultry farmers including early maturity, excellent liveability, good growth rate and good breast meat yield. It is one of the most recommended broiler chicken breeds in the Philippines. Below is a picture of the Arbor Acres chicken:-

Arbor Acres in Philippines: Image showing factors required to help you obtaion the bird's genetic potential
Arbor Acres in Philippines: Image showing factors required to help you obtaion the bird’s genetic potential

Egg Production in the Philippines: Transferring the Chickens to the Laying House

One of the most important steps that you will need to undertake when it comes to poultry egg production in the Philippines is the transfer of your chickens from the rearing house where they have spent the first few weeks of their lives to the laying house or the egg production house. Remember that to maximize on your poultry egg production in the Philippines, you have to get every aspect of the rearing right. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when it comes to transferring your pullets to the layer houses:-

  • You can move your chickens to the production facility when they are aged anywhere from 15-16 weeks or once you have administered the last live vaccines.
  • In order to minimize the stress as much as possible during the transfer, ensure that the rearing and production facilities have the same feeding and watering systems.
  • Make sure any remaining sex slips (male chickens) are removed during the transfer.
  • Put in some extra care in order to minimize stress such as increasing the nutrient a few days before the transfer. You can add probiotics, Vitamin C or the dietary intensity to the birds.
  • Make sure that the birds are weighed during the transfer. Subsequently, you can monitor the weights closely.
  • Monitor the water consumption levels after the transfer. The birds should be able to quickly reach their pre-transfer water intake within 6 hours.
  • Once you have transferred the birds, you can brighten the lights for a duration of three days until you have made sure that the chickens have settled well in the new environment.
  • Carry out daily inspections on the chickens and get rid of any mortalities as soon as possible.
  • If you are experiencing frequent mortalities, then you need to carry out a thorough diagnosis in order to determine the causes of high mortality.
  • The birds should be transferred quickly to the layer house in order to minimize stress. Also make sure that all the birds are transferred within the same day.
  • It is generally advisable to transfer the birds early in the morning in order to allow them to adapt quickly to their daily routine.

Layer Farming in the Philippines: Effect of Temperature Step Down

Poultry Layers in the Philippines
Poultry Layers in the Philippines: Heat Stress generally has an adverse effect on poultry farming.

Effective temperature regulation is one of the most important success factors when it comes to egg production in the Philippines. For good production, you should maintain temperatures in the range of 11 to 26 degrees Celsius. 25 degrees Celsius should be the peak temperatures to be maintained in the layer house.

With colder temperatures in the poultry house after the peak has been achieved, there will be a rise in the feed intake and will also have a negative impact on the egg weight control, the optimal feed efficiency of your poultry egg production operation as well as the body weights of the adult hens. In an earlier post, we stated that the layer chickens should have a weight of about 1.5Kg for optimal egg production.

If possible, it is advisable to put temperature sensors inside the poultry house so that you can closely monitor the ambient temperatures inside. Higher ambient temperatures will have an adverse effect on the feed intake inside the poultry house. Here is a look at the effect of temperature change in your layer farming operations in the Philippines:-

11-26 degrees Celsius: Optimal production

26-28 degrees Celsius: There is a little reduction in the feed intake

28-32 degrees Celsius: The feed consumption is reduced and the level of water intake is increased in the poultry house. The eggs produced are of reduced size and have thinner egg shells.

32-35 degrees Celsius: There is slight panting. Further reduction in the feed intake.

35-40 degree Celsius: The chickens begin to suffer from heat prostration. You must take quick measures in order to cool the poultry house.

Over 40 degrees Celsius: The chickens suffer from heat stress and begin to die.

Whenever there is a temperature rise beyond 28 degrees Celsius, there will be a decrease in production as well as in the quality of the eggs. Seasonal temperature changes in a country like Philippines can result in up to 10 percent decrease in egg production.

