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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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.
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.