systems of poultry management

system of poultry management varies from country to country. this post is designed to teach a practical guide to systems of poultry management.

there is also another terminology you will learn from this article or post, so feel free and stick around for in-depth analysis of the system of poultry management.

What is Poultry?

The word Poultry refers to all birds that man has been able to rear over the years. man has decided to rear or domesticate them because of their economic value to him. Such birds include:

(a) fowls or chickens
(b) turkey
(c) ducks
(d) guinea fowl
(e) pigeons
(f) geese
(g) ostriches
(h) game birds, e.g. parrots.

Importance of Poultry management and farming:

Poultry provides the following:
1. Money – through the sale of eggs and meat
2. Eggs – the source of protein
3. Meat (chicken) – a source of protein

4. Feathers – for making high-quality pillows and mattresses dropping and it is very rich in plant nutrients.

5. Poultry manure (Guano) – this is obtained from the birds dropping and it is very rich in plant nutrients
6. Game – some birds such as the parrot and male chicken are used for games.


Some terms associated with poultry management

– Adult male fowl
Drake – Adult male duck
Guinea male – Adult male guinea fowl
Gander – Adult male geese
Tom – Adult female turkey
Hen – Adult male fowl


Duck – Adult male duck
Guinea hen – Adult female guinea fowl
Goose – Adult female geese
Turkey hen – Adult female turkey
Chick – A young fowl
Duckling – A young duck


Guinea Chick – A young guinea fowl
Gosling – A young geese
Proult – A young turkey
Laver – A laying hen
Broiler – A meat-producing bird
Cockerel – Young male fowl
Pullet – Young female fowl
Capon – A castrated

System of Poultry Management of Domestic Fowl
The different breeds of domestic fowls include:

(a) Rhode Island Red (R.I.R)
(b) Plymouth Rock
(c) Harco
(d) White leghorn
(e) Brown leghorn
(f) Babcock

(g) Ancina
(h) Cornish Dark
(i) Light Sussex
(j) White Wyandotte
(k) Native fowl, etc

Fowls can be managed for any of the purposes stated below:

(i) Egg production (Layers)
(ii) Meat production (broilers)
(iii) Dual purpose: In this case, the fowls are bred for both meat and eggs.
However, the management practices for all birds whether reared for meat or eggs have some similarities.

(a) poultry Housing:

The size of the house depends on the population of the birds. The foundation should be made of solid blocks with concrete floors. The wall should be made of solid blocks with concrete floors.

The wall should be short for good ventilation and an adequate supply of light. The wire mesh should be used to complete the short walls upwards to the roofing level.

Care should be taken in ensuring that all holes are covered upwards to the roof. This is to prevent lizards, snakes, rats and wild birds from entering the house as their presence will disturb the fowl.

The commonest types of roofs used in poultry buildings are:
(i) Lean-to-Roof or Shed: This is illustrated below:

On completion of the building, a mini gutter (dip) should be constructed around the entire poultry building close to the outside walls.

Izal or other disinfectants should be used with water read about water borne disease here and poured into this gilder regularly. This is to prevent vermin from entering into the poultry house.

Furthermore, a wider clip should be constructed at the entrance of the house. The attendant as well as visitors are required to dip

their legs in the disinfected water in the dip before entering the poultry house. This is to prevent disease or germs from being taken into the house.

(b) Systems of poultry management

Fowls can be managed under any of the following systems:
1. Intensive Systems of poultry management:

Under this system, birds are reared continuously inside a building. There are three basic types of intensive management:
(i) Deep litter system  
(ii) Battery Cage System
(iii) Slate or wire poor system.

(i) Deep litter system: In this system, a concrete floor is made in the poultry house and sawdust or wood shavings are used to cover the flood.


Feeding and drinking troughs are arranged at appropriate pistes on the floor. In the case of laying birds, laying nests should be provided on one side of the floor.

Advantages of deep litter System of poultry management

1. It is economical since minimum equipment is needed.
2. Production 01 ammonia from the decomposition of the litter assist in tin- control of coccidiosis.
3. The birds have enough space for exercise.
4. There is easy control of flies since it is fairly dry.
5. The litter helps to absorb the droppings from the birds thereby reducing the offensive odour.

Disadvantages of deep litter Systems of poultry management

1. Cannibalism may occur because the birds are parked in an enclave
2. Diseases and parasites are easily spread
3. High cost of constructing the house as this involves heavy construction works
4. Eggs are usually dirty where layers are reared under this system READ THE PROCESS OF EGG LAYING

Battery Systems of poultry management

In this intensive management system, wire, cages are used to enclose the birds in a house. each cage can accommodate two to four birds depending on the size of the cage.