 

Layer Farming in the Philippines: Achieving Optimal Lighting

Optimal Lighting and Lux is Key to Successful Poultry Egg Production in the Philippines
Optimal Lighting and Lux is Key to Successful Poultry Egg Production in the Philippines

Optimal lighting is very critical to successful and profitable layer poultry farming in the Philippine. Here are some best practices that you can incorporate in order to achieve optimal lighting when it comes to layer farming in the Philippines:-

  • Ensure that the light bulbs that you are using are clean in order to avoid a loss in light intensity. As we have seen, a slight variation of the light intensity out of range of the optimal light intensity could easily lead to a lowering in the egg production or laying rate of the chickens.
  • The lighting should be positioned in such a way that the bright and the dark spots in the poultry house are minimized.
  • Try to avoid white or shiny surfaces in the poultry house as these are likely to reflect light leading to an increase in the light intensity beyond the optimal requirement.
  • When adding lighting and light intensity, you must put the local conditions into consideration. There are cases where you may need to adapt the lighting requirement. This is especially the case in the open sided poultry houses in the Philippines where there access to natural lighting during the day.
  • When transferring the chickens to the laying house, make sure that you have matched the lighting intensity and light hours of both the rearing house and the laying house.
  • Lighting stimulation should be commenced when your flock hits the 17-week body weight. That will be somewhere close to the 1.5Kg body weight.  In case the flock is underweight based on the expected production characteristics of the chickens that you are planning to rear, then you can delay the lighting stimulation.  You can also delay the lighting stimulation if the chickens have poor uniformity.
  • Extend the duration of light stimulation into the peaking period. At about 30 weeks, you need to achieve 16 hours of light for the poultry.
  • Alternate the light height so as to enhance the distribution of light throughout the poultry cage.
  • In the first 12 weeks, there should be a gradual step down of lighting or LUX in order to prevent early sexual maturity of the birds. The flock is transferred to the laying house at week 16 and the lighting stimulation begins at week 17.

 

 

Poultry Farming Success in the Philippines: Useful Tips

 

There are various success factors that will be key to efficient and profitable poultry production in the Philippines. These include the following:-

The poultry stock that you choose to raise

The breed or hybrid poultry that you choose to raise will be one of the most important success factors when it comes to poultry production in the Philippines. There are important points to keep in mind. Buy your stock only from reliable breeders and hatcheries with a reputation for high quality. These can assure you of parent stock that have been managed well.

The poultry stock that you will purchase will depend on the purpose of your poultry farming venture. Are you planning to raise the chickens for eggs or for meat? The chicks purchase should not have any deformities and must have been given the required vaccinations. Buy chicks that have a uniform colour and weight. If you are starting, choose the poultry breeds that are more commonly raised in your community or neighborhood. This is often a sign that they can do well in the local conditions. If you are planning to raise broilers, go for ones that have excellent liveability and that grow fast. For layers, go for poultry stock that produce large eggs, have a high egg production over the laying duration and which have a longer and productive life expectancy.

Housing

Choose feeders and drinkers that allow for optimal feeding and less food wastage. The feeders and drinkers should also be easy to clean. You can also improvise and use timber-made feeders and bamboo waterers if you do not have enough cash to buy these poultry equipment from the shop. The house should be constructed according to well-defined design specifications.

Poultry housing in the Philippines
Poultry housing in the Philippines

Feeding equipment
There are automatic feeders that are efficient and with less feed wastage that will help you save money when it comes to feeding your poultry. Automated feeders will drastically reduce the number of hours required to feed the chicken. It also makes the feeding process less laborious and easy to accomplish.

 

Automatic bell drinker used by poultry farmers in the Philippines
Automatic bell drinker used by poultry farmers in the Philippines

Lighting

Good lighting is necessary for optimal poultry production. It is important to note that both the layers and broilers have different lighting requirements. You will need to supplement natural lighting from the sun with artificial lighting in order to obtain optimal production.

