Layer Chicken Farming in the Philippines: Important Biosecurity Factors

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.

Philippines Free Range Chicken Farming Manual

The Philippines is one of the largest poultry producing nations in the world with more than 800 million alone produced in the country every year. Generally, these birds are produced in caged conditions where there is little movement and little space for the birds to express their natural behaviours. They go through an intensive feeding program and accelerated growth that puts the market and ready for consumption within a period of 30-40 days. Naturally, this kind of “factory farming” puts a lot of stress on the bird and if not well regulated, may even pose health risk for humans. The birds are treated as raw materials with the sole of aim of getting them to the market as soon as possible.

This kind of farming, although highly productive, efficient, profitable and capable of meeting the poultry demand for many Filipinos, is not ethical. Besides, it is a form of farming that is sometimes associated with the indiscriminate use of chemicals and antibiotics in order to maximize on production.

It is no surprise, therefore, that many Filipinos are looking for more sustainable options for chicken rearing such as organic chicken farming and free range chicken farming. They want to rear their chickens in an environment where there is no pressure to produce too much within the shortest time possible. As a result, the chickens are allowed to grow as naturally as possible and are also allowed to express their natural behaviours such as foraging and feeding on the pasture, legumes and grubs in the range. Countless research has indicated that this kind of poultry rearing produces chickens which are happier, healthier and more nutritious. The free range chicken meat contains more proteins, essential amino acids, less fats, and more vitamins. It also has less cholesterol. The chickens are allowed time to forage in healthy pasture and build muscles resulting in soft, tender and sweet chicken meat.

The best way to get the best out of your chickens is by rearing them just as nature intended by adopting humane and ethical rearing practices. We offer a Filipino Free Ranging Chicken Farming PDF manual with information on the best practices and how to succeed in free range chicken farming.

By following our Philippines Free Range Chicken Rearing Guide, you will learn the tips and best practices that will help you succeed in your free range chicken farming venture while also running a fairly profitable free range or organic chicken farm. We cover everything from choosing the best site to breed selection, building a proper free range chicken housing, ensuring the best biosecurity for your free range farm, incorporating proper brood management, the best feeding regime, disease control for your free range birds and even tips on how you can formulate your own non-GMO feeds.

Our manual gives you the best practice and management tips that will help you realize success with your free range farming model.

Free Range Chicken Farming in the Philippines

For many Filipinos, it is no longer just about eating the chicken but how healthy the chicken is. How humanely was the poultry treated? Has the chicken been allowed to grow as naturally and organically as possible and not passed through a 45-day pressure cooker lifecycle as in the broiler production industry? Free range chicken farming in the Philippines is not just about the ethical aspect but research has consistently proved that free range chickens are generally healthier and more nutritious than those produced in a caged or factory environment.

Philippines Free Range Chicken Farming
Philippines Free Range Chicken Farming

The chicken is allowed to grow as naturally as possible and express all its natural behaviours and the result is always happy chooks that produce healthy and sweet tasting poultry products. It is a market that is currently fairly well developed in countries such as Australia, the US, the UK and Germany amongst others. In the Philippines, eating free range or organic poultry products is a trend that is catching up fast.

Free Range Chicken Farming in the Philippines: Natural free range chickens are delicious
Free Range Chicken Farming in the Philippines: Natural free range chickens are delicious

The main characteristic of free range chicken farming in the Philippines and elsewhere is that the chickens are allowed lots of access to an outdoor range. They are not confined inside overcrowded poultry houses where each chicken barely has a space a sized of an A4 paper. The chickens are allowed lots of space and exposure to the pasture where they can feed on the grass, legumes, grubs and many other natural sources of chicken food.

Because they spend lots of time in the outdoors and exposed to the sunshine, the chickens, invariably, produce products that are of a higher nutritional quality. The free range poultry products generally have more muscle and less fat, less cholesterol, more essential amino acids , more vitamins A, D and E and many other benefits. Research has indicated that free range poultry products generally contain as much as three times of these nutrient products compared to poultry products from caged birds.

Free range eggs are distinguishable from their richer golden yellow yolks. They are also more nutritious.
Free range eggs are distinguishable from their richer golden yellow yolks. They are also more nutritious.