Advantages of battery systems for poultry management

1. Provides better accommodation
2. Elimination of internal parasites because the droppings are collected below the cages
3. Sick birds are easily identified and treatment
4. Egg production is higher
5. Records can easily be kept
6. Eggs are usually very clean or neat.

disadvantages of battery systems of poultry management

1. battery system is expensive to build the house and buy the cages.
2. The eggs may break if the slope of the mesh is too steep.
3. There is a high labour cost to run this system of poultry management.


(iii) Slate or wire floor system: This is made of raised walls. The birds are kept in the slated or wired floor. The droppings which collect beneath are collected for disposal occasionally.

Advantages of battery system of poultry management

1. There is no litter required
2. There is control of infection because birds d droppings.
3. Ease of cleaning is needed.

Disadvantages of battery systems of poultry management

1. Lower egg production
2. Layers are prone to nervousness
3. There may be cannibalism.

 Extensive Free Range Systems of poultry management

This is the traditional system of poultry keeping in the tropics. In the system, the fowls are allowed to move neatly in a wide area. If high land is available, this system poses no problems.

Birds reared under this system find food for themselves. They are normally provided accommodation at night.

Advantages of free range systems of poultry management

1. The cost of feeding the birds is quite low.
2. There is no cost for housing the birds.
3. The birds can move about freely. They are therefore healthier because of their constant exercise.
4. The birds have access to natural food such as insects and vegetables


Disadvantages of free range systems of poultry management

1. There is the danger of pests, hawks, snakes, wild animals and thieves.
2. There is a risk of accidents since vehicles can kill birds.
3. There is low egg production.

4. The birds are normally small in size as they use their energy to move about in search of food and water.
5. They can easily contract disease from other birds.
6. Records are difficult to keep.

Semi-Intensive Systems of poultry management

The birds under this system are kept in poultry runs made of wire netting. The birds move about within the runs during the day to fend for themselves. They come to sleep in the building

at night or during adverse weather conditions such as excessive heat or rain. See the diagram below:

Wire fence Run

 Semi-Intensive Systems of Rearing Birds.

Advantages of the semi-intensive system of poultry management.

this system of poultry management is capital-intensive to run but there are so many benefits in using this system of poultry management to rear chickens and egg production.

some of the advantages of the intensive system of poultry management are as follows
1. There is enough space for the birds to move about in this system of management
2. The birds have access to green vegetables which are most times natural

3. The pasture growing in the area will do well because of the dropping from the birds
4. The birds are protected against predators such as snakes since this system of poultry management involves the use of fences and wires for basic protection

Disadvantages of semi-intensive poultry management

1. The cost of making wire fences is high.
2. Birds may not be totally protected from predators such as hawks
3. There is a risk of parasite build-up and disease outbreaks.

(c) Management Practices: The management practices for poultry production can be treated under the following headings:

  • Egg handling
  • incubation process in poultry management
  • (i) Egg Handling: Fertile eggs are collected from the breeding liens and sorted out. The defective ones are removed while the viable ones are taken to the incubator for hatching.
  • (ii) Incubation: This is a process involving the development and hatching of eggs, to give chicks.

The mother hen usually incubates her egg naturally by sitting on the eggs. But the number of eggs hatched at once by a hen under this method is limited. As a result, large hatching machines called incubators have been devised to hatch very large numbers of eggs.

All conditions inside the incubators are thermostatically controlled. The temperature is kept at 38V. Relative humidity • 64%. Oxygen – 21%. Carbon (IV) Oxide – 0.5%. The eggs are then turned.

regularly in the incubator so that all sides are exposed to the incubator conditions and to prevent chicks from sticking to the shells.

Candling is carried out to identify the infertile eggs. This IN done on the 6th and 18th day of the egg\’s stay in the incubator. Candling ensures that all hatchable eggs are hatched.

The eggs are normally ready for hatching after 21 days of stay in the incubator.
When the chicks have been hatched, they are sexed (Separation into males and females) before being taken to the brooder house,

(iii) Chick Brooding in poultry management:

Chick Brooding in poultry management involves taking care of the day-old chicks until they are about four weeks after which the _management practices would change.

The brooder house is normally use used to rear day-old chicks

Brooding is the process of providing the natural conditions of the mother hen in an artificial way.

Chick drinking and feeding troughs should be properly arranged in the brooder house. Sources of heat should be provided to up the room. Excess heat should be avoided. The chicks in the brooder house will tell the farmer whether the heat is too much or too low.


If the birds cluster together around the source of heat then the heat is too low. When most of the birds move far away from the it indicates that the temperature is too high.

In either case, the
The farmer should adjust the temperature to adequate.
Water and feed should be provided to the chicks in the brooder house, as much as they need.

At the end of four weeks, the birds should be removed from the brooder house and reared under the necessary system earlier on in this unit.

Whatever system is used to rear the birds, hygiene, adequate feed and water supply, disease and pest control should be given priority.

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