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NIOS Silver Jubilee Year

Management of Chickens

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Rural Technology

Layer Management

Layer House — Layer house is of two types:

a) Rearing house : For starters and growers of age group 0 to 20 weeks. b) Laying house : For birds above 20 weeks and for round the year egg production.

Adopt 3:1 housing system (3 laying houses for 1 rearing house) Average distance between two laying houses is 10.5m. Chicks

  1. i) Should come from healthy parents.
  2. ii) Good quality irrespective of cost.
  3. iii) Vaccinated at hatchery for Marek’s.
  4. iv) Uniform in size, colour, clean hatched and well dried.
  5. v) Alert, active with round bright eyes with leg, no leg deformities.
  6. vi) Start one day old chick on 8% sugar water for first 15 hours and soluble electrolytes be used for first 2 days.
  7. vii) Three hours after chicks have drunk water, give feed of top dressed cracked maize.


a) 15 to 16 hours lighting period per day for maximum egg production. b) Rate : 1 Watt light intensity per 1 to 1.5 bird or per 0.28 sq.m. or 40 Watt bulb for 9.3m2 floor space. c) Bulb height : 2m above the floor d) Distance between two bulbs – 2.5m to 3m. e) Care i) Use reflectors to direct all light on the floor. ii) Clean all bulbs periodically & regularly to remove dust and maintain enough light. Ventilation 1) Side Walls = Height 1.8 m; 1/3 closed by brick wall (60 cm) and 2/3 open (1.2 m) covered with hexagonal wire netting. 2) End Walls = Solid with doors both sides. 3) Care i) door must be covered with wire netting to prevent sparrows and rodents. ii) 1/3 side wall made solid to prevent rodents, predators and natural enemies (dogs, cats) out of sight.


1. Most comfortable temperature for chicken is 55 0 F (130 C) to 750 F (210 C). 2. Preferred temperature is 65 0 F (180 C). 3. Birds remain under stress if temperature is above 230 C.


Roof weather proof with proper slope and fall of 1.2m. Care : i) Keep litter dry and specially take care in monsoon. ii) Keep house cool in summer.

Floors =

1. Provide 0.18 m2 (2 sq.ft.) per bird. 2. Keep floor 30 cm above the surrounding level to prevent water seepage and flooding or water stagnation. 3. Kind : Floor should be made of concrete and it must be kept smooth and dry 4. Care : Avoid dampness to prevent infections. 5. Recommended floor space in cm2 per bird.


Feeder designs are of two types:- ii) Circular drum type – hanging one. iii) Trough type with supporting legs. Space / bird: - in trough types 10 cm (4”) per bird or 5 tabular feeders per 100 birds.

Care :

Avoid overfilling of feeders. Keep maximum distance of 15 ft. between feeders and waterers. Waterers : (Water space requirement per 100 birds) Litter Arrange 3” (8cm) depth of litter. Use saw dust, paddy husk and straw. One kg super phosphate may be mixed per 9.3 m2 area to prevent ammonia smell if occurs.

Prevention of Vices

Vices in birds are cannibalism, feather picking, breaking egg, egg eating, bullying etc. 1. Debeak the pullets at the age of 14 weeks. 2. Repeat the process at 6 months again. 3. Increase the salt in feed to 1% temporarily. 4. Prevent over crowding, provide balanced feed in mash form and adopt proper lighting programme.


For prevention from diseases the vaccination is essential. In this connection following information is given:- Care: Vaccinate the birds in the early morning. Give rest of two weeks between two vaccinations.

Cage System

Housing layers in wire cages has been regarded as a super intensive system (with 465 to 560 cm2 cage floor area per bird) of poultry production wherein the layers are kept in one, two or more per cage arranged in single, double or triple rows. Cage system of housing layer is generally considered to be very beneficial and modern.


i) Remove utensils, equipments outside of house clean & disinfect them using 0.5% carbolic acid. ii) Restrict the entrance of visitors. iii) Arrange foot bath at the entrance of door. iv) Fumigate the damp house by use of formalin

Broiler Management

Chick Quality

1) Chicks from healthy parents

2) Average weight of 100 chicks should be between 3.8 to 4.0 kg.

3) Uniform size and colour.

4) Well dry, fluffed and cleanly hatched.

5) Should be alert, active and free from deformities.

