Like other agribusinesses, the goal of a poultry farm cannot be met if proper equipment is not in place. Poultry farming equipment are materials you need to set up your poultry farm to ease your operations and in turn increase the productivity of your farm.
Poultry farming is a humongous business; it is multifaceted and each unit of the enterprise works to complement the other. There are several enterprises under poultry farming and each has different equipment used to achieve their desired output.
In this article, a comprehensive list of poultry farming equipment needed to run a poultry farm successful, from day-old-chick to adult age, shall be discussed in details.
Major Poultry farming equipment for day-old-chicks
Brooding of day-old-chick can be exemplified to the management of a newly born baby. Prior to the delivery, several arrangements and preparations are made to welcome the baby such as feeders, clothing, shoes, napkins, and others; same also in brooding, the management of day-old-chicks, several equipment are put in place. They are:
The type of housing needed for day-old-chicks is different from that of adult birds. A brooder pen is where day-old-chicks are reared until about 4 weeks of age. This pen is a modified environment where all the environmental parameters are controlled to meet the requirement of the chicks; especially temperature.
At about two weeks of age, before the arrival of the chicks, the brooding pen preparation starts. It must be thoroughly washed and disinfected with various disinfectant used in poultry to ensure any surviving pathogens are eliminated. The pen can be made of wooden material or bricks; it must provide adequate protection for the chicks against pests.
Litter material is very crucial in brooding day-old-chicks. The brooding pen must be kept dry always because wet environment attracts pathogens and it is also a good medium for their growth.
As you cannot always be available to clean up any liquid waste made by the chicks, the litter material will do this job for you free of charge. The function of the litter material is to mop up any liquid waste to achieve a dry environment always.
One of the major characteristics of litter materials is that; it must be absorbent, that is, it must be able to absorb liquid as fast as possible. Recommended litter materials you can use in poultry farming are wood shavings, rice bran, groundnut husk, and kenaf stem.
For day-old-chicks, use wood shavings because of its large particle size compared to sawdust. Sawdust can irritate the eyes of the chicks or cause respiratory infections.
The type of feeder day-old-chicks use is different from that of growers. The feeders are mostly flat in shape; such that the chicks can easily access the feed served in it without dissipating much energy during the process of feeding.
The feeder is flat with elevated tips to avoid or reduce feed wastage. Plastic feeder is commonly used as it is easy to handle and clean.
Using this type of feeder has one major disadvantage which is the contamination of feed through their droppings. This can eventually lead to the transfer of disease from sick birds to healthy ones.
Hence, to reduce this menace, a new pocket feeder has been designed as seen below, which is more effective in reducing wastage and contamination and most importantly increase feed efficiency.
- This is one of the important poultry farming equipment. At any stage of growth, a poultry bird needs water Ad-libitum. Even in the absence of feed, water must be available.
- For day-old-chicks, plastic drinkers are used. Regular cleaning is required as it is prone to pathogen attack; it must be cleaned daily but without soap.
- Heat source or heater
- The most important environmental factor in brooding is temperature. During the first 10 days of the chick’s life, they need adequate temperature, usually higher than the ambient temperature.
- The chicks need heat to enhance and improve their appetite to make them eat well. Once they develop enough feather, the heat source can be removed and they can be raised under ambient temperature.
- Common sources of light are coal pot and bulb. The heat source is removed after 2 weeks.
Other poultry farming equipment are:
- Laying nest
- In a deep litter system, you need a laying nest for the laying birds to lay their eggs therein. The laying nest is a wooden material of about 45cm-50cm3; it is commonly lined with any litter material to ensure the eggs do not get cracked. It is commonly placed close to the wall of the pen.
Egg tray is used for egg collection. Most people, unknowingly, call a tray a crate. They are different equipment. The egg tray can be made of plastic or fiber; it helps in the proper handling of the eggs.
Contrary to what people call a crate, a crate is that plastic cage used in transporting chickens from one location to another. A crate is used for transportation of birds while egg trays only keep eggs.
For proper record keeping, you need sca ale to determine egg weight and chicken weight at different ages.
READ: 6 DOS AND DON’TS OF POULTRY FARMING IN RAINY SEASON