The high mortality rates experienced by poultry farmers usually discourage some people from investing their hard-earned money into rearing birds and this fear is quite understandable. I fear losing birds too especially when they are DOCs.
Truth must be told, DOCs are hard to care for, it takes a lot of experience and critical attention to details/biosecurity majors to minimize the death rates.
As a poultry farmer, after rearing birds for over 5 years now, I still fear losing my birds to death. But one thing you must know is, the life of your animals are 95% under your control, you are their small god. If you lose 1 bird to monster death it is your fault.
Death Broiler Birds…
I took a sample of 50 poultry farmers in Makurdi, Benue state and I was able to identify some common mistakes that usually lead to high mortality and I also discovered that the farmers are always the cause, not natural disasters which cannot be controlled by the best farmer or vet doctor.
I picked 4 of the common causes of high mortality rates in poultry rearing and I want you to take note of it and never repeat the mistakes on your farms. Note that, you might experience the death of your birds, but my target is to reduce the rate.
Below are the common four (4) causes of high mortality rates in poultry,
Number One. Improper construction of the pen.
Pen construction is the major reason most farmers experience high mortality rates in this business. Note that no amount of drugs or vaccination of your birds can stop or control the death of your birds as a result of wrong pen construction.
I attended an agribusiness seminar some years back and the speaker who was a poultry farmer narrated his ordeal in this business and I was shocked. He started rearing birds by visiting China and importing their technology down to Nigeria, he took their format of pen construction to duplicate in our hot country.
The investment was valued at over N100m because the Chinese engineers came down to Nigeria to install the battery cage and were paid in USD dollars, the capacity was huge.
The mistake they did was that they failed to consider and compare our Nigerian weather to that of China. I believe they knew our weather was not same with theirs but as usual, they did what will pay them money.
According to the speaker, after successful installation of their technology and stocking of over 30,000 birds the monster(death) came and took over 4000 birds in a single day; they tried controlling it by administering more drugs upon drugs but it didn’t yield any solution till all the birds died.
Wrong pen construction pattern cannot be controlled by the best vet doctor or drugs; it should be ascertained when setting up the farm.
I might not accurately describe the best pen height or style for you because the weather is the major determinant and I don’t know where you are currently reading this book and willing to build your farm, but I advise you to open your eyes and observe other farms around.
On a general note, your pen shouldn’t be above 7-8 cement blocks high and the width should depend on your target farm capacity.
Number Two: Zero consideration to basic biosecurity majors. There is a popular aphorism that says “prevention is better than cure and health is wealth” and it applies to livestock production too. When biosecurity is maintained, you won’t spend money on drugs and your birds will produce a positive result.
Biosecurity methods are so simple that most people ignore them. The litters should be dry and clean always, do not give people access to your pen, change drinking water regularly, reverse a boot for your pen, and pay your workers timely.
Number Three: Source Of DOC (Day Old Chick)
In Nigeria currently, we have few hatcheries in operation and this gives them a monopoly over poultry farmers; they determine when to raise the price of DOC and when to reduce. To the best of my knowledge and due to my years of experience in rearing birds, I can confidently recommend two farms that made it to the evoked set.
Evoked set is an academic word defined by Philip Kotler as a set of products you will think about when you want to make a buying decision, so these two hatcheries will always pop up when any Nigerian poultry farmer thinks of purchasing DOCs.
I have been patronizing them for over 5 years now. Their birds have proven to be strong and easily adaptable to any weather condition they find themselves in. I wasn’t paid to recommend their products to you, but their birds’ adaptation and survival have pushed me into promoting them today.
The two hatcheries are (1) CHI and (2) Agritel.
Note: The companies above are not the best to everyone, but I prefer their product after using them for over 6years. Also, I wasn’t paid to promote them to you, I did because I want the best for you.
Their birds are always higher in price than other farms but you will get value for your money, I know other consultants or experienced poultry farmers will recommend other brands but I strongly recommend the two mentioned above.
Number Four: Administering the right vaccine at the wrong time and wrong proportions.
Vaccination of birds should be done at the right time and in the right proportions. This normally depends on the number of birds you have on ground and how old they are.
When your birds are 2 weeks old, the quantity of water they take differs from when they’re 6 weeks so always consult the services of a good vet doctor before administering a vaccine.
To avoid mistakes, you can invite a Vet doctor to always handle the vaccination of your birds for a fee till you’re able to do it yourself.
Most importantly, start your farm right.
Do not rush into commercial breeding or birds because an internet information market drafted an eye-catching blog headline “How To Make 3million Naira In 3 Weeks Rearing Birds“. YES, I know we all want to millionaires. But I can guarantee you, it not that easy in poultry business.
Consider learning from practising successful farmers. Internet information should only be your guide because most Agro-blogs you see today on the internet are not farmers, their job is copy/paste tips without verification.
Poultry business is highly profitable. Just learn, practice, be patient and you will earn millions without tears.
If you need my consultation on this topic, contact me. I am here to serve you always.