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Double Award

Layer Production
Gallus gallus domesticus

Candidate Name: Adrian McCauley

Candidate #: 1001022332
Center #: 100102
Teacher: Ms. Cooper
Tertiary: Jamaica
Location: Ruseas High School Farm
Year: 2016


Brown egg laying hens are relatively larger in size. They eat more foods, compared to
white egg layers. Lay bigger eggs than other laying breeds. Egg shell is brown colored.
Layers in poultry farming are birds raised in egg laying poultry birds for the purpose of
commercial egg production. Layer chickens are such a special species of hens, which
need to be raised from when they are one day old. They start laying eggs commercially
from 18-19 weeks of age. They remain laying eggs continuously till their 72-78 weeks
of age. They can produce about one kg of eggs by consuming about 2.25 kg of food
during their egg laying period.
Name of project: Layer r production
Scientific Name: Gallus gallus domesticus
Use of livestock: Used for meat consumption and marketing of meat products
Location: Ruseas High School Farm
Candidate #:
Center #: 100102
Duration: weeks (6 weeks).
Option: Double Award
Year: 2016

Description of Activities
Preparation of poultry house for newly arriving chicks
The pen should be heated for two days ensuring that the equipments are warm. When preparing a
poultry house an area should be selected and enclosed by mesh wire for brooding, where as small
chicks are separated from older chickens. The litter and equipments should be removed and the
poultry housed washed. When preparing a brooding pen the;
Light and heating equipment should be situated above the center of the brooding area using
an infra-red bulb or a 50 watt bulb.
Litter must be placed on a concrete floor.
Foot bath must be installed, ( preventing the introduction of harmful micro organisms which
may be transferred by a foot wear)
Brooder should be separated from the rest of the poultry pen and it should be 225 cm square
feet per chick.
Preparing the house for chicks arrival is important to ensure the good health and growth of
chicks. It prevents and gets rid of diseases ensuring a cool safe clean and well ventilated area for
the chickens. When a batch of broilers is slaughtered the litter was removed along with all
equipment, ensuring that any disease or harmful organism that may introduce during the previous
production was removed. After the litter was removed from the poultry house using a shovel, it
was carried in a wheel borrow and placed in an area left to decompose and use as manure.
Feeders and waterers were scrubbed with scouring pad along with a bleach, soap and water and
dried in the sun. A push broom was used to wash the floor of the poultry house along with
disinfectant and water then the mesh wire was then cleaned to get rid of webs or dusts using a
broom. The house was cleaned properly. All caked materials were removed and the building
sprayed with insecticide. Afterwards fresh is placed on the floor when the building was
completely dried. The litter was filled to a depth of 6 cm. Afterwards the brooding area was
curtained from the ceiling to the floor to provide a totally enclosed brooding area. All bushes and
grass were cut down and sprayed to prevent rapid growth.

Preparation of a Footbath

A footbath should be placed at the entrance of the poultry house for anyone entering the poultry
pen. Which is an enclosed, box structure area which just from the doorway of a poultry house,
bleach and water with a little of Jeyes as a bacterial removing substance forming a solution.
Anyone entering the pen must place their foot in this solution before entering the pen so that
bacteria or any disease causing organisms are removed and do not enter the poultry house.
The footbath was cleaned using a push broom bleach, liquid soap and water. It was then refilled
with clean water and disinfectant. If footwear is not sanitized properly diseases such as Chronic
Respiratory Disease (C.R.D), Aspergilosis and Coccidiosis may be introduced to the broilers.
Coccidiosis is a parasitic disease of the intestinal track of which the causative agent is a
protozoan. Symptoms of diseases include the vent becoming swollen and bloody and slight
diarrhea with blood streak in feces. A warm environment and high humidity (wet litter) is perfect
for the organism to multiply. Birds are infected by ingesting the sporulated oocyst in feed, water
litter and soil. The organism can be transported on dust, shoes and baby chick boxes and can
survive for months on litter. It is caused by protozoa organisms; it can be treated by coxidiostats
and can be prevented by giving chickens sulphur drug.