There are various other aspects of free range and organic poultry products that make them particularly attractive to Filipino poultry farmers. For example, many farmers adopt a chemical-free stance when it comes to free range poultry production. Antibiotic usage is severely restricted and used only when it is absolutely necessary. You do not have to worry about the use of growth hormones and other growth stimulants. The chickens are allowed to grow as naturally as possible in order to assure you of the healthy poultry products that you are looking for.

Stocking density in the free range poultry farming is also generally quite low. While it is possible a stocking density of up to 36,000 chickens per hectare in a commercial broiler operation in the Philippines, a model free range poultry stocking ratio in the Philippines is generally 1500 birds per hectare even though some farmers generally go a little higher while others also maintain lower stocking density in order to provide the chickens with as much space as possible.

Free range meat is generally a preferred product for persons with various diet issues thanks to the health and quality of the meat. For the same reason, it generally fetches slightly higher pricing than the conventional broiler meat.

As a delicacy, free range meat is much preferred in the Philippines because it is has a sweeter taste compared to the conventional broiler meat. Many Filipinos contend that free range meat tastes like real chicken!

With free range poultry products increasingly gaining a solid following in the country, this is the right time to venture into this ethical form of poultry farming so that you can provide  Filipino buyers with a highly nutritious and healthy source of proteins.

Success in free range poultry production begins with the right selection of breeds or hybrid chickens that you are going to raise in the free range environment. You must also provide adequate range or pasture where the chickens will graze. However, pasture enough may not be sufficient to meet your free range poultry production needs. In many instances, you will need to supplement their feeding with formulated feeds, especially if they are egg laying birds in order to enable you obtain the bird’s genetic potential. The most important aspect is that the birds must be provided with reasonable access to the outdoors for at least 8 hours everyday and you must take measures to minimize indiscriminate use of antibiotics. Fence off the pasture area and ensure that the chickens have been adequately protected from predators.

Unlike in the commercial broiler production environment, you do not need much money in order to venture into free range poultry production. You can even start small and master the right animal husbandry techniques that will help you venture into commercial free range poultry production operation.

Poultry Contract Growing in the Philippines

 

Poultry contracting farming is one of the options that is available for Filipino farmers. Contract poultry growing simply refers to a partnership or agreement between a poultry company such as San Miguel Pure Foods or Bounty with Filipino farmers who fulfill certain grower conditions.

Farmers must meet the minimal requirements and the contract growing company will provide several levels of support in order to help the farmer in meeting certain defined objectives. A lot of Filipino poultry farmers frequently ask for information on how they can enter into these contract farming relationships and run profitable ventures over the long term. Here, we will offer you a brief overview of contract farming in the Philippines including some of the requirements, preparations to make, the players in the industry, advantages and many more.

In the Philippines, just like in the US, the broiler poultry production industry has been undergoing very intensive vertical integration. An individual poultry producer, called an integrator, carries out diverse production activities ranging from breeding to hatching, formulating feeds, medication, processing and marketing of the poultry. The farmer just raises the flock using the best practices and training techniques offered by the contract poultry growing company.

The contract growing companies such as San Miguel will also offer you technical support for the duration of the poultry production. They will visit the poultry farms on a regular basis in order to see how the farmer is faring on. Contract growing generally has strict requirements which must be met by the farmer.

Contract growing is one of the most efficient broiler production methods in the industry as all resources are maximized in order to cut down on the costs and increase the production levels.

Requirements for Contract Poultry Growing in the Philippines

The requirements for contract poultry growing in the Philippines are more or less the same.  San Miguel Pure Foods has the following requirements for farmers planning to become contract poultry growers:-

  • Minimum land area of 1 hectare
  • A location that is within an agricultural zone
  • The location must be at least 1km from the nearest residential area
  • The location must be at least 1km from the closest poultry or hog farming operation.
  • The location must be at least within a 100km radius of a poultry processing plant that is operated by San Miguel.
  • You must have a reliable source of electrical power.
  • There must be sufficient access to potable water
  • There must be an all-weather road leading to the poultry farm and inside the poultry farm. The road must be easily passable for a light vehicle as well as light trucks.