6) Vaccinated at hatchery f

or Marek’s disease and tested negative to gumboro (IBD)


i) Space per chick under brooder is 32 cm2 ii) Space per broiler is 1 sq. ft. iii) Adequate ventilation & proper temperature. iv) Temperature : Minimum temperature should be 700 F, fresh air.

Litter Arrangement

Kind of litter :- Rice husk, saw dust, wood shavings etc. Type of litter : Clean, dry, new, free from dust & Aflatoxins. Depth of litter : 5 to 7 cm. Care : i) Keep free from dust & moisture (between 20%). iii) Free from injurious material like fungus.


Put on dim light all the night for three weeks during brooding and maintain the temperature according to requirement.


1) Requirement of Drinking water per 100 chicks: 0 to 2 weeks age 2 litres capacity waterers. 3 to 8 weeks age 3 waterers of 1 gallon capacity. 2) Birds for water should not go beyond 3 m. distance. 3) Keep wooden board below waterers. 4) Keep water fresh, clean and cool.


1) Type – Linear feeder. 2) Space per chick is 5 cm Method : (i) Group feeding, (ii) Feed chick mash up to 4 weeks (iii) Feed pelleted or crumbled form for 5th weeks. Feed conversion ratio 2 kg. feed for 1 kg. gain in weight. Feeding space.

Broiler House Management

It includes: 1) Check electrical equipment & thermometer. 2) Two days before chicks arrive turn brooders to maintain 950 F to 1000 F (35 to 380 C) temperature. 3) Use solid guard of 45 cm (18 inches) height & 60 cm away from brooders to prevent straying of chicks. 4) Place chick mash in trays. 5) Place waterers between feed trays. 6) Switch on white light or 40 watt bulbs. First Two Weeks (Most critical period) 1) Place the chicks quickly under the brooders on arrival. 2) Check, if they huddle together – increase temperature. 3) Check, if they spread beyond brooders – decrease heat. 4) Feeding movement observed – a satisfactory condition. 5) Mortality up to 2 percent. When 4 Days Old: 1) Place tabular feeders 2 feet away from brooders. 2) Move guards back. 3) Increase feeders and waterers space. 4) Remove damp litter. One week old: 1) Reduce brooder temperature by 50 F. 2) Reduce light intensity if vice are noted. After Two weeks: 1) Reduce brooder temperature to same as ambient temperature. 2) Keep brooders up to 1 month. 3) Keep continuous lights up to 6 weeks. 4) When brooders are removed provide 40 watt bulb light for 100 sq.ft. floor space. 5) If necessary debeak the birds to control cannibalism. Disease Control 1) Vaccinate for Ranikhet disease – at 5th day age, if not done at hatchery. 2) Keep litter dry to prevent coccidiosis as its organisms thrive on wet litter. 3) Use coccidiostat in feed. 4) In case of outbreak, use coccidiocidal drugs in drinking water at recommended level. Suggested Vaccination Programme for Broilers:

Intext Questions

Match followings: A B i) Maximum egg production a) cannibalism ii) Preferable temperature for chicken b) Paddy husk iii) Litter c) M.D. iv) Vaccine at hatchery d) 15 to 16 hours light. v) Vices in birds e) 180 C temperature

What you have learnt

The term poultry includes birds of several species like fowls or chicken, ducks, turkeys, quails, swan, pigeons, guinea fowl, pea fowl, pheasants etc. The primary objective of feeding is to convert low quality feeds like cereal grains, oil cakes and other by products of agriculture and industry into high quality food like egg and meat. Layer and Broiler management for profitable egg and meat production.

Terminal Questions

i) Classify the poultry birds on basis of utility. ii) Write the principles of feeding poultry. iii) Give the vaccination schedule for broilers. iv) Write about Lighting, Ventilation, Temperature, Feeders in layer farming.

Answer to intext Questions

6.1 1) Leghorn 2) Cornish 3) Hamburg 4) Orpington 5) Cochin 6.2 i) Sweat ii) 6 to 7 iii) 120 grams iv) Broiler 6.3 i) 15 to 16 hours light ii) 180 C temperature iii) Paddy husk iv) M.D. v) Cannibalism

Suggested activity

Visit to Layer and Broiler poultry farm to study the managemental practicesows. Cage system of housing layer is generally considered to be very beneficial and modern.

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Rural Technology