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Fao Document on Keeping Chickens and Ducks

Fao Document on Keeping Chickens and Ducks

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Published by: Raymond Katabazi on Apr 07, 2012
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Produced by:Agriculture and ConsumerProtectionTitle: A manual for primary animal health care worker... Español Français More details
Chapter 6: Chickens and ducks
Unit 49: Keeping chickens and ducksUnit 50: Housing for chickens and ducksUnit 51: Feeding chickens and ducksUnit 52: Problems caused by poor feed (deficiencies)Unit 53: Incubators and broodersUnit 54: BroodingUnit 55: Internal parasites of chickens and ducksUnit 56: External parasites of chickens and ducks
Unit 49: Keeping chickens and ducks
It is not a good practice to allow chickens, ducks and other birds to freely wander around the community to feed and drink whatever they can find.Providing shelter, food and clean water to these birds will result in more meat and eggs.Birds can easily become sick and some diseases kill many birds. Veterinary advice on vaccinations to stop diseases is essential.
Learning objectives
When you have studied this unit you should know:1 Traditional ways of keeping birds.2 Better ways of keeping chickens and ducks.3 The quality of eggs.4 Vaccination and veterinary aid for chickens and ducks.
Traditional ways of keeping birds
Many communities keep birds to provide meat and eggs for feasts, weddings and other social activities. Sometimes birds are sold for the extra moneyneeded for urgent medicines or food. Many people in the community may keep birds but with limited good results. This can be because:
Birds are not fed well, but are left to pick up what food they can find on the roads, and to drink dirty water.
They are not provided with shelter (housing) and can become the victims of cold, rain, foxes and other predators.
The types of birds (breeds) kept in the community are small birds or those which do not lay large numbers of eggs.Because of the way they are kept most of the young die and very few birds reach the age of one year. The birds that do survive are small and producelittle meat. Many birds must be killed to provide sufficient amounts of meat and little money is obtained by selling them.
Better ways of keeping chickens and ducks
You can improve the amount of meat and eggs you get from birds by:
Keeping better breeds (types) of birds which are bigger and lay more eggs.
Improving the quality of the birds you have by mating them with better quality males.
Provide housing for birds and good feed and water.You should try to find out which breeds are available and try to obtain birds which are bigger, produce more meat, and which lay more eggs. You shouldencourage the community to start to keep these birds or at least to use some to improve the birds they have. There are several ways of introducingbetter quality birds into the community's flocks:
Buy male birds of the better breed to mate with females you have.
Buy day old chicks from the better breed and rear them.
Buy some birds at 2 to 3 months of age (this is the best way).
The quality of eggs
Chicken eggs will stay fresh longer than the eggs of a duck. Eggs should be kept in a cool place. If placed in a fridge the chicken eggs will stay fresh for3 weeks while those of the duck must be used within 10 days.
An egg produced by a female bird kept without a male is called a non fertile egg and will keep fresh for a long time.
Eggs from a female kept with a male bird are alive and the young chick will start to grow in them if they are kept in a warm place.
To check eggs hold them against a light or the sun, or candle them (see Unit 53).
The fertility of the egg
Chapter 6: Chickens and duckshttp://www.fao.org/docrep/t0690e/t0690e08.htm1 of 104/7/2012 4:46 PM
Eggs should be cleaned before they are sold or used. Wipe them with a damp cloth but never wash them in warm water. If eggs are placed in acontainer of cool clean water, bad eggs which cannot be eaten, will float to the top of the water. Good eggs stay at the bottom. When you use eggs, thecondition of the yolk (yellow) and the white of the egg, tells you how good the egg is.
The quality of eggsVaccination and veterinary aid for chickens and ducks
You should talk to your local veterinary officer and discover what diseases occur in the birds in your area. He will be able to tell you what can be done toprevent disease and obtain any vaccines which you can then use to protect birds against these infections.
Take the business of keeping birds seriously. The benefits from keeping them are the same as those gained from keeping other animals.
Unit 50: Housing for chickens and ducks
