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.
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.
The most effective way to reduce diseases in your poultry flock and increase their liveability is by implementing effective biosecurity measures that will control some of the most likely pathways through which diseases could enter your poultry farm. Some of the most important biosecurity measures that you could implement in your poultry farm include the following:-
Ensure strict control of people and equipment into the poultry farm. Only authorized persons should enter the poultry farm and only after disinfecting their shoes and hands.
You should limit the visitors to the poultry farm. Allow visits to only those essential for the farming operations such as laborers, inspectors and vets.
All visits to the farm must be well documented in a logbook.
Have a central location where visitors can shower before entering the farm using disinfected water.
All workers as well as visitors to the farm should be provided with clean coats and clean boots when they are entering the poultry farm.
Build clean disinfected footbaths where visitors and workers can dip in their feet before entering the poultry farm. These should be placed outside all the poultry houses.
Avoid using outside equipment and crew for vaccination and other tasks such as beak trimming and weighing of your chickens where possible. If you have to, follow the steps above.
Ensure quick and efficient disposal of dead chickens.
Design the houses in such a way that they are not exposed to other chickens outside the farm, domestic animals and rodents amongst other potential disease vectors.
Implement an all-in all-out principle and ensure the house and the equipment has been properly disinfected before the introduction of new flock. This will prevent the transmission of diseases from the old flock to the new flock of chicks.
Isolate sick birds.
If you have visited sick chickens, no other poultry house should be visited unless you have implemented the steps above.