A balanced diet for commercial poultry
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CTA. 2004. A balanced diet for commercial poultry. Rural Radio Resource Pack 04/2. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to cite or share this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57134
Dr Rashid Mwanga of Tanzania Poultry Farm Ltd explains the important factors in providing cost-effective and healthy feed to chickens.
A balanced diet for commercial poultry Cue: Apart from controlling diseases, another major factor in having a successful poultry business is good feeding. Obtaining feed for intensively farmed broilers and layers is by far the biggest investment in a poultry business, and it is therefore extremely important that spending on feed is cost effective. To keep the costs down, farmers who mix their own feed are advised to find locally available feedstuffs that can meet the energy, protein and mineral requirements of their birds. Most farmers provide vitamins in the form of premixed foods, bought from an animal feed supplier. Feeds need to be given in the right quantity, to avoid wastage, and with the right balance of ingredients to meet the nutritional requirements of the birds. This is detailed information that farmers need to learn from expert sources. In our next report, Lazarus Laiser finds out more about the feeds used in commercial poultry production from Dr Rashid Mwanga of Tanzania Poultry Farm Limited. IN: ?Feeds are of course a very ? OUT: ?what I would advise farmers.? DUR?N 5?35? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Dr Rashid Mwanga of Tanzania Poultry Farm Limited on some of the important factors in providing cost effective and healthy feed to poultry. Transcript Mwanga Feeds are of course a very important aspect in poultry production, and the costs are almost about 80% of the cost of production. And as such we are having a feed mill here, whereby we are using different ingredients like maize, cotton seed cake, sunflower cake, fish meal, wheat and bran, maize bran. We mix them in special proportions and on top of that we add some premixes, salt and lime to meet the poultry needs. Of course we establish what are the poultry needs and what are we expecting from these different feedstuffs, and we compound for them. Laiser So you mean that also the chicks need vitamins and minerals? Mwanga Oh sure. As human beings we don?t differ much biologically from the chickens; they also need what we need. All the vitamins and minerals are needed by the chickens. Laiser Is there any balance of feed ingredients according to the changes during the life of the birds? Mwanga Yes. Different developmental stages also call for more of the nutrients. for instance if it is a layer chicken, the first eight weeks we shall give them starter feed. It is high in energy, high in vitamin, high in protein, because during that time there is a very rapid development. Then, at the grower stage, they don?t require all that high nutrient density, therefore the feed is a bit lighter in nutrient density. During the production, they will require very high amount of calcium and phosphorus, therefore we have to provide that, otherwise they won?t give us the eggs the way they are supposed to. Laiser How much food is needed per chick per day? Mwanga The chicks, during the first four weeks we give them ad lib feeding. We don?t restrict them, it eats as much as it can. Especially if it is a broiler chick, we are taking care that up to the fourth week it can take up to 32 grams per day, per chick. Laiser How about water, is it important to feed the chick with water? Mwanga Yes, water is very important, and in fact they are taking twice as much water as feed ? if they are taking about, say, 10 grams of feed, they will need 20 ml of water. They need it very very highly. Laiser What can you say about safety of the water that is given to the chicks? Mwanga Always give them potable water. Potable water is very very important. Your water should never a be a source of infection for your birds; avoid contaminated water, be it micro-organisms or toxic chemicals, avoid that. Just as for humans, we need potable water. Laiser How about the storage of feed, which conditions? Mwanga The feed must be kept in a well-secured place, to avoid rodents, to avoid any other contaminant, or being damp, maybe a leaking roof. And it should be in a cool dry condition, so as to avoid the internal ingredients getting spoiled. Laiser Dr Mwanga, how do you keep the cost of feed down, at the same time you have the quality of the feed maintained? Mwanga In compounding your own feed you have to see what are the easily available raw materials to be considered in your formula. You can see a lot of maize being grown; it?s the same maize that chickens can eat. You can realise we have so many food processors, in terms of wheat and so forth; you can get the by-products from them, and compound the feeds. We have oil industries, you therefore can get the sunflower cake and the cotton seed cake. Even groundnut cake can be used. If you are producing good quality feed at a reasonable cost, that?s very important, because you?ll avoid losses to the chickens. Therefore that is cost effective. Therefore you have to keep in mind the price of the raw material and the amount of that raw material to get to the end product. They should balance. But let?s avoid using cheap feeds that do not reach the standards, because it will turn out to be the most expensive. That?s what I would advise farmers. End of track.