If birds are allowed to wander around freely, disease can spread quickly through all the birds kept in the community.Keeping birds in a closed area and providing them with shelter is the first step towards improving them.A covered shelter (house) will give chickens and ducks protection from wind, rain, snow and predators such as foxes.
Learning objectives
After studying this unit you should know:1 Why chickens and ducks should be housed.2 How many birds can be kept together in a house.3 How to build a house for chickens.4 Nesting boxes (for laying eggs).5 Runs (fenced areas) for birds.6 The differences between houses for chickens and ducks.
Why we house chickens and ducks
If chickens and ducks are kept in houses:
They will be protected from the sun, rain, cold and snow.
They will be protected from other animals such as foxes and birds of prey, from theft and from being killed on the streets.
Young birds are protected.
Food and water can be controlled.
Birds can be prevented from eating bad food or drinking dirty water.
Nest boxes can be provided to make it easy to collect eggs.
The spread of disease can be stopped.
How many birds should be kept in a house
There must be enough space to hold all the birds plus the feed and water containers (troughs). If too many birds are kept together they will start to peck(bite) each other. If any bleed, the problem will become worse, as more birds start to peck. Young birds will need less space than older birds andperches must be provided for chickens to roost on at night.The ground or floor area required is:
50 chickens can be kept in 16 square metres (4m × 4m).
1 metre of perch must be provided for every 5 adult chickens.
Housing for chickens
Chapter 6: Chickens and duckshttp://www.fao.org/docrep/t0690e/t0690e08.htm2 of 104/7/2012 4:46 PM
Suitable housing for chickens should be:
Built on high ground close to the home of the owner so that he can keep an eye on it.
The house should be 2 metres high and it is better if the first 50 cm of the walls are brick, stone or concrete while the rest is wood, woodand mesh wire, corrugated iron sheeting or any other suitable materials. Small houses can be made from wood and mesh wire.
Runs for birds (fenced areas)
Every house will need a run for the birds to be able to exercise in, pick up grass, insects etc. The run must be fenced around with wire or other suitablematerial and if possible should be shaded by some trees. Part can be covered to allow birds to use it on rainy days. If possible the run should bedivided into two areas to keep birds out of one area to allow fresh grass to grow 50 chickens require a 16 square metre house and 500 square metresof run.
Runs for birdsNesting boxes (for laying eggs)
Nesting boxes are boxes in which the hen can lay her eggs. You can make them from wood, baskets or pottery. Line them with straw or hay as a nest.Wooden boxes can be built on to the side of the house and opened from the outside to remove the eggs.
Housing for ducks
Housing for chickens can be used for ducks. However if you keep ducks you should remember:
Ducks do not require perches and nesting boxes will need to be low to allow ducks to use them, or sloping ramps must be placed to allowducks to get to the boxes.
You will need to provide ducks with a container of water at least big enough for them to put their heads and necks into the water.
Housing for ducks
Laying ducks must be kept in the house each morning until they lay their eggs.
Unit 51: Feeding chickens and ducks
In order to get good meat and egg production from birds they must be given good feed containing necessary nutrients.If birds are allowed to wander freely and eat whatever they can find they will not grow properly, will produce little meat and few eggs.
Learning objectives
After studying this unit you should know:1 The digestive system of birds.2 What the bird needs in its feed.3 The different feeds for chickens and ducks4 Rations for chickens and ducks.5 How much water birds need.
The digestive system of the bird
The bird has no teeth, food is swallowed whole and goes into the crop where it is stored and mixed with saliva. If you feel the crop you can tell if a birdhas been feeding or not.The feed passes from the crop into the stomach where it mixes with the juices before passing into the roundish, thick walled, muscular organ called thegizzard. The gizzard contains small stones which the bird has eaten to help the gizzard to grind up the food for digestion. Nutrients are absorbed asground up feed passes along the intestine.
The digestive system of the bird
Chapter 6: Chickens and duckshttp://www.fao.org/docrep/t0690e/t0690e08.htm3 of 104/7/2012 4:46 PM

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