Indeed, even with adequate knowledge of the industry and extensive training, poultry farmers still lose money. No matter how much you try to maintain 100% hygiene for your birds, clean their house, wash their drinkers and feeders, remove grasses from surroundings to prevent predators, but you can never be too careful.
Indeed the aim of the modern poultry industry is to achieve high production and better quality at a low cost. This, in addition to an increase in the demand of poultry meat, necessitates constant, efficient and goal oriented care to prevent the development of diseases. Yet even with this advancement in technology and poultry techniques, the raising mortality rate in the industry has remained unchanged over the years.
If you are looking to join this lucrative business or you are already into it, you don’t need to panic since every problem has its solution. Have it in mind that no problem in poultry farming is new; in one way or the order such problems have been overcome by other farmers.
Here are some common problems facing poultry farmers in the United States, and possible ways to rectify these problems and ensure you do not continuously lose money in your farm.
Table of Content
Common Problems Facing Poultry Farmers In The United States and Their Solutions
Diseases and parasites
Diseases and parasites are one of the major causes of loss in egg production. Note that some breeds of birds are resistant to certain diseases which make them superior to those that are easily infected.
You have to do all you can to keep your birds free from diseases. In case of any outbreak of diseases, treat them immediately so that their production will not be tampered with. Also, it’s not advisable to breed an ill chicken since it could pass the illnesses down to future generations and you would have a constant battle in your hands. Always raise the healthiest chickens. Remember that not every disease gives symptoms, but in case you see strange signs in your farm, inform your veterinary doctor at once.
In a poultry farm, issues concerning water should not be underrated. Note that quality of water is very important; the acidity of the water must be checked and balanced before you give them to the birds. Acidic water will have negative effects on the birds and this will affect them in many ways.
Always ensure to check water condition before giving or feeding them to your fowls.
Note that cracks and gaps in doorways, windows, and walls blow all the hard work of your HVAC and fan systems out of the building, literally. It also means that your HVAC system has to work much harder to achieve and maintain the optimal temperatures for your poultry to stay healthy.
Become a gap-sealing maniac. You are advised to stay a little obsessive for a few months and knock all your repairs out at once. Note that the greatest energy wasting areas are usually around doors and windows. But depending on the quality of construction of the poultry house, the walls themselves could also be found to have sizable gaps.
Old boilers, cool cells, fans, lights, and other equipment more or less have to work harder to do the same task as newer and well-maintained models. Letting your equipment age and deteriorate costs you a lot in wasted energy. Old equipment generally uses more energy than newer equipment.
Replace Boilers, Fans, Heating, and Cool Cells with Energy Efficient Models. Remember to check the ages of your big energy drainers, and see what newer models have to offer in terms of kWh savings. Replace the ones that offer the greatest energy efficiency improvements first.
So many poultry farmers in the United States are victim of this problem, not every company that sell day old birds are the right place to get your birds. Note that once you are a victim, there is more or less no way out. You are going to spend a lot on drugs and many a time you lose many of your birds.
You need to be careful of where you get your birds from as this determines the result at the end. Consider consulting your veterinary doctor before you get your birds, either a day old or at any point at all, as this will help prevent your poultry farm from problems caused by unhealthy birds.
Note that if you’re still depending on incandescent bulbs to light your poultry house 24 hours a day, you are costing yourself thousands per year in wasted power. You’re also losing money to the labour it takes to replace these bulbs, which lasts about 1000 hours. According to reports, 90% of incandescent bulbs burn out during every flock, because the lights are on 24 hours a day. At that level of usage, you’ll reach 1000 hours in about 41 days. Also, at that frequency of replacement, you’re buying new bulbs, using more energy, and in addition, expending labour costs to replace them all.
Note that the savings you can gain from using more efficient lights involve more than just energy. LED bulbs last up to 50,000 hours, 50 times longer than incandescent ones. So not only do you save money on energy, but on labour as well because you won’t have to replace them as often. However, one issue with LED bulbs is that you must ensure they are compatible with your existing lighting fixtures. The same is true with other efficient bulbs like compact fluorescents (CFLs). Nonetheless, there’s big money to be saved here.
Feeding related problem is another crucial problem you have to watch closely as this determines the growth of rate of your birds. Note that feeding is more than just giving the birds feeds; they need balanced diet if you want them to do well. Also note that some producers mix complete feeds with cheaper scratch grains, but doing so dilutes the level of nutrients the chickens are receiving, and nutrient deficiencies can occur.
Nutrient deficiencies can tend to have adverse effect on the growth of pullets and the level of production of hens. The level of feed a bird will eat depends on it size, age and rate of egg production, energy level of the feed and temperature of the house i.e. laying house. Amount of feed consumed also depends on the breed of birds. The quality of egg shell is determined by the level and the presence of vitamin D, Calcium and other minerals in the feed. Have it in mind that pigment in the feed determine the yolk colour of the eggs, to achieve the maximum egg size in production, the level of protein in the feed come in place and fatty acid.
Since a lot is already known about the nutritional requirements of the chicken than of any other domestic animals, it is not surprising that rations are scientifically balanced to assure layer health along with optimum quality eggs at least cost. However, ensure adequate feed quality for your laying birds.
Have it in mind that this is a big threat to poultry farmers. Indeed not all drugs you need for your birds are available in the market; sometimes those available are not effective and are fake. When you use some for a prolonged time, your birds build resistance to it. Also when the available drugs are not as effective as the former one, it tends to cause a lot of problem for farmers.
Always consult a veterinary for the right drugs for the right problem.
Dirty ventilation fans always require more effort to keep turning, and don’t blow air as efficiently. According to industry reports, dirty fans are 40% less efficient than clean and maintained ones. Stress and lack of proper ventilation in the brood house are also common reasons for high poultry mortality and dying birds are a huge economic loss to any poultry farmer.
Clean and maintain fans, boilers, and all the heat transfer surfaces. Also consider installing variable speed fans, especially since they waste less energy blowing your fans at higher speeds than may be necessary.
Lack of information
One of the major problems in poultry is lack of adequate and working information. If you want to succeed in life in any business or in anything at all, you need the right information about that thing. A lot of people just dive into poultry farming without the proper information, while some get information from the wrong source. Getting the right information will help you in all areas of your farm and you will get the reward on time.
The only solution to this type of problem is getting information from the reliable source. It is strongly advised that you source your information from the ministry of agriculture or from a qualified veterinary doctor.
Although the process of achieving success in the poultry industry can appear daunting, but if you do your homework, the process can be approached with optimism. Always explore additional options, follow local state and regulatory laws, and network with poultry farmers and other producers in the area.