Are you looking to increase egg production in layers, then this article is for you.
The simple egg is one of the most important foods people eat and a big part of the local food movement. Modern industrial farms have taken steps to increase egg production rates that we in the eco-agriculture movement would not consider normal or kind.
But even commercial or homestead egg producers who care about the environment can take steps to safely increase laying rates. Breeding, feeding, and making sure the birds are comfortable and happy are the three most important ways to make more eggs.
Check this out: How to make Millions from Poultry Farming
Even though getting started may be hard and cost a lot of money, egg production is one of the most profitable parts of the poultry industry.
It is a reliable way to make money on a small or large scale.
Birds that lay eggs could be raised on the floor, which is called a “deep litre system,” or in cages, which is called a “battery system.”
But because the cages cost more, the cage system costs more money than the deep-liter system.
Depending on the genetic makeup of the breed, a healthy layer chicken can lay up to 250 eggs worth about N7200 a year.
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Even though farming has been shown to be sustainable and profitable, most farmers still complain about low egg production, high death and illness rates, and not being able to sell eggs.
HTS Farms has learned in a reliable way that there are basic things that farmers must do to keep the birds from being less productive, getting sick, and dying.
1. Bird Source
Buying chicks from breeders you can trust. One of the most important ways to get the most eggs is to buy day-old chicks or pullets that are ready to lay from a reliable source that has a history of doing business honestly. This is to make sure that all of the vaccines were given at the right times.
The source of the birds also determines the breed, and the number of eggs laid each year is strongly affected by the different breeds.
In Nigeria, there are many different breeds, such as NERA Black, Shika Brown, ISA Brown, and Hi-Line Brown. Some can handle heat better than others, and some have more layers than the others.
So, a person who raises chickens should find out about a breeder and breed before buying from them.
2. Vaccinations needed
Poultry vaccinations are used to prevent certain infections and diseases, and in the long run, this affects how productive, healthy, and profitable a group of birds is. Some of the vaccinations are the Newcastle, Gumboro, egg drop syndrome, Coriza, and infectious bursal vaccines.
So, if you want to be a poultry farmer, you should ask to see the vaccination record when you buy birds that are ready to lay eggs and follow the recommended vaccinations for pullets if you want to raise the chicks yourself.
3. Temperature control helps Increase Egg Production in Layers
Overheating hurts the health and productivity of birds that lay eggs. It upsets the balance that is needed to get the most eggs.
When the temperature goes above the thermo-neutral zone, the bird uses its energy to cool itself. This means that energy that would have been used to make eggs is instead used to keep the bird cool. This means that the bird makes smaller and fewer eggs.
If the temperature drops below the thermo-neutral zone (too much humidity), the bird will use its food to make more heat to get back to equilibrium. This will reduce the size and number of eggs the flock makes.
The temperature at which layers break down is 20°C. For every 1°C below 20°C, the birds need 1.5 g more food every day.
Between 20 and 24°C is the best range for layer temperatures. When temperatures go above 24°C, the shell quality and egg weight will go down, the amount of food eaten will go down, and the ratio of food eaten to eggs laid will be negative.
So, during the dry season, efforts must be made to keep the heat down and keep egg production at its best level. In dry weather, fans or forgers could be used to keep the birds cool. In cold weather, the birds should be kept warm by generating heat.
The source of the food birds eat is another very important factor in how productive they are. At the beginning of laying, a bird should eat 0.25 kg of food per day. This means that 100 birds would need 25 kg of feed to keep them healthy and make enough eggs.
The feeds also have carbohydrate, protein, minerals, and other small amounts of nutrients. For birds to lay the most eggs, they need to eat a balanced diet. Feed materials should be of the highest quality, with no moisture, mould, or things that break down.
Also Read: All you need to know when buying Point of Lay
5. Pen Lighting
LIGHTING is very important for good poultry production, especially for birds that lay eggs. The length of light stimulation is an important part of making eggs. Controlling the photoperiod of poultry and livestock to encourage reproduction has been known for a long time, and commercial poultry and livestock farmers do it all the time.
Light has three main effects on chickens: it helps them see, it changes their internal cycles when the length of the day changes, and it causes hormones to be released.