Brooding of chickens

Brooding is the special care given to chickens for two (2) to three (3) weeks which takes place
within the poultry house in an enclosed area after arrival. The length of brooding depends on the
types of climatic conditions. A brooder is a device use to provide heat and sometimes light for
small chicks.
The objectives of brooding are to provide:
Warmth and protection.
Easily accessible feed and clean water.
Faster weight gain and good Food Conversion Ratio (F.C.R).
On the arrival of chicks they were observed for signs of deficiency, If the chicks huddle below
the light, it is too low. If they are dispersed it is too high and if they are hurdle at a corner it is a
draft and if they are dispersed evenly the temperature is just right. As the chicks get older the
brooding area is widened and eventually will be removed. The importance of brooding is to
provide comfort, confine the chicks and for easy record keeping. The problems that may be
faced during brooding are; suffocation spread of diseases temperature and damp control..
Artificial brooding takes place in a brooding house and also chickens may be rared at any time
of the season.
A large number of chickens can be rared by a single person. Temperature, feeding and sanitation
must be controlled. The Brooding process begins when chickens are placed in the brooder and
ends when they are sufficiently feathered to cope with weather conditions. During that time the
chickens are checked on a regular basis. Good brooding will result in better weights and better
feed conversions which will pay for all the cost of fuel and electricity and make you money. The
brooder was curtained using a tarpaulin which keeps in warm air which minimizes cool air
coming in which reduces the consumption of heat.


This is essential for growth. Nutrients are substances essential for animals to stay healthy.
Without nutrients animals would not be able to grow, sustain energy, and maintain body weight
or mass and lower reproduction rate. Farm animals get their nutrients from;

Plants: grasses, forage crops, legumes

Plant products: corn, soybean, oat bran, rice husks
Animal products: bone meal, milk, milk, fish meal

Birds should be fed correctly during both the growing and egg production phase the feed
brought from NUTRAMIX feeds contains all essential amino acids, vitamins, energy, and
other non-energy nutrients needed for growth and sexual development. The objective is to be
certain the pullet reaches the target body weight during each week of growth.
Feeding is the application by which chickens consume food and the minimum requirements of
protein, calcium and phosphorus. There are two (2) types of essential feeds that is normally fed
to broilers; starter, grower. A pre-pack chick starter or a crumble is the best way to provide a
complete nutrient pack at all times. At the beginning brooding period the chicks were fed a ration
high in protein because it builds new cells and tissues. Lack of this amount will not release the
full potential of the bird. The chicks were fed with grower feed in two forms, crumble and pellet.
Whereby in the brooding period they got in broiler crumble and as time goes on they were
introduced to pellets form. The main basic principle of feeding broilers is to maximize intake
with no waste. The feed was places in a plastic, circular shaped container called a feed tray; it is
only placed on the ground for the brooding. When the layers grow older the feeders were
adjusted; tied with a string from the ceiling so that the base of the feeder is at the back of the
bird. There were three (3) feeders available per 200 birds, but two were used during brooding.
The layer chicks receive water one hour before they were fed. If the chicks receive feed before
water there would be a lack of moisture and the gut of the chick will become dehydrated. If the
brooding temperature is not kept at the right rate F.C.R will increase then layer production may
suffer a loss. Feed Conservation Ratio is the amount of feed required for one layer chick to
produce one egg. F.C.R. is important in rearing early mature farm animals, there by controlling
expenditure on feed. It can also be also be helpful in the marketing batch mature farm animals
promptly before the feed conversation ratio increases: this avoids the spending more on feed at a

time when the increase of body weight slows down. When beak trimming was done vitamins
were added in the water two days before and the two days after.
Figure 1.0 Table showing feeding programme used



When preparing a brooder, waterers and feeders should be positioned horizontally to the radii of
the confinement ring from the centre under the heater but perpendicular to the area of the ring so
that the birds can feed where they are comfortable along the feeder and are not prevented by the
feeder from moving towards the heat if they become chilled.



