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Best Poultry Feeding Practices

Chicks drinking waterBest poultry feeding practices is an essential germane to the continuous growth of the poultry industry. The poultry industry accounts for a whopping $4.2 billion contribution to the revenue generated in our country—9-10% of the nation’s GDP. Feeding is an important construct of human life, as funny as it sounds it’s the same for animals.

Now, I know you didn’t foresee a time when poultry birds will be valuable/comparable to you, but it’s happening right under your nose. Poultry birds need food to survive, produce eggs, and meat for human consumption. 

Think of everything that can go wrong when you feed on poor quality food or no food at all, the same can happen to poultry birds. Even worse, you will be making tremendous monetary loss while all this happens. 

How does poultry feeding practices affect birds?

layers feeding

Any farmer can give lectures about the importance of food to poultry birds. The kind of lecture that gets students in the room yawning because they either know what you’re saying or its too theoretical. Unfortunately, it’s not about what you do, but how you do it!

There wouldn’t be a need to glorify best practices if everyone knew a better way of poultry management. So how do you feed your birds? How much care and thoughtfulness goes into how you manage feeding in your poultry?

Do these questions matter? They do. Interestingly, 65-77% of poultry farmers have small-holder poultry farms. And we all know how it all goes down in small-scale farms, they watch a clueless predecessor/acquittance do it, rinse and repeat. This is why Pullus seeks to provide authentic information through our blogs, and consultation services. We also seek to help farmers leverage tech solutions in managing their farm operations.

What are the best poultry feeding practices?

It’s the standard way of managing feeding and feeding related aspects of your farm operations to ascertain uncompromised quality, disease prevention, maximum growth and production, and overall healthy state of poultry birds.

Best poultry feeding practices for small- and large-scale farmers

We will discuss several tips that will come handy under the following sub-heads:

  • Feed best practices

The first and most important poultry feeding practice is to buy the right feed for your poultry birds. It’s standard practice to check for the expiry date, cakes, and molds. If you find out that the feed is dusty, caking, or has molds, then it is unfit for consumption.

Feeds are either in crumbles, pellets, or mash. Poultry farmers who produce their feeds must ensure that there is no anti-nutritive raw material in their feed. It’s good practice to include non-nutritive additives that boost growth and immunity against diseases. 

  • Feeding best practices

Poultry birds must have a regular supply of food and water. While some farmers choose whole rations 2 times daily, it is best practice to feed intermittently in bits. This will necessitate routine checkups and cleanup of the poultry house. It also stimulates the appetite of the poultry birds.

Irrespective of the feeding schedule you use, you must ensure that water consumption isn’t replaced with feed consumption. To do this, ensure that there is a fair distribution between water and feed supply. It’s best practice to supply water for two hours during feeding time, and one hour before lights out.

It’s best practice to adopt a feeding pattern that ensures uniform growth across all sections of the poultry—feed at the same time and the same feed.

  • Body-weight best practices

Feed affects the body weight of poultry birds because they are genetically selected. Feeds have what’s called a Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR). It’s simply the amount of feed that poultry birds must consume for a unit increase in weight. 

For example, a feed with FCR 1:2 means that to achieve a net increase in weight by 1kg, 2kg of feed must be fed to the birds. FCR may not always be expressed as a ratio. If a feed manufacturer/vendor says the FCR is 2, then it means poultry birds must consume 2kh of that feed for a net 1kg increase in weight. 

It’s s best practice to stick to a feeding regimen that ensures uniform weight gain, and prevents overweight birds. Overweight birds fave risk of blisters, skeletal deformities, etc. Practice a healthy balance between restricted feeding and controlled feeding as opposed to feeding ad libitum. 

  • Build a feeding budget

It’s possible to run your poultry business at a loss, and it’s equally possible to do it profitably. Many farmers end up overspending on feeds when it’s possible to forecast a margin of expenses on feeds.

It is important for farmers to stay within safe limits of their projected expenses. To do this, the farmer must have accurate information about the Feed Conversion Ratio and the genetic breed of birds in their poultry.

There are different kind of poultry birds—Ross, Arbor acre, Cobb, Fidan, etc. Each of these breeds have different FCR relative to the kind of feed. Farmers who match the wrong bird with the right feed or vice versa will spend more money than budgeted on feed. Always ask the manufacturer/feed vendor the FCR for your specific breed of poultry bird. 

  • Sanitation best practices

One of the ways through which disease and infection can spread in the poultry is through poor sanitation practices. Feeders and drinkers must be thoroughly washed daily to prevent contamination. The poultry must be kept clean to reduce the incidence of infection or diseases. 

People who interact with the poultry must wear protective clothing and be weary of passing contaminants or taking contaminants from the poultry. in addition to this, keep proper hygiene measures on the farm. 

Wrapping it Up

Two years after the pandemic, the poultry industry is proving to be the tough one that will see through tough times. If you’re still a player in the industry, we’re confident that this resource came in handy. Pullus is changing the poultry industry through tech, be part of the few people who enjoy our solutions before we launch. sign up here.

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