Chick brooder lighting in a poultry house in the Philippines
Chick brooder lighting in a poultry house in the Philippines

Temperature

For egg production, ambient temperatures of 18-21 degrees are generally desirable. Every two weeks from week 1, you can step up the ambient temperatures by 1 degree centigrade until you hit temperatures of about 25 degrees Celsius. Eggs should be collected on a regular basis.

Eggs for Philippines: Running Efficient Poultry Egg Production Operation

Whenever someone asks about the agribusiness sector in the Philippines where they are most likely to make money and break even, we usually tell them about poultry egg production in the Philippines as well as broiler production. Demand in this sector is increasing rapidly as incomes rise in the Philippines and the population also continues to grow at a breakneck speed. For the past decades, the poultry production industry in the Philippines has been seen an annual growth rate of more than 4% and the growth doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

Poultry egg production in Philippines
Poultry egg production in Philippines

Efficiency and proper management is key to successful and profitable poultry egg production in the Philippines. Unlike broilers where it is possible to have multiple production cycles in a single year, for layers, the production cycle will last just over one year.  This cycle must be managed in the most efficient manner in order to maximize on the production and obtain the genetic potential of the birds. Here are some of the useful factors that you should watch when it comes to poultry egg production in the Philippines:-

Choose the right breed

The breeds that you rear will be some of the most important success factors in poultry egg production in the Philippines. For maximum egg production, you must also implement proper management, administration and feeding programs that will help you obtain the genetic potential of the chicken.

Biosecurity

In a previous post, we have extensively covered some of the biosecurity factors that you need to implement in order to reduce the occurrence of diseases in your poultry flock. Some of the factors causing extreme mortality in poultry include poor hygiene and poor sanitation, disease outbreaks, predation and temperature extremes amongst others.

Age

Most birds begin producing eggs from 20-22 weeks and they will continue laying for slightly over one year. The size of the eggs will generally increase in size as they birds grow older. They will be biggest towards the end of the production cycle.

Body weight

When the birds are laying eggs, they should have an optimal laying weight of about 1.5Kg. However, the laying weight will generally vary based on the breed of the chickens. If the chickens are either underweight or overweight, then this is going to impact the production levels or laying rate. You need to institute proper management techniques and also apply the right feeds and feeding regimen in order to ensure the birds are maintaining an optimal body weight.

Poultry Farming in the Philippines: The chickens should be weighed every 3 weeks using a digital scale in order to determine the uniformity of growth.
Poultry Farming in the Philippines: The chickens should be weighed every 3 weeks using a digital scale in order to determine the uniformity of growth.

Housing

The layer poultry house should be constructed based on the local climatic conditions in order to avoid subjecting the birds to temperature extremes. However, you should also build a house that will suit your individual budget. A good layer house will protect your chickens from various risks such as predation, theft, too much wind or draught, rain, too much sunlight, cold, heat, too much dust or sudden temperature changes. All these are stressors that are going to adversely affect the laying rate and lower your production. In the hot and humid climatic areas of the Philippines, it is generally advisable to build an open house that will allow for proper ventilation. The house interior should be designed in such a way that only minimal labour will be required to care for the chickens.

Poultry housing Philippines
Poultry housing Philippines

Lighting

In a post on maximizing efficiency in order to remain profitable, we said that you need lighting as well as LUX in order to maximize on the egg production when it comes to layer farming. The production of eggs is triggered by daylight. The chickens lay more when the daylight hours are longer. In tropical areas such as the Philippines, artificial lighting should be included in a controlled environment so as to increase the laying period of the poultry. Once the darkness has fallen in open houses that have access to light during the daylight hours, introduce the artificial lighting for a duration of 2-3 hours.  Doing this is likely going to increase your egg production by anywhere from 20% to 30%.

Optimal Lighting and Lux is Key to Successful Poultry Egg Production in the Philippines
Optimal Lighting and Lux is Key to Successful Poultry Egg Production in the Philippines

In closed houses, you can provide an uninterrupted artificial lighting for 16-17 hours.  This will guarantee you constant egg production that is also maximized.

