Backyard Poultry Farming
Hygienic housing is one of the most important poultry management practices. Many poultry breeds are perfectly suited for backyard flocks. Choosing the right breed for your backyard flock solely depends on your needs. Poultry breeds can be divided into two basic categories: birds for meat and birds for eggs. Also, certain chicken breeds can boast milder temperaments. They are typically better suited for families with small children who would interact with the birds.
Advantages of Backyard Poultry Farming
You can always get farm fresh organic eggs and meat. The difference of taste and nutritional value is astounding. You can proper utilize of your kitchen garbage. Poultry will consume this type of food along with their regular food and convert them to quality eggs and meat.
They will help you and keep the environment clean by consuming various types of insects including mosquito. Poultry are of very friendly and delightful in nature. As a result, you can raise them as pets and spend some fantastic time with them on your own backyard.
If your poultry produce more eggs and meat than your family demands, then you can earn some extra money by selling eggs and meat at the farmer’s market. Keeping poultry on your backyard can be a great way to teach your children responsibility and respect for animals. You can use poultry manure as good fertilizer for producing vegetables and fruits in your garden.
Heat Source: Chickens require a reliable heat source, such as a heat lamp.
Waterers: Chickens require an adequate water supply. Typically a one-quart waterer is sufficient at first, and a gallon-sized or larger waterer is appropriate as chickens grow. Fresh, clean water is essential for proper chick health and growth.
Feeders: Simple chick feeders can be used when birds are young, but a larger feeder will be necessary as chicks grow. Keep in mind that chicks double their size in only a couple of days and will continue to grow rapidly through their first six weeks. They will need an ever expanding daily water and feed supply.
Bedding Material: Broilers need some form of bedding or litter to help keep them warm and to absorb moisture. Wood shavings, sawdust, or rice hulls are good litter choices. The floor of the broiler pen should be covered with a layer of litter at least 3 to 4 in. deep. The caked, or matted, litter should be removed every day. Also, the rest of the litter should be turned or stirred up once a day to make it absorb more moisture and last longer between changes. Change the litter weekly, depending on the dampness of the bedding. Never place chicks on slick surfaces such as cardboard, plastic, or newspaper. The smooth surface may result in leg problems.
Protect your family from bird-transmitted disease by following these guidelines.
Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling poultry and/or poultry equipment.
Do not allow toddlers to handle poultry.
Avoid contact with poultry feces.
Wash your hands, counter tops, and utensils with hot, soapy water after handling raw poultry.
Housing Systems for Raising Poultry
Free-Range or Extensive System
It is oldest of all and has been used for centuries by general farmers, where there is no shortage of land. This system allows great but not unlimited, space to the birds on land where they can find an appreciable amount of food in the form of herbage. Seeds and insects, provided they are protected from predatory animals and infectious diseases including parasitic infestation. At present due to advantages of intensive methods the system is almost absolute.
System is adopted where the amount of free spare available is limited. It is necessary to allow the birds 20-30 square yards per bird of outside run. Wherever possible, this space should be divided giving a run on either side of the house of 10 – 15 square yards per bird, thus enabling the birds to move onto fresh ground.
Folding Unit System
Housing is an innovation of recent years. In portable folding unit’s birds being confined to one small run, the position is changed each day, giving them fresh ground and the birds find a considerable proportion of food from the herbage are healthier and harder. For the farmer the beneficial effect of scratching and manuring on the land is another side effect.
In this system the birds are confined to the house entirely, with no access to land outside, and it is usually adopted where land is limited and expensive. This has only been made possible by admitting the direct rays of the sun on the floor of the house so that par to the windows are removable, or either fold or slide down like windows of railway train to permit the ultraviolet rays to reach the birds. Under the intensive system, Battery (cage system) and deep litter methods are most common.