CHOOSING THE BEST EGG BREEDS
- Loman Brown Laying Hens. One of the most popular breeds on the territory of Russia and neighboring countries. They have not given away the first positions of the rating for decades and surprise every poultry breeder with their egg production – about 315 eggs per year. Sexual maturity of an individual comes in 4-5 months, after which the hen is productive for 2-3 years, and with each month the number of eggs laid will grow. They are resistant to diseases and have a very high vitality – almost all chickens survive (98% preservation of young). The egg differs in its large size – up to 80 grams, while one chicken consumes no more than 130 grams of food per day.
- Dutch Heisex laying hens are small individuals weighing only up to 1.5-2kg, they reach sexual maturity after 120-130 days, after which they rapidly increase egg production for 1 year. Egg production of white hens – 290 eggs per year, gray and brown-320 eggs. This difference is caused by the fact that the first ones have a large expenditure of energy for heating the body in the cold season, so they are carried a little worse. The egg is relatively large – up to 65-80 grams, has a hard shell, which significantly increases its transportability.
- Pushkin’s motley. One of the most” bright ” hens, which is not only wonderful to lay, but also pleases the eyes of the owner. Many of them contain only for decoration and variety of the household yard (especially since such decoration still brings a good profit). Egg production of this species is 315 eggs per year, the weight of one egg is 75 grams. Hens have a Nordic, reserved character – strong, stand firmly on their feet, walk importantly around the yard and do not fuss at the slightest noise. Survival of young – 99%, adults – 95%. It is not recommended to combine this breed with another in the same area – the bird is proud, it does not like it and can conflict.
- Kuchinskaya Yubileynaya Street. Universal chicken – and you can keep it on the omelet, and cut it into the soup if necessary. One of the best meat-eating hens, which lays up to 240 eggs a year and quickly gains live weight. The chicken already begins to please the owner with eggs at the age of 5-6 months (or immediately passes into a meat breed), begins to bear small ones – weighing 60 grams. With proper nutrition and care, the survival of young animals is 99%, the variety is well acclimated, it feels great in any conditions of maintenance.
Immediately you need to decide for what purposes you will keep a chicken coop since the difference between egg-bearing breeds and meat breeds is very large (up to 100 eggs per year). If you are interested in receiving only a secondary product – then it is better to give preference to foreign breeds. If you prefer to still eat or sell chicken meat – then it will be better to give preference to meat-eating breeds that have an optimal ratio of weight and egg production.
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CARING FOR CHICKENS UP TO 1-MONTH-OLD
Choose the most active and clean individuals – then your chances of buying healthy chickens will greatly increase. Each chick should be noisy, active, respond to any sound and move to it. If you tap on the box, the Chickens should quickly run up to you and show extreme interest. The buttocks must be dry, and the down on the tummy light and fluffy.
The first thing to do is to bring the bird home. To do this, you will need a cardboard box with holes on the sides and on the lid to ensure good ventilation. Chickens like high temperatures, but at the same time the oxygen supply must be maximum, otherwise, they can suffocate. During transportation, you will need to make a stop every 15-20 minutes, open the box in the fresh air and let the Chicks breathe a little (5-10 minutes).
From the first days of raising chickens, it is necessary to provide maximum comfort and favorable conditions for growth and development, namely:
- For the first 15 days, set the temperature to +28 0C, while monitoring the behavior of chickens in a box, room or other room where you plant them. If the bird gets together in large groups and gathers all in one place – it is cold, you need to raise the temperature a little. If babies sit separately, have a sluggish appearance, and are inactive – they are hot, reduce the temperature. They should be active, running and squeaking.
- Feed the first few days is best with egg yolk, then switch to millet, and when the Chicks grow up a little-cereals or waste from the grain. It is best to add corn groats to the diet, which is useful and contains all the vitamins necessary for the normal development of the chicken.
- A fence, large box, room or box (depending on where you will keep them) should be draughty and with a warm bottom. Babies can catch a cold if they sit in the cold or are in a drought – watch for the absence of cold and do not allow the hypothermia of young individuals.
It is necessary to control that the room is dry, the chickens are always full (the easiest way is to put a feeder) and have constant access to water – they often want to drink at first and you can not deny them this pleasure.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT DIET FOR ADULTS
After the Chicks have lived with you for 3-4 months, they will begin to Mature and lay eggs. Gradually, all hens will become laying hens, and they require a special diet. Unlike broilers, which are raised for meat, laying hens require a balanced feed that will contain not only nutrients but also macronutrients necessary for the proper development of the chicken. Eggshells consist almost entirely of calcium, which is taken from the chicken’s body – it must be constantly replenished and given a lot of vitamins to the bird.
If the shell becomes soft – this is the first of the reasons that indicate a lack of vitamins, more precisely-calcium. I need to get the chicken drunkThe rotstar or foros. The traditional diet of each laying hen is quite diverse, it should include: fish meal, phosphates, a cake made from sunflower, rapeseed and soy, a grain mixture of barley, wheat and wheat germ. Best of all, if you still add 200-300 grams per month of feed chalk – this is one of the most useful minerals for the formation of eggshells.
You can also buy nutritional mixes that have already been developed specifically for laying hens – they contain the optimal amount of the most necessary feed. This food is just perfect for them, but it is quite expensive – 450-500 rubles for a bag of 50 kg. When buying a large batch (from 1 ton), you can save up to 50% of money. If you make simple arithmetic calculations, you can determine that on average for the maintenance of 1 chicken per year, it will take 3 rubles per day. Whether it is worth using full – fledged combined feeds or trying to feed cheaper mixes that can be completed independently-each poultry breeder decides for himself. But, in any case, just feed grain will not work – adding bone meal, fish, chalk, minerals is mandatory, otherwise the chicken will be much smaller to lay, and the size of the egg will be smaller than expected.