Feeding

Provide well formulated feed as well as fresh supply of clean drinking water for the laying duration. In free range chicken farming in the Philippines, you can still maintain fairly good production levels by offering supplemental feeding but only if the free range chickens that you are raising are hybrids  or improved breeds. You cannot maintain high level egg production with the natural chickens in the Philippines.

Automatic bell drinker used by poultry farmers in the Philippines
Automatic bell drinker used by poultry farmers in the Philippines

Temperatures

Maintain an optimal egg laying temperature ranging from 11 degrees to 26 degrees Celcius. The humidity level should also be maintained above 75% for the laying period otherwise you are going to see a drop in production.

Proper management

Effective management and administration is also an important factor in poultry egg production. Good management is what will coalesce all these factors together for maximum efficiency.

Vaccination and Disease Control
Parasites and diseases will generally lead to drastic drop in production. Most birds never fully recover from some of the more critical diseases. Ensure prompt administration of vaccinations. Good biosecurity will go a long way in preventing common diseases and pests.

Prompt egg collection

Prompt egg collection is also an important factor in poultry egg production in the Philippines. This is especially so in backyard or free range chicken farming where the hens tend to be broody.

Need more information on layer chicken farming in the Philippines? Check out our layer production in the Philippines PDF comprehensive manual for a complete guide to successful layer farming locally.

Poultry Farming in the Philippines: Broilers and Lighting Intensity (LUX)

Philippines: Poultry house lighting for egg production
Philippines: Poultry house lighting for egg production

How much lighting should be provided to your broilers? In a previous post, we have seen that for layer farming in the Philippines, there is need for sufficient lighting as well as lux in order to maximize on the production.

However, this is not necessarily the case with broiler farming. When you are looking at the intensity of lighting for broilers, you must also keep in mind the type of housing in which the broiler kitchens are staying.

The amount of light that you give to a growing broiler should be the amount of lighting and lux that is necessary for them to see and access their feeders and drinkers. Activity in the broiler operation must be kept to a minimum in order to enable you obtain the genetic potential of the chicken.

 

At the bird level, you should be looking at intensity of 40 watt light that is positioned 2.0m above the birds. If you are using a 60 watt lighting source, position it at 3.1m above the bird level. This level of lighting is just sufficient to allow the birds to feed but minimizes bird activity that is likely to result in energy usage and extra feed consumption.

It is easy to meet this requirement in a house that is environmentally controlled. If the house is open on both sides or has windows, then the lighting requirement will also be met by the sunshine. Optimal lighting in broiler production will also lead to excellent feed conversion ratios (FCRs).

Effect of Increasing Lighting above the Optimal Requirement Stated Above

As the lighting intensity in the chicken house increases above this optimal level, then certain antisocial behaviours begin manifesting themselves in the birds. Increasing lux will lead to cannibalism, piling as well as increased activity levels amongst the flock.

In broiler poultry production in the Philippines, an open house that lets in lots of lighting from the sun can be a disadvantage as it does not allow you to control lux to optimal levels that will help you obtain the genetic potential of the chickens.

Improving Broiler Feed Conversion Ratios in an Open House

For better feed conversion ratios in an open house, start by offering the chickens up 48 hours of continuous lighting. You can then follow this up by providing dim lighting for all the dark hours except for one hour during the midnight.

The one hour of darkness will ensure your chickens are acclimatized to darkness in order to prevent panic and injuries in the flock should you experience power blackouts. Remember we said that chickens are creatures of habit and dislike abrupt changes in their environment. A 40 watt light intensity source placed 2m above the bird level should be sufficient to cover 25 square meters.

Poultry Farming in the Philippines: The Importance of Being More Efficient

Even without competition from outside, the Filipino poultry farming industry is still one of the most competitive and efficient in Asia. With scrapping of import tariffs, Filipino poultry farmers will no longer be favored by the iron safety net of protectionism. In this kind of production environment, only the most efficient poultry farming operations will remain competitive and survive onslaught from the more efficient producers in the Philippines and the rest of Asia.