Poultry House Requirements

  • The poultry house must be constructed in an East-West Orientation.
  • The poultry house must have a minimum capacity of 36,000 birds in the space.
  • The Design Specifications should be as follows: Length of 450 and width of 52 ft.
  • The broiler house should be tunnel ventilated.

Application Process for Contract Poultry Growing in the Philippines

When applying for a contract poultry growing partnership with San Miguel Foods Inc (SMFI), the following requirements should be met:-

  • The contract poultry growing application form should be completed.
  • A site or farm inspection will follow
  • The SMFI will have to approve the proposed farm or site for poultry production
  • Submit the letter of intent
  • You will be issued with letter of commitment
  • Submission of the relevant permits
  • Construction of the poultry house according to the SMFI requirements
  • Signing of contract
  • Seminar by SMFI on basic poultry husbandry techniques
  • Chick placement

The San Miguel Foods Inc will provide you with the following:-

  • Building plans, designs and specifications for the poultry house.
  • Top quality day old chicks
  • Broiler feeds and nutrition program
  • Medicines as well as vaccines
  • Technical assistance for the poultry production
  • Laboratory services
  • Materials for recording information or data on the poultry production
  • Ready market for your poultry
  • Competitive pricing agreement.

For more information on the San Miguel Foods Inc contract poultry farming partnerships, check out http://www.sanmiguelpurefoods.com/page/broiler-contact-growing.

Secrets to Successful Broiler Production in the Philippines

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
  • Passion

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:-

Proper Sanitation

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.

Temperatures

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.

Water

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.

Proper Feeding

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.

Vaccination

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.

Poultry Farming in the Philippines: A 100P Billion Industry

Philippines Poultry
Philippines Poultry

The Philippines has a massive poultry production industry. Every year, we produce over 800 million broilers, almost all of which is consumed locally in making delicacies such as tinola, adobo or our favorite barbecues.

This self-sufficiency in poultry production has been achieved over a period of two decades thanks to visionary leadership in the industry as well as rapid automation in the production techniques. While the population of the country is rising rapidly, there is also the rapid rise in local poultry production that is keeping up with the demand. Most of the Filipino businesses in the food sector have a steady flow of poultry products at affordable pricing. The country still imports some poultry products but this is a small part.

Most of the growth has been attributed to massive investments by a few prolific poultry producers that have introduced cutting edge technologies in the poultry production. The sector is now highly modernized and is definitely a leader in Asia.  A lot of Filipino poultry producers are now leaders in technological excellence, marketing, food safety and innovation when it comes to poultry production, especially broiler farming.

While it is possible to maintain this high level of production throughout the year, there are times of peak demand when the prices can shoot up a little bit. This is always the case towards Christmas when many Filipinos buy lots of chickens for the festivities. Another factor that might impact poultry production in particular years are typhoons and where there are issues with the feed quality which will impact the liveability of the chickens as well as the overall production levels. But these do happen during exceptional year. It is noteworthy that the Philippines still imports some poultry products but this is a small part of the overall local poultry consumption.

Only the Most Efficient Filipino Producers Will Survive

However, there is still plenty of room for local Filipino farmers planning to venture into poultry farming and only the most efficient producers are going to be profitable over the long term. Without high level of efficiency and quality standards at the local level, Filipino producers could be decimated by imports from the rest of Asia especially as poultry tariff protections have been scrapped over the past few years.

Filipino Poultry Farming Sector Challenges

However, it is not all a bed of roses in the Filipino poultry farming sector. The industry is still bedeviled by a host of challenges that squeeze the margins of poultry farmers in the country. These include factors such as the global pricing for grains used in the poultry feeds such as the soybean, wheat, corn etc.

Poultry feed production industry is now competing with the biofuel industry and this is pushing up the prices of grains used as raw materials in poultry feed formulation. The industry also needs to be competitive against other protein substitutes such as meat and fish. Buyers will only choose poultry products if they are of high quality and also competitively priced and that begins with the level of efficiency that has been incorporated into the poultry farming and management practices.

An Inside Look into Filipino Poultry Farming