DESIGN FEATURES OF CHICKEN COOPS AND NESTS
Nests can be made absolutely any shape and place them in a convenient place for you, the main thing is always to follow the following placement rules:
- Never place nests in a draught – hens will not lay until you eliminate the discomfort. The chicken should feel warm and cozy, then it will please you with a good “harvest”.
- Install each socket separately, it will be better if it is fenced from all sides from the room. In this case, the bird will nest more often and more often.
- Place the chicken coop away from the noise, and provide a temperature acceptable for laying eggs at +23-25 0C. The chicken coop should be compact in size.
- The roost should be no more than 40×40 centimeters, and better-30×30 cm, while the height of the side — at least 6 cm, so that the testicles do not roll out when the chicken climbs in and out.
It is important to understand that the bird instinctively lays for the production of new offspring, so it will only be productive when it feels the maximum safety, comfort and safety of future Chicks.
The floor in the chicken coop is best made of clay since concrete and other similar materials will be very cold in winter. You can make a wooden floor, pour up to 5-6 centimeters of wood shavings on top of it, so that the chickens have somewhere to dig and spend “active” rest. To create a “friendly” group in the chicken coop, you need to organize the nests correctly – they must all be at the same height, otherwise, your chickens will start dividing themselves into different “classes”. The higher the chicken is, the more important it feels. They will fight for a higher place, throw their predecessors ‘ eggs out of the nest.
In the chicken coop must be:
- Several small windows through which light will come in during the day. The bird is much more comfortable if there is a bright area in the room near it, and its nest will be in the shade.
- A feeder, so that you can feed in the chicken coop during bad weather.
- Heater. Especially relevant in the cold season – it will significantly increase egg production if it provides a temperature of at least + 15 0C in the room.
- A door for laying hens, through which they will go out into the street. It should be small (25 cm in height will be enough) to keep the room warm as much as possible. On it, you can hang a tarp or other fabric that the chicken can move and crawl through – this design protects the room from wind and cold.
- Drinker. 5 liters, no more, so that you can constantly pour fresh water to the chickens, especially on a summer day, when they can come to drink 10-12 times.
If you do everything right and take into account the interests of chickens, they will certainly please you with their productivity.
PREVENTION OF DISEASES AND HOW THEY CAN AFFECT THE EGG PRODUCTION OF POULTRY
On the way to an effective business, you can face big problems – chicken diseases. Unfortunately, no one is immune from this, since viruses are everywhere and the only thing you can do is to increase the immunity of laying hens and eliminate the breeding centers of harmful bacteria. If it does happen that a bird gets sick, it should be cured as soon as possible and prevent the spread of the virus. Main diseases of laying hens:
- Coccidiosis. It is a very common disease, especially in chickens up to 20 days old, but it often occurs even in two-month-old individuals. The main symptoms: absolute lack of appetite (do not eat even your favorite food), lethargy, the wings are lowered to the ground and fall from their feet. One of the main signs is diarrhea. Prevention is added to the feed furazolidon or norsulfazol. If the bird is already ill and does not want to eat, dilute 5-10 grams of the drug per 100 grams of water and pour it into its mouth. Yes, exactly fill – open the beak with tweezers or improvised materials and pour the drug with a pipette or pear. The chick will “heal” in a couple of days, if not from the medication, so from the fear of such a procedure.
- Pasteurellosis. A very common disease in adult chickens. Chicks survive it well, and the mortality rate is only 30-40%, adults die almost all. Signs: chickens do not walk, sit alone in different places, are sluggish, do not eat, often froth appears from the beak. It is treated by injecting intramuscular antibiotics and medications by a veterinarian. The popular method is to pour 20-30 grams of vodka into the bird’s beak for disinfection, just as in the case of coccidiosis. Curability is equal to 50%.
- Helminthiasises. Helminths occur not only in animals and fish, but also in chickens. They are parasitic in the intestines and organs of birds. Sick individuals do not eat well, egg production and activity are significantly reduced. For prevention, you can drink Drontal or Junior.
- A single decrease in productivity. It often happens that the chicken is active, healthy, does not show any signs of concern, but does not lay at all or very rarely. Almost up to 5% have such problems and, as practice shows, they come out with a very delicious soup, jelly, hot and cold, because you will not wait for eggs from them anyway.
However, if you always feed chickens with fortified supplements (ready-made mixtures are sold), add them to the diet of greens, and also monitor the dryness and good ventilation in the chicken coop, the chickens almost never get sick.
THE MAIN “COMMANDMENTS” OF POULTRY FARMING
In order for the business to be profitable, you get a lot of eggs throughout the year, you need to remember the basic rules of successful poultry farming:
- You can not overfeed chickens. Plump “balls” will not please you with a good oviposition, on the contrary – they will often get sick, walk sluggish and lazy. And who in General has benefited from obesity?
- Provide a” quiet hour ” for chickens from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and do not disturb them unnecessarily – they are busy with important business. If you make a lot of noise and disturb the intimate environment – the chicken will not lay an egg on this day.
- Ensure that the chicken coop has a favorable temperature of +20-25 0C. If it is very hot-the bird does not feel well, it will constantly run to drink water and try to escape to the street. If it is very cold – it will wait out the time until the onset of an acceptable temperature for masonry.
In fact, 80% of hens ‘ egg production depends on the conditions that you create for them, and not on a particular breed or other, less important factors. Dutch farmers very often include music in their coops, mainly Mozart, and have proven in practice that individuals give 11-14% more eggs than those who just sit in a barn with sound insulation under the same conditions of stay. On the territory of the Russian Federation, factories do not yet practice such methods of increasing egg production, but the link between the comfort of poultry and its productivity has long been proven.