-feed tray



Water is an essential nutrient for layers. It is used for heat removal, helps in digestion and
formation of body tissues. Layers should consume about 1.5-2.0 times as much water as feed on
a regular basis. Antibiotics and vitamins must be added to drinking water to combat stress and
for healthy growth. Spilling of water was avoided as this could lead to coccidiosis caused by
coccidias (pathogenic protozoa).Chick founts were used for the young chicks in their early stage
of growth and after the brooding period the plassion drinkers were introduced.
The chick founts waterers used in the brooding period are made from durable, translucent plastic
that makes it easier to see the water level. After the waterers are completely dry they were set in
the brooding area inside the brooder. It is important to give the chicks enough water to keep their
bodies hydrated. Their intake of water increased as they grew older. It is important to sanitize
and refill the waterers daily to ensure that clean waters are ready for the chicks. The height at
which the waterers were placed was just above their backs and adjusted as the chicks grew older.
The chicks were given water at ad-lib (access to water at all times).

Cleaning of Waterers and Feeders

The waterers and feeders should be cleaned everyday with bleach, disinfectant and water. A
scouring pad was used to scrub the waterers and feeders and then they were rinsed with clean
water. After they were washed they were placed in the sun to dry, this was done to prevent
disease. If the waterers and feeders are not cleaned on a regular basis, pathogens will be
introduced to the chickens, which will lead to diseases such as New Castle Disease. The outbreak
of diseases in the poultry house can result in a higher mortality rate a higher F.C.R and the
business will suffer a loss. When they were completely dried they were then placed in the
brooder where they were filled with water and feed. This increases the high mortality rate, a
higher F.C.R and will reduce profit.

Litter and Litter Management

A litter is a group of materials used to cover the floor, types of litters that are mostly common
used are: saw dust, wood shavings, rice hulls, washed sand depends on the availability, suitability
and the cost to the farmer and it is also used as bedding material and for the flooring but the type
that was used was wood shaving. Bitter wood splinters can cause perforations of crops and
gizzards as well as body abscesses. Hard wood produces a finer dust that can cause respiratory
problems. Saw dust and wood shavings are good due to their tannin content they are sources of
good litter. Litter should be kept dry at all times. To avoid excessively wet litter carefully use of
super phosphate. The litter should be turned twice daily and replace with dry litter, ensure Bitter
Wood and Hard Wood not to be used because of tannin content and splint easy. Litter with good
moisture content will cling together very tightly when squeezed tightly in your hands and break
up when released. When litter contains excessive moisture, it will stick together when squeezed
in your hands. When the litter is too dry, it will not cling together.
The importance of a litter is:
To absorb moisture from droppings
Provide cushion for the feet of the bird to prevent blisters and hock burn
Absorb water spillage
To ensure good management:
Litter should be maintained at optimal moisture level (20-25%)
13 cm(5)but no less than 8 cm (3)in depth
Should be rid of damp areas, replace them with new litter and raked to prevent


Vaccination is the immunity gained by the chickens for the protection against diseases caused by
viruses. The vaccine that was given the chickens contains weakened form of the disease which in
turn causes them to produce the necessary antibodies to gain immunity.
Medication is the substance being ingested by the baby chicks to prevent illness or diseases. The
proper use of medication and the correct time is to control disease. The types of medication
placed in the waters every five days when they arrived were Hiprovit and Mineralytes Plus they
were applied 1 teaspoon per gallon of water. These were used during brooding period. These
were used to prevent stress, maintain good health and improve the growth. At every thirty days
the layer chicks were given water soluble vitamins such as Mineralytes plus and other
electrolytic vitamins which helps to enhance their production while at every three months they
are de-wormed using polywormerozine or safersime. Deworming was done twice a year. Dewormers were mixed with the feed or water. This will kill worms which will be passed in faeces.