How can Filipino poultry farmers be more efficient producers who are able to remain profitable even in the toughest of markets? Generally, so long as the requirements of the chicken you are rearing are met, it is possible to easily obtain the genetic potential of the bird and run a profitable poultry farming operation.

Poultry Farming in the Philippines Costs Money

Poultry farming is going to cost you a lot of money. There are lots of initial investments that you need to make such as land, building the poultry house, buying the poultry equipment and sourcing your first flock. Then there are the ongoing costs such as the cost of feeding, vaccination, medicine, labour etc. In order for you to make sure that your Philippines poultry farming venture is both efficient and profitable, there are a host of factors that you will need to manage adequately.

Poultry Housing

This is one of the most important if not the most important factor. Good housing will be key to the liveability of the poultry as well as their productivity. Without good housing that is ideally suited for the local weather, your production could be impacted in multiple ways.

During the summers or when there are high temperatures, the feed intake of the poultry will be impacted severely which will have an impact on the production. Heat puts the chickens under stress and this will, in turn, lower their immunity thus exposing your flock to various diseases and infections. When there are high temperatures in the poultry house, the chickens are going to drink more water resulting in watery droppings.

In low temperatures or during winters, the chickens will tend to eat more and as a result, your chickens will experience lower feed conversion. Low temperatures may also subject your chickens to certain diseases such as coryza. When building a poultry house in the Philippines, you must work with poultry house design specifications that will assure your chickens of an optimal living environment.

Water

Let us state this simply: Your chickens will never forgive you if you fail to supply them with a regular supply of clean and fresh drinking water. Production will drop and you might not recover from that in your current production cycle. Lack of sufficient water will lead to a lowering in the immunity of the chicken as well as the rise in mortality. As a result, your chickens will be exposed to a host of diseases.

Feeds

You must provide your poultry with high quality and well formulated feeds that will meet all their nutrient requirements. It is only through proper feeding that you will be able to maximize on production and obtain the genetic potential of your chickens. Poor feeding program or a lack of feed is going to have a direct impact on the efficiency of your poultry farming in the Philippines.

Proper hygiene and sanitation

In general, these factors are referred to as biosecurity and we have discussed them in detail in a previous post on this website. You must take proactive measures in order to keep the poultry production operation as clean as possible and prevent some of the disease pathways that are introduced due to lack of proper sanitation and biosecurity.

Adhere to a strict vaccination routine

When raising chickens on a commercial scale in the Philippines, you must make sure that you are adhering to an up to date vaccination program. One thing that we always advise small scale poultry farmers that are likely to forget about vaccination schedules is that they should stick the vaccination program on the door of the poultry house so that they can see it every morning and remember to vaccinate their chickens.

A poultry vaccination program must adhered to strictly so as to protect your chickens from all kinds of poultry diseases including diseases of high importance, disease of medium importance and even the diseases of low importance where the mortality rate can be low but which still have an adverse impact on the production levels in the poultry operation.

However, vaccination is not necessarily a guarantee that your chickens are not going to get poultry diseases such as the Newcastle Disease but in general, it is going to minimize the risk of disease and mortality. It is going to reduce the impact and severity of poultry diseases.

Light as well as Lighting

Lighting is especially important for layer farming as it allows you to maximize on the production and also obtain the genetic potential of the chicken.  You need to have lighting but you also need to have the lux or brightness. If you are raising commercial layers in the Philippines without lighting and lux, then this is going to impact the efficiency of the poultry production.

Choosing the right poultry breed

Whether you are planning to raise layers or broilers, you must ensure that you choose the right chicken breeds that will have the right impact on the efficiency of your poultry operation.

Management and administration
At the end of the day, you are only going to get all these considerations right if you have put in place the right management and administration factors. You will need skill, passion, knowledge and experience in order to make the most out of your poultry operation. Good management goes hand in hand with proper administration such as excellent record keeping, biosecurity, weighing etc.