Broiler Chicken Farming in India
Tips to Start Broiler Chicken Rearing Guide in India: Broiler chicken farming is one among the most profitable livestock business in India. One can do broiler farming in small-scale poultry farm to large industrial broiler farm. Find out how to plan and set up a broiler farm in India. In Indian poultry farming, broiler chicken is the most popular bird. The purpose of rearing broilers is for commercial marketing of the chicken meat. These birds are small chickens that are 5-6 weeks old. They are tender with flexible bones. Broiler farming requires very little investment since they can be grown and marketed within six weeks.
The tender meat of a young chicken grown from a hatch is called a broiler. In its broadest sense, broilers are chicken raised specifically for the purpose of meat from its hatch. It is an important source of protein. It also contains minerals and vitamins in sufficient amounts. There are specially developed broilers available owing to the technological advancements and commercial development. These breed varieties are different from egg layering birds used in layer poultry farming. They grow quickly and have a high efficiency of conversion. Since poultry manure has a very high fertilizer value, it is used for increasing the crop yield in organic-farming.
Information on Broiler Chicken Rearing Guide:
Broilers typically have white feathers and yellowish skin. By the age of 4-6 weeks, they attain their slaughter weight while slow-growing ones attain slaughter weight when they are 14 weeks old. Since they are slaughtered young, they are immature.
The scope of Broiler Farming in India
Globally, India is the fifth largest broiler producer. The per capita availability of poultry meat is 11 Kg meat per capita per annum which is far below the ICMR recommendation. Since there are many corporate companies that have enabled a suitable rearing environment for the farmers, the farmers no longer find it difficult to market the broilers. Farmers find it easier to rear broilers since broiler chickens are slaughtered at the age of6-8 weeks. They provide adequate employment opportunities to the poultry production system. In the past few years, considerable progress has been made with respect to vaccines, technical guidance, equipment, etc. The occurrence of mortality has decreased to a great extent owing to an improvement in management practices. There are also institutes that provide training to the entrepreneurs. The scope for further development seems good since there is considerable importance given to broilers in the national policy.
Broiler Chicken Breeds
Since broiler breeds are reared specifically for meat purpose they are divided into 2 categories:
- Commercial broiler breeds
- Dual Purpose broiler breed
1. Commercial Broiler Chicken Breeds
They are raised only for chicken meat and slaughtered when the are 6-8 weeks old. There are genetically modified commercial broiler breeds available. These are genetically modified to produce meat rather than egg. These breeds have increased meat production and a higher conversion rate. They can be of either sex. Some examples of broiler chicken that are bred commercially are Cobb, Hubbard, Krishibro, Cariboo, Avian, Varna, Vencobb, Hy-cobb, etc.
2. Dual Purpose Broiler Chicken Breeds
Dual purpose breeds are reared for both meat and eggs. Generally, they are the ‘backyard’ variety. They are hardy, self-reliant, and have a larger body. They lay the eggs that have a brown-colored shell. Some examples of this breeds are New Hampshire, Rhode Island Red, White Plymouth Rock, Red Vanaraja, Gramapriya, etc. Read our country chicken farming guide tolearn more about backyard varieties.
House Facilities and Management
Set up the housing facilities for poultry away from the industrial area, yet have a good accessibility such as markets, good roads, etc. Make sure that drinking water is available. Construct the hen coop or the houses at an elevation so that there is no water logging during heavy rains. Provide an adequate amount of ventilation, sunlight, and shade. See that the fresh air pass through the brooder shed, grower shed and layer shed precisely in that order. This prevents the spread of diseases from layers to the brooder. Set up storerooms, administration office, etc. at the entrance of the house to minimize the movement people around the sheds. Similarly, set up a sick room and disposal pits at the extreme end.
Rear the broilers in cages or on floor litter. The structure of the cage resembles the grower cage with a plastic sheet on the floor to prevent blisters.
The benefits of Cage Rearing in Broiler Farming
- High rearing density
- Litter expense is negligible
- It is easier to disinfect and clean the area.
- Their growth and feed efficiency are better.
- Reduced incidence of cannibalism.
However, cage rearing the broilers have some drawbacks too.
Drawbacks of Cage Rearing in Broiler Farming
- Initial cage investment is high.
- Fecal tray cleaning is a laborious process.
- The wing bones tend to be brittle.
- There is a higher chance of the broilers developing crooked keel and breast blisters.
- Owing to heat and lack of fresh air circulation the birds are restless during summer.
Broilers need 450 Sq.cm of floor space, 3cm feed space and1.5 cm water space up to the age of 18 days. For birds ranging from 19 to 42 days of age, they need 1000 Sq .cm of floor space, 6-7 cm of feed space and 3 cm of water space.
Poultry House Design
Construct the houses must in the north-south direction. Constructing them in the East-West direction exposes them to the sunlight. For constructing the house, use locally available materials like bamboo, mud, etc than investing in procuring materials for building the coop. Invest in procuring breeds, feed etc.