8-14 weeks



Fowl pox
New Castle Disease

Wing web stab
Drinking water, intra

Booster for New castle every 3 month

Figure 2.0 table showing vaccination method administration and the age given

Lighting program
The onset of egg production is stimulated by many factors, the most important being body
weight and an increasing number of daylight hours. The birds should be housed at 16-17 weeks

of age and no later than 18 weeks of age. The following lighting program was used to ensure
optimum performance.
There is a gland behind the eyes of each bird called the pituitary gland and when stimulated by
light produces a hormone that is carried via blood stream to the ovaries which sets egg
production into action. The following table shows the lighting program which was followed in
the rearing of the birds


0-3 days
22 hours
3 days-1 week
20 hours
1-2 weeks
18 hours
2-3 weeks
16 hours
3-8 weeks
14.5 hours
9 weeks
14 hours
10 weeks
13.75 hours
11 weeks
13.50 hours
12 weeks
13.25 hours
13 weeks
13.0 hours
14 weeks
12.75 hours
15-17 weeks
12.5 hours
18 weeks
13.5 hours
19 weeks
14.5 hours
20 weeks
15 hours
21 weeks
15.5 hours
22 weeks
15.75 hours
23 -25 weeks
16 hours
N.B. 25 weeks onwards the amount of light was repeated based on the table.

Feeding management
The feeding program for layering was as follows:

Starter ration: 0-5weeks of age

Grower: 5-14weeksof age
Laying rations: 15-25weeksof age

Beak trimming was done to ensure better livability, fewer feathers pulling and pecking and better
feed conversions. There are several different beak trimming programs that are available, however
it was done at week 5. Beaks were trimmed 2mm from the nostrils. This process was repeated at
12 weeks.
When Debeaking birds the following procedure was carried out:
A deep cushion of feed for birds at least twenty-four hours prior to the operation
Feed was withdrawn for three to four hours before Debeaking starts.
Females were debeaked first and males last.
The chicks head was slightly incline backwards one third of the beak was cut in fast
feathering females and one- half of beak in slow feathering females
The beak was cut and immediately withdrawn from the guide hole the tip of
The tip of the beak was cauterized for two seconds on the cooler side of the blade it was
treated with mild disinfectant medication (anti-stress drug) was applied orally.

To reduce the bleeding associated with trimming of the beaks, feeds were withdrawn from the
pullet 12 hours prior to trimming and the birds were given Vitamins in their water two days
before and two days after beak trimming. The chicks were dropped in a PVC tube which directed
them softly to the litter floor. An abundance of mash fed was provided immediately after


Culling is the removal of birds from the poultry house that possesses any of the following
features: runts, crippled, injured or deformed. If these birds are not removed they can cause
problems with the other birds. This was done in order to prevent diseases, to increase floor area
for the better birds, to reduce feed cost and also to improve feed conservation. No culling activity
was done.

Preparation of nesting box

This is a box that is used to encourage the birds to lay their eggs and store eggs that were laid by
layer birds each day until someone collects them. Enough nesting boxes should be present in the
poultry house so the birds will have more options in selecting the nest box they feel most
comfortable in. There are three types of nesting boxes:
They are individual nest
Trap nest
Communal nest
However individual nest was used. Each nesting box should be 12 by 12 inches or 303030 cm
in cross section and should be deep enough to provide comfort and privacy to each bird so they
can properly deposit their eggs. If each nesting box is not constructed correctly it could lead to
eggs falling to the ground which can cause them to break. It was filled with clean, dry, absorbent
and thick layer of litter to prevent eggs from breaking. To keep the litter and eggs in the nest, a
partition about 10cm-15cm high was made at the front of the nest.

