This is a continuation of the question and answer series of questions I was asked across the various poultry farmers’ platforms where I interact with other like minded farmers.
Which breed of parents stock is easy to raise ? In terms of maintenance, feeding, marketing ?
As regards the breed of parent stock to raise it’s either you are going for layer breeder parent stock or broiler breeder parent stock.
In terms of technicality, broiler breeder parent stock are much more technical to raise, infact a poultry farmer who raises layer breeder birds might face challenges when it comes to raising broiler breeder parent stock. This is because genetically they are (broiler breeder PS) not naturally laying birds and so a lot of expertise is required in raising them. Their feeding regime during the laying period is also different as they need to be fed very early before dawn so as to ensure that the feed digestion is complete before noon to avoid incedences of mortality due to heat build up.
As regards marketing, the advantage goes to the broiler breeder parent stock, once you can successfully manage their growth phase, then be sure to get good results from them.Their chicks will easily sell off… for example during the 2018 poultry farming season, demand for broiler chicks was always on the high side and this was reflective on the price at which day old chicks were sold for majority of last year especially towards the Christmas/New year celebrations.
So it all depends on comparing which you feel would be beneficial to you as a poultry farmer.
How can I make my eggs more fertile to 90% fertility?
Fertility percentage is as a result of many interwoven factors.
First, you need good, agile and healthy males in the flock to actively mount the females. If the males in the flock are not agile but docile or even small in terms of body mass, they might not be able to perform their mating activities effectively. Also in the case of broiler breeders, if the males are too overweight , have poor shanks, have feeble feet or injuries/infection like bumble foot on their feet, they might have no use in the flock. Furthermore at a certain age the male reproductive ability naturally depreciates and as such, it is necessary to ensure that new sets of males are brought in to boost the overall egg fertility.
If your male management is poor in the case of broiler breeders, you will sooner than later have to look for new males for spiking.
What’s the highest capacity incubator that can be run without electricity?
As regards this question, I carried out a little bit of information seeking, and I came across an incubator that runs with multi-powered sources of energy to operate. It can be powered by kerosene or gas, it can be powered by solar system as well as the regular supply of electricity.
So when there is no electricity power supply from the national greed especially in a village setting where no electricity supply is present, one can rely on gas or kerosene and/or solar system to power it.
As regards the capacity, it is a 2560 unit capacity incubator which comes with an optional candling table for egg fertility screening.
The 5760 (120*48) incubator is around 2.5-3m naira but should be cheaper if you are importing from China all directly by yourself.
Once you can set up a solar system to act as a source of power supply to the incubator you will be saving a lot of cost on energy expenses.
All cockerels are male, how are their parent stock derived?
The cockerels you buy were sexed in the hatchery where they were separated from the females.
So they are the product of the reproduction through mating that took place between the male and female parent stock layer breeders in the farm.
Once the chicks have been hatched, a certain percentage of the birds will come out as male and the others as females, so it takes a sexing expert in the hatchery to be able to separate the cockerels from the females.
What is the minimum broiler or layer parent stock that can be purchased from the farm you gave as example in the cause of this discussion?
The minimum number of birds that the parent stock supplier usually sell to customers is 500 each. So you can decide to buy either 500 broiler parent stock breeders or 500 layer parent stock breeders or both. But the minimum being sold is 500 pieces of females, while the males which is usually around 14% are free of charge.