Broiler Farming Management
To get the desired results, well-planned management practices are necessary. Rearing is followed in different ways. They may be brought up in a single lot or in many lots of grassing and breeding.
1. Single Batch
This is also called as ‘all-in-all-out’ system. Rearing of only one batch at a given time is seen in this system. In other words, the chicks belong to the same hatch. The birds are purchased as per the farm capacity, reared and marketed in one single lot. It is a more planned system as there is only one batch of birds all belonging to the same hatch to be dealt with at one single time. It also reduces the chances of developing infections or the spread of a disease. The mortality rate is decreased while the feed conversion and growth rate is increased and more efficient. However, this system is only suitable for a small poultry farm. It is not suitable for a large farm with higher capitals.
2. Multiple Batch
More than one batch of chicks belonging to different stages of hatching is reared. The batch period varies between one to four weeks. The farmers buy day-old chicks and rear them for up to five to six weeks before marketing them. While they buy the chicks and they also sell broilers that maybe 5-6 weeks. They sell them when they attain the desired body weight. Generally, they sell them for table purposes. Ideally, farmers have 5-6 batches of broilers at any given time. The time period between two batches maybe 2-4weeks. Generally, they are sold in direct retail marketing. Healthy birds of45-50 days of age with desired body weight are sold. Though heavier birds are sold early, they are raised for a more lengthy time to make up the weight of the body.
Selection and Observation
For breeding and rearing day old, select healthy chicks. Generally, a healthy chick is curious and is always exploring things around the brooder. To avoid being captured, they scurry away when someone approaches. Usually, they are very active but huddle together when hungry, sick, tired, cold or scared. A healthy chick has open, alert, and bright eyes. In case the chicks stare away and do not react when approached this indicates that they are sick. A healthy chick’s legs are straight and stand tall. Crooked legs maybe sign of deformities and not necessarily an indication of sickness. However, they may also be symptoms of an underlying physiological condition.
Poultry House Preparation
Clean the coop thoroughly and free of any litter. Sanitize the entire poultry house properly and disinfect it. Before the chicks are brought in, some farmers fumigate the house. Adjust the incubators or brooders to the desired temperature a day before the chicks arrive. For the first few days, observe them for any signs and symptoms of infections or diseases. In case a bird develops an infection, remove it from the brood and quarantine immediately.
During the brooding time, provide light for 24 hrs in the broiler house. The pattern to be followed is 23 hours of light followed by an hour of darkness every day until they are ready for marketing. In the event of a power outage there may be staggering and panic, the one-hour darkness would heal the birds into the dark.
Since the birds have a high conversion rate, food plays a major role in poultry farming. Feeding management is an important aspect of efficient poultry management on a commercial scale. Make sure that the feed is healthy in terms of nutrition and must contain adequate amounts of vital nutrients. Insufficient amount of nutrients may lead to poor performance in terms of productivity. Apart from the regular proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins, they must also be provided with micronutrients inadequate amounts.
Now you are going to know about the Vaccination in this Broiler Chicken Rearing Guide. Like any other livestock, vaccinate the broilers regularly and protect from diseases. Vaccinate them right from the first day of their hatch till the 28th day.
Age Route of Administration Vaccine Day 1 Sub-Cutaneous at the neck Marek’s 5th-7th Day I/N RDV F1 14th Day I/N IBD Vaccine 21st Day Drinking Water RDV La Sota 28th Day Drinking Water IBD booster dose
Sex Separation of Broilers
The growth rates of male and female broilers are not the same as the males grow faster than females. They also require more floor space and nutrients than female broilers. Male broilers require more proteins and carbohydrates in their diet than their female counterparts. Hence, rear male and female broilers separately from the day of hatching till marketing. Provide with separate diets as per their daily requirement. Furthermore check below to know more in this Broiler Chicken Rearing Guide.
Biosecurity in Broiler Chicken Farming
The next thing in this Broiler Chicken Rearing Guide is Biosecurity of birds. To evaluate the farm operations and monitor the status of diseases, biosecurity is applying logic and principles specific to a broiler farm. It involves continuous evaluation of farm operations to contain diseases. Some of the steps involved are as follows:
Fencing is done to prevent the birds escape from the coop. Make sure that the fencing is high enough to prevent the birds from escaping. Lock and guard the fence opening properly.
Visitors to the broiler farm must be the bare minimum. This avoids the broilers from panicking. In addition, restricting visitors helps in arresting development and spread of diseases.
3. Pest Control
Control the pests and rodents as they are vectors of diseases. Take adequate measures to control the rodent population.
4. Manual Checking
Regularly check the birds manually for the development of disease symptoms. Dead birds if any must be disposed of immediately in a humane way. Furthermore, check below in this Broiler Chicken Rearing Guide to know about the marketing.
Marketing in Broiler Farming
The last thing in this Broiler Chicken Rearing Guide is Marketing. Market the broilers when they are five to six weeks old. In India, plan the broiler marketing in advance. This is especially because, in India, during festival times, the meat does not have much market value. We hope that the marketing aspects in Broiler Chicken Rearing Guide is helpful to you.
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