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The Work

Poultry farming involves breeding and/or raising chickens for various purposes. Successful poultry farming is essentially matter of good management. Farmers must ensure that they are supplied with good quality chicks, give them a balanced feed, and most importantly, protect the chicks from disease.

Typical work in a poultry farm would include management of the farm, breeding and rearing chicks, preventing diagnosing and controlling disease, feed formulation and analysis, marketing, finance, administration and personnel management. On larger farms, specialists in each area take care of specific aspects of the work.

Major Tasks Performed

Successful poultry farming involves five major areas of work:

PROCUREMENT

Or the buying of chicks. Poultry farmers must ensure that they obtain good quality chicks from reliable suppliers. They must be of a good breed, as weight-gain in broilers and egg-producing capacity in layers are hereditary characteristics.

FEEDING

Plays a vital role in poultry farming. The feed must be balanced to avoid nutritional deficiency diseases. Although a balanced feed is not necessarily very expensive, it is the most important input, and accounts for approximately 70% of the farmer's expenditure.

DISEASE CONTROL

Requires major effort. Precautions must be taken to keep diseases and pests at bay. This requires constant vigil, periodic administration of prophylactic vaccines, and maintenance of basic hygiene.

FARM MANAGEMENT

Is another important prerequisite. Good management ensures that the birds are kept in a scientific manner, and that can make all the difference between success and failure.

MARKETING

Is the final, but most essential component of this field. Owners of broiler farms usually prefer to market directly to shops and hotels, in order to avoid middlemen. In layer farms, the production of good quality eggs, their proper storage and timely marketing require close attention.

Areas of Specialization

In order to make their operation cost effective, poultry farmers, apart from routine activities such as providing feed and water to the chickens, cleaning sheds, taking care of their growth and well-being and collecting eggs, also have to carry out some specialized work like artificial insemination, vaccination, and research on feed formulae, to enhance productivity.

Many poultry farms also engage in experimental and research activities in areas such as light management in layer/broiler sheds, low cost housing, the effects of substitution or feed conversion, and the use of feed additives such as mould inhibitors on productivity and performance.


 
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