How long it takes depends on how old the chicken is and what kind of housing you give it.
At one and two days old, chicks can be exposed to 21–23 hours of continuous light, which can then be cut down to 15–16 hours until the birds are three weeks old.
Research by Hi-Line has shown that red light makes layers reproduce 40 times more than any other colour.
5. Marketing plan
A profitable poultry business needs to have a plan for how to sell the eggs. If your marketing plans and actions aren’t right, you can’t sell at a fair price.
Do you sell to restaurants, boarding schools, hotels, food vendors, or government workers in their offices?
You have to figure this out and take action. This makes sure you can sell fresh eggs at good prices.
6. Talking with vets
The health and productivity of birds are also affected by the self-medication that farmers take.
Instead of trying things out, you should always talk to a vet to get a correct diagnosis and medication.
When birds get help from a vet at the right time, it costs less money and saves their lives.
BOOSTING EGG PRODUCTION WITH BREEDING
Breeders can steadily improve the productivity of flocks of these traditional brown egg-laying breeds. A small group of closely related females can make enough pullet chicks to replace quite a large number of laying hens.
The most important part of this business, the seed stock, comes from the original farm, so it is truly sustainable. It depends on finding the most productive females and the males they produce, then using these birds to make a line that does well on the home farm.
The Hogan method has been taught for decades as a way to figure out how likely young stock is to lay eggs and how well production birds are still doing. It’s not too hard to teach, but it takes a lot of work because each bird has to be evaluated by hand.
The laying flock should be worked on regularly to get rid of birds that aren’t doing well or are sick or hurt. This makes sure that valuable foods are only given to the birds that use them the most and make the most money from them.
BOOSTING EGG PRODUCTION WITH FEED
Good feed is the fuel that chickens use to make eggs, and they need a well-thought-out nutrition plan at every stage of their lives.
Hens eat very small amounts of food every day, and their food must be full of nutrients and always the same shape. Depending on her size and breed, a hen that is laying eggs will eat anywhere from 4 to 8 ounces of food every day.
Those who want to save money on feed should start with birds that can lay eggs with the least amount of food. In order to do this, the producer must keep track of the goods so she can figure out how much feed it took to make a dozen eggs.
Recently, people have talked about some unusual ways to make feed for chickens. These routines might be good for a few markets where customers can pay enough of a premium to cover the extra costs of these feedstuffs. Some can be very expensive to make. Components might not be easy to find, and specially made food might have to be bought in lots as small as 1–3 tonnes. e up of only vegetables, feeds with more omega-3s, and rations that are made better with things like kelp and fish meal.
Here are a few important things to know about feeding chickens:
- Start with a good chick starter that you buy in small amounts to make sure it stays fresh. Most starter/grower rations on the market today are meant to be fed to young pullets until they lay their first egg.
These high-quality feeds do two things: they build up both the body and the egg-making system. After the first egg is laid, the young females should be slowly switched to a good diet for laying.
Some farmers are going back to the old way of giving their chicks small pieces of hard-boiled eggs several times a day. At each feeding, give the chicks only as much finely chopped egg as they can eat in about 20 minutes. This will keep the chicks healthy.
This works especially well for chicks that have been stressed or had a hard time getting to their new home. In a short time, they should be switched to a free-choice starter ration that has everything they need.
- Laying rations that are made into small pellets or mini pellets will help cut down on wasted feed. When birds flip food from a feeder, it’s easier for them to get it back if the food is in pellets.
If possible, buying feedstuffs every two weeks is a good way to keep rations fresh and spread out costs over the course of a year.
Once at home, all feed should be kept away from bugs and moisture. Most types of feed will fit in a 55-gallon barrel, which is about 300 pounds.
Most complete poultry feeds now have all the vitamins, minerals, and grit that the birds need. Oyster shell used to be a common thing to give to chickens, but it was often sold in pieces that were too big for them to use well.
The breeding, feeding, and care of the hens are the first and last steps in making money from eggs. I hope that the tips in this article will help you increase the number of eggs laid in a way that is both sustainable and cost-effective, no matter how big your farm is.