Handling of Egg

Eggs were frequently gathered because it prevented breakages and bacterial contamination. It
also prevented vices such as eggs eating; Eggs were collected four times per day. Hands were
washed before picking up eggs. Nest eggs were picked up before floor eggs that were more
highly contaminated.
Eggs were graded into small, medium and large sizes before placed in the flats. Eggs were stored
with the larger end up. This minimized breakage and facilitated stocking for commercial sales.
The eggs were then stored in a refrigerated room at 60-65 F (16-18 C), with a relative humidity
of 75-80%. The room was kept clean and regularly disinfected. Sudden changes in temperature
and humidity may cause the eggs to sweat, making it easier for bacteria to penetrate the egg shell
and cause spoilage. Egg should also be transported in clean refrigerated trucks.

Grading of Eggs

When the eggs were graded, mis-shapened, cracked, thin shelled or broken eggs were removed.
The grades were determined by weight, size, (small, medium, large, extra large) colour, (varies
from white to brown) shape, texture and internal and external quality Grading is the separation of
the egg into the same size or weight.
Grading allows and facilitates easy consumer selection and different prices this is the sorting,
selecting and placing of eggs in groups according to specification. The eggs were graded into
three groups;

Grade A
This group of eggs is clean, sound and also visibly normal.. These eggs usually have a maximum
weight of 680.4 grams per dozen. Their yolk must be dimly visible, well centred and free from
germ development. Egg whites must be clear and firm and the air must not be over 0.63 cm n
depth. There yolk is well centered and free from germ development

Grade B

This set of eggs has clean and normal shells. The airspace may be over 0.95 cm in depth. The
yolk may be plainly visible and may show germ development. The white may be weak and
watery. These eggs usually have a maximum weight of 595.4 grams per dozen.

Grade C
The egg shells of this group are clean and sound but may be abnormal. The yolk may be plainly
visible and may show signs of germ development. The white may be weak and watery with over
0.95 cm available air spaces.

Cleaning and Packaging

The cleaning of the eggs was done using a fresh, clean, sponge therefore eggs were not washed,
as washing removes the protective cuticle and encourages spoilage.
The reasons of cleaning are as followed;

It makes egg more attractive

It prevents eggs from sticking together
Allows for easy handling
Reduce the risk of spoilage
Identifies and rejects cracked eggs
Reduces the risks of disease transmission

Table eggs were packed in trays to prevent them from bouncing against each other.
The eggs were stored in a clean, cool, and dry place. The store room had good ventilation,
occasionally the eggs were turned.


Observation is the monitoring of the activities of the poultry house. It is very important to
monitor the chicks for deformities and diseases to ensure good quality meat. Some reasons for
observing the chickens are:

To check for black bottom, crooked legs and crossed beaks.

Check for comfort in the brooding area (scattered).
To monitor the chicks on arrival until the end of the layering period
To identify problems and correct them quickly.

The chicken with crossed beaks, crooked legs and black bottom was culled


Recording is done as to store information; it is collection of all farm data and activities. Records
of what was done within the weeks of rearing of the chicken, the date of the chickens were
bought and the date the chickens stopped producing eggs. The types of records are:

Inventory Record
Production Record
Financial Record
Labor Record
Consumables Record

Record was kept of the:

Number of chicken received

Amount of feed given
Type of medication
Rate of medication
Amount of eggs
Amount of bird culled
Amount of money received from sale of egg

The eggs were then packaged and carried to the Home Economics Department. They were also
sold to teachers and staffs then al income was collected and recorded. Good quality birds were
brought, good nutrition was available, and adequate spacing was provided so it yealed in a better
quality which thee ore increase marketing

Materials and Equipment

Push Broom

Polythene Bags

Chicken Feed

Liquid Soap

Layer Chicks




Egg trays

Mineralytes plus

Weedecide -glocosphate

Spray pan

Mineral and vitamin supplement

Feedle and syringe
Filter flats
Wheel burrow
Debeaking machine
Scouring pad

Schedule of operation
Week one

Preparation of the poultry house

Cleaning of poultry house
Preparation of foot bath
Preparation of brooding house
Purchasing of the chicks
Placing feeders and waterers inside the brooding area

