A lot of Filipino poultry farmers have been able to achieve a high level of success in their poultry production and management techniques. There are certain key success factors that you need to have if you are planning to venture into poultry production and achieve some measure of success in the process. These include the following:-
- Money or capital investment
- Knowledge, training and a willingness to learn
With these three, you can go far and build a fairly profitable poultry farming enterprise. To be successful with broiler farming in the Philippines, preparation is always key. The most important phases in your broiler farming venture will be the kind of preparation that you make in anticipation of the arrival of the day old chicks as well as the management and brooding practices that you put in places during the first 7 days after chick placements inside the brooding rings. Here are some of the important tips that you need to keep in mind if you are looking for broiler rearing success in the Philippines:-
The chicken housing must be cleaned thoroughly in between the flocks. Make sure that you have removed all the litter and washed and disinfected all the walls and the ceilings. You must try as much as possible to get rid of all traces of the previous or outgoing flock. All the poultry equipment must also be cleaned thoroughly and disinfected. Everything from the previous flock must be cleaned thoroughly and sanitized including gunny bags. Do not leave anything to chance. Even the smallest contamination can serve as the conduit that will reintroduce diseases into your new flocks.
All the drinking lines must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected in order to get rid of bacteria or viruses that may still be stuck inside. These could easily bind on the vaccines that will be passing through the drinking lines and kill these vaccines thus exposing your chickens to risk of diseases. All the drinking lines must be flushed thoroughly before the arrival of the next flock.
Sanitation of the poultry house is a primary factor that you must get right. It is not just something extra that you could do without. It will be a key factor in ensuring your broiler farming success. Good sanitation along with proper biosecurity, fly control and rodent control will eliminate most of the common causes of mortality in your flock.
When you are preparing for the arrival of chicks, ensure that the equipment have been properly maintained and that the building or brooder ring is at the right temperature. You will need to make it through the rearing phase without any major equipment failures that might impact your poultry farming venture.
Temperature extremes generally have an adverse effect on the behaviour and the health of the birds. They will impact feeding, feed conversion, and the health of the chickens.
Regular supply of clean and fresh drinking water is another important factor that will have an impact on the success of your broiler or layer farming venture. As we have stated repeatedly in various posts on this subject, chickens are quite unforgiving when you fail to supply them with clean and fresh drinking water.
For chicks, you can supply water in watering troughs or drinkers but if you will be using the nipple drinkers, you will need to ensure that they are of the right height that the chickens can easily access.
During this first week, you must not only provide adequate lighting but the lighting must have the lux or brightness that will enable the chickens to locate the feeders and drinkers easily. Choose the right drinkers that will prevent the spillage of water on the litter, something that can pose serious risk for the chickens.
The chicks should be fed the starter mash right from the first day and various times per day in the subsequent days. Running automated feeder systems is even more efficient as it will easily attract the chicks to start feeding. If you are using the normal feeders, make sure they are brightly coloured as this is more likely to attract the chicks to the feeding points. Bright red, orange or yellow colours generally allow for optimal feeding for the chicks. When you are just introducing the chicks, you should supply them with both water and food placed in brightly coloured feeders and drinkers.
If the day old chicks do not access the feeds and water well during the first few days, then the mortality rates are going to be high. Good feeding and drinking will be key to their survival. Here, you must look at the issue of stocking density. A brooding ring that is less crowded will allow for optimal feeding and a high rate of survival. Buying day old chicks in the Philippines is expensive so proper care must be taken in order to ensure there is excellent liveability of the chicks.
Make sure that you purchase only the best quality broiler feeds. This is one area where you cannot afford to cut corners in order to save money. If you are unsure about the best type of feed to give your broilers and in what amount, talk to a field representative. If you are a contract farmer under any of the larger contract farming companies, then it is very easy for you to get technical help and advise.
The feeders or automatic feeder should be evenly spread throughout the house. You don’t want too many chicks jostling for food at a small feeding point as this likely to cause injuries and even mortalities. For automatic feeders, you can make adjustments on the feeder runs or the feeder gates in order to ensure that the poultry feed gets to all points in the poultry house. If the feed is not evenly distribute, the more aggressive birds are going to feed more and the less aggressive ones will starve. This means that your flock will not have uniform weight and this condition will remain the same almost during the whole production cycle unless you make early interventions. Evenly spaced out feeding troughs will give all the birds optimal access to the poultry feeds.
Additionally, make sure that you have uniform feeding times throughout the production cycle in order to reduce stress on the birds and maximize on the feed conversion. Chickens are creatures of habit and they hate abrupt changes. They will thrive if you provide them feeds at the same time and maintain the same routine every day.
Although chickens are able to easily adapt to changes in routine, they will perform best where there are no changes in routine. Some of the more passionate and seasoned Filipino poultry farmers will wear the same hat and the same shirt everyday they go out to feed the birds in order to maintain that sense of routine and habit and reduce the stress on the birds as much as possible.
Takeaway Point: Feed at the same times and maintain the same daily routines and you will be able to minimize the stress levels on the chickens and obtain their genetic potential if you combine this with other best-practice poultry husbandry techniques.
All poultry must be given the stipulated vaccination within the stipulated schedules. The most common vaccination types are the water-based vaccinations. However, this is technique is often abused leading to too much antibiotics being administered to the chickens or too little vaccination which thus exposes the flock to diseases and increases the mortality.
The best way to administer is by ensuring that all the chickens in the poultry house get the vaccine within two hours after it has been diluted in the water mixture.
Takeaway Point: The main secret to vaccination success is getting all your chickens to drink the vaccine within this two hour duration in order for the medicine to have maximum effect. Of course the vaccine must have also been mixed to the right concentration. It is good to have an optimal positioning of the drinkers throughout the poultry house but most importantly, “coerce” the chickens to drink the water by depriving them of water the evening before the vaccination or the morning of the vaccination. All water lines will have to be drained in order to ensure that only the water containing the vaccine is in the drinker lines.