Winter Management in Poultry Farming: The Ultimate Guide
Winter is a challenging season for poultry farmers, as it brings harsh temperature extremes that can significantly impact the livability and production of poultry. Effective management during winter is essential to ensure the well-being and productivity of the birds. In this comprehensive guide, Glamac will explore the key factors for successful winter management in poultry farming.
Key Factors To Consider For Successful Winter Management In Poultry Farming
Orientation of the Poultry House
One of the first considerations for winter management in poultry farming is the orientation of the poultry house. The design of the house should maximize sunlight exposure during the daytime to provide warmth to the birds.
An east-west alignment of a rectangular house allows for the maximum gain of solar energy in winter. Additionally, measures should be taken to protect the birds from chilled winds. Hanging gunny bags at the points where cold air enters can help create a barrier and maintain a comfortable environment for the birds.
Proper ventilation is crucial for maintaining air quality and removing harmful gases from the poultry house. Birds release a significant amount of moisture through their breath and droppings, which can lead to respiratory problems if not properly ventilated.
Sliding windows are useful for allowing fresh air circulation during the day and can be closed at night to retain heat. Exhaust fans should also be installed to remove impure air from the house.
Litter management plays a vital role in winter management in poultry farming. It helps maintain a comfortable and healthy environment for the birds during the winter. A good-quality litter serves as an insulator, helping to maintain a uniform temperature and absorb moisture. It also promotes drying and reduces the risk of pathogens thriving in wet conditions.
Approximately six inches of litter should be maintained in the house during the winter to warm the birds. Regular monitoring and replacement of wet litter are essential for effective winter management in poultry farming as it helps prevent respiratory and gut health issues.
Another crucial factor to consider for winter management in poultry farming is feed management. During the winter, birds require additional energy to maintain their body temperature. Feed management should be adjusted to provide the necessary calories for the birds. Increasing the energy content of the ration by incorporating energy-rich sources like oil and fat can help compensate for the increased energy needs.
It is crucial to strike a balance between energy intake and other nutrients to avoid wastage. The number of feeders should be increased compared to summer, and feed should be available to the birds throughout the day.
Water intake tends to decrease during winter, making it essential to provide a continuous supply of fresh and clean water. If the water is too cold, it should be given to the birds after adding hot water to bring it to a suitable temperature. In areas prone to freezing, regular inspection of the pipeline is necessary to prevent blockage.
Care should be taken when administering medications or vaccines through water, as reduced water consumption during winter may require adjustments in dosage and volume.
Proper brooding is crucial for proper winter management in poultry farming. It’s important for the well-being and growth of chicks during the winter. The brooder stoves should be started and adjusted 24 hours before the arrival of the chicks to ensure they are working correctly. Maintaining a temperature of 95°F (35°C) at the edge of the brooder, 2 inches above the litter, is recommended initially.
The temperature can be gradually lowered by 5°F each week until it reaches 70°F. The use of LPG-operated gas brooders or infrared radiant brooders can provide uniform heat distribution and promote optimal growth.
Strategies For Management Of Poultry In Winter Season
To optimize poultry performance during winter, beyond fundamental winter management, incorporating certain strategies and additives is crucial.
Proper winter management in poultry farming includes the use of protease enzymes to enhance amino acid digestion and reduce food availability for pathogenic gut bacteria, NSPase enzymes to improve nutrient absorption and minimize wet litter incidents, organic copper supplementation for better litter quality through its antifungal properties, organic acids like coated benzoic acids to foster gut health and control pathogenic bacteria proliferation, and essential oils with digestive-enhancing and antimicrobial properties to enhance nutrient absorption and support overall immune function in birds.
These measures collectively contribute to improved gut health, nutrient utilization, and overall performance of poultry during the challenging winter season.
Winter management in poultry farming requires careful attention to various factors, including house orientation, ventilation, litter management, feed management, water management, and brooding practices.
By implementing the right strategies and additives, such as protease, NSPase enzyme, organic copper, organic acids, and essential oils, poultry farmers can optimize performance and overcome the challenges posed by winter. Optimized winter management in poultry farming can enable the industry to thrive even in the harshest winter conditions, ensuring both profitability and the well-being of the birds.