Week 2

Turning of litter
Supply of water

Week 3
Turning litter

Supplying water

Week 4

Turning of litter
Supplying water

Week 5

Turning of litter
Supply of water

Week 6-7

Turning of litter
Supplying water
Debeaking- see description of activities
Medication for vitamins
Observation and recording

Week 8-14

Deworming-see description of activities
Turning of litter
Supplying water
Observation and recording

Week 15-21

Increase light
Turning litter
Egg collection, cleaning, grading, packaging and marketing

Week 22-40

Increase light
Turning of litter and replacing litter
Egg collection, cleaning, grading, packaging and marketing
Supply of water
Week 40-80
Increase light
Turning litter replacing litter
Egg collection, cleaning, grading, packaging and marketing
Supply of water


Actual Income (output prices)

Numbers of birds-50
Egg production



Eggs per Period



Total number of eggs-12,12412 = 1010 dozen eggs
Total Income =12124$25/egg = $303,100.00





109.5 bags
10 bags
500g. (1 jar)
12 packs

Egg tray
Day old chicks
saw dust
Needle and syringe
Mineral and vitamin





Fixed Expenses

Surplus T.I. - T.V.E. = $303,100.00 - $176, 410.00

Projected Income (output prices)
Numbers of birds-50
Egg production



Eggs per Period



Total number of eggs-10,21312 = 851 dozen eggs
Total Income =10,213$25/egg = $255,325.00


80 bags
10 bags
500g. (1 jar)

Egg tray
Day old chicks
saw dust
Needle and syringe



9 packs

Mineral and vitamin





Fixed Expenses

Surplus T.I. - T.V.E. = $ 255,325.00-114,010.00 $

When the actual budget was compared with the projected budget, the figures differ.
The projected income of the eggs was $255,326.00 while the actual income of the
eggs was $303,100.00; where as they differ by $47,774. There was a 46% against a
54% percent between the projected and actual budget.
The total projected expenditure was 176,410.00 while the total actual expenditure
was 114,010.00.
The total projected surplus was $126,690.00 while the total actual income was
Overall the business was a success even though the actual surplus did not exceed
the projected surplus.

Pie chart showing the comparison between actual and projected income


Actual Income

Projected Income

Figure 1 Pie chart showing the comparison between actual and projected
The diagram below shows the comparison between the projected and actual
expenses. The actual expenses were higher than the projected expenses. The
amounts of eggs were projected lower than the actual.

Doughnut chart showing the actual and projected expenses


Projected Expenses
Actual Expenses


Figure 2 Doughnut chart showing the actual and projected expenses.

The actual surplus differed in a greater, but not much value than the projected
surplus as shown on graph below. This was because of the exaggeration of the
total number of eggs produced which results in a change in the profit.

Bar Graph showing the comparison between projected and actual surplus

Actual surplus
Projected surplus

Actual Surplus
Projected Surplus

Figure 3 Bar graph showing the comparison between the projected and actual

General Comments
There was no evidence of parasites or diseases. Most of the birds were healthy and
marketing the eggs produced was relatively easy since it was sourced to
administrative staffs and the Home Economic Department. Even though the project

was a success, a lot more profit could have been made if some necessary steps
were made

A few more precautionary measures could be put in place to prevent the trampling
of the broiler chickens. Observations could be enhanced to reduce mortality rate,
where by chicks die from an unknown cause. More birds could be raised to cover
for mortality rate and increase profit. Storage equipments could be installed for
example a freezer to decrease transportation cost and a slaughtering house could be
constructed to ensure that the meat produced are done by following safe and clean

At the end of poultry productions and the marketing of the eggs a profit was made.
So therefore poultry production was successful. The knowledge and proper
utilization of management practices was responsible for the success of the profit.


Ramharacksingh, Ronald, Agricultural Science for CSEC Examinations - (2011).

Hi-Pro Broiler Management and Feeding Guide

Ebony Park HEART Poultry Production Guide

Shadeo Ragoonan, CxC agriculture Third Edition-