LAYING HENS FOR EGG PRODUCTION
There are several ways you can utilize your poultry facility for the production of eggs for commercial use:
- You can utilize group battery cages (It’s more expensive but it will save you floor space)
- You can run your operation indoors on the floor (barn hens system or deep litter system)
- You can also use the free-range system (out-of-doors during the day)
For replacement or point-of-lay pullets (young hens not yet in lay) there are two options
Option 1: Purchase hybrids or pure bred chicks from a hatchery (expensive)
Option 2: Hatch and raise your own chicks
Pullets are young hens not yet in lay. They are usually raised indoors. They grow slowly and may need brooding until they are 4-6 weeks old. They are then given more space than broiler chickens. If there is an outdoors fenced area, they can roam around during the day.
They should be given 500 g of broiler starter feed for the first 4-6 weeks. When this feed is used up it is replaced with a lower-quality pullet-rearing diet until 17 weeks of age. They are then given a layer diet which is high in calcium (3%) and phosphrous (0.5%). This is needed so that they can lay eggs with hard shells. Pullets will now be transferred to their layer house as they will shortly come into lay. Purchase from poultry feed shops.
Pullets in this concept are principally for egg production for consumption and need to be fed with layers at maturity to keep them producing.
Source of the Birds
The history of the hatchery where the birds are being sourced from play significant role in the output/productivity of the birds. Some hatchery produces birds with inherent diseases or birds with low productivity (Low efficiency) in egg production. This will affect the expected output from the investment.
- Over 186 million Nigerians depend on poultry products for daily consumption.
- There is high demand for poultry products due to the high dependency and a wide gap in supply.
- Over 100% profit margin within months of doing poultry farming business.
- Business start-up as low as N20,000
- Source of the birds (Hatchery) plays a key role in the egg production efficiency.