List of Various Breeds of Pig/Swine

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There are numerous breeds of pig across the globe. Some have been documented while some have not. Below is a list of pig breeds in the world.

Top 3 Should-Have Android Apps for Poultry Farmers

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Android Apps for Poultry Farmers

This is a digital age where technological innovations and inventions have greatly helped poultry farmers and farmers in other fields of agriculture. The use of smartphones is on the increase and a lot of things and tasks could now be done on your smartphones. These range from the formulation of feeds for chickens to the management of egg sales and production. There are several Android Apps developed for use by poultry farmers for different purposes. Some Apps are exclusively for feed formulation, Health Management or Finance Management while some are “All in One.”

Pig Farming Guide – What Beginners Need To Know

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Sow lactating her litter

What is Pig Farming or Production?

Pig farming or production is the art of raising pigs for consumption or to make money. Pigs are kept for meat production. Pig meat (pork) is a very important source of animal protein in human diets. Pig rearing is popular in West Africa, and Nigeria is the highest producer. In areas where pigs are reared on free range, they are most valued as a kind of savings to the farmer from where he can get some finance in the time of need. Commercial pig farming under an intensive and semi-intensive system is possible in the country because of the high demand in some part of Africa.

External Parts of a Chicken

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Labeled parts of a chicken

Did you know some people don’t know all the external parts of a chicken? Don’t be surprised. You could be part of them. Well, the external parts of a chicken include the following:

Labeled parts of a chicken

 

  1. Comb: It is the fleshy attachment on the top part of the chicken’s head, and it is usually red.
  2. Eyes: A chicken possesses two eyes, and each eye is located on each side of the head.
  3. Beak: The beak of a chicken is made up of the upper beak and the lower beak.
  4. Earlobes: The earlobes are two in number. Each lobe is located at one side of a chicken’s head.
  5. Wattles: They are the two red fleshy skins hanging below the beak.
  6. Breast: It is the broad, plump part located at the front of a chicken.
  7. Shank: It is the lower leg of a chicken that is covered by scales.
  8. Hock: It is the leg joint of a chicken, and it bends in the opposite direction.
  9. Wings: They are the two wings, each located on one side of a chicken’s body.
  10. Tail Feathers: They are the feathers located at the posterior or caudal part, and they point upwards.
  11. Cloaca: This is the anus of a chicken. It is the opening through which chickens pass out faeces or lay eggs.
  12. Toes: A chicken has eight toes. Each foot has four toes—three toes point forward while one points backward for balancing purpose.

How To Identify Male & Female Guinea Fowls

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Male and Female Guinea Fowls. Male (Left) Female (right)

Spotting or identifying male and female guinea fowl birds is very difficult. In the picture below, the male guinea fowl (cock) is on the left while the female guinea fowl (hen) is on the right.

How to Protect Chickens from Snakes

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A snake feeding on a chicken

Snakes are one of the deadly and ruthless predators of chickens. They can bite, kill and eat live chickens and also eat their eggs. It means that if a snake enters the pen of your chickens, the aftermath would definitely be an economic loss because you will lose a good number of your birds and/or eggs. For example, if a snake enters a layers pen, it will first eat as many eggs as possible and finally bite any layer chickens that serve as a threat.

Terminologies in Poultry Production

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These are terminologies commonly used in the Poultry production and management.

Water Consumption Rates/Levels for Layers & Broilers

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Water is a nutrient that is of high importance to ‘the life of humans and animals. Water consumption rate or level is affected when water is too hot or has excess minerals. There is a relationship between water consumption and feed consumption; i.e. both are interdependent. For example, an increase in feed intake will result in an increase in water intake.

Cobb Broiler Chicks Drinking Water

Other factors that affect water intake or consumption include genetics, health status, housing system, drinker type and temperature, which is the most obvious of all. For instance, when the environmental temperature is above 32oC, chickens would consume 30-50% more water compared with when the temperature is 21oC.

The type of drinker used in serving chickens and other poultry birds affects water intake. The rule of thumb is that water intake is typically 1.5-2 times feed intake.

The tables below show the daily water consumption rate for layers and broilers at an optimum environmental temperature of 21oC

Production Stage Age/Rate of Production Litres of water per 1000 birds at 21oC
Layer pullet 4 weeks 100
12 weeks 160
18 weeks 200
Laying hens 50% production 220
90% production 270

 

Typical daily water consumption for broilers at 20oC

Age (weeks)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Water Intake (litres per 1000 mixed sex broilers) 65 120 180 245 290 330 355 370

 

Coccidiosis in Poultry: Signs, Control & Prevention

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What is Coccidiosis?

Coccidiosis or Cocci in poultry is an important protozoan disease that is capable of wiping out a large of number of affected chickens overnight. Coccidiosis affecting poultry birds include Eimeria tenella, E. necatrix, E. maxima, E. mivati, E. mitis, E. brunette etc. It is easier or better to prevent than to cure it because a poultry farmer may not be aware that his birds have coccidiosis until it is very late. Unfortunately, he might have lost a good number of chickens. This is the reason why a poultry farmer needs to know what to look for and what is needed to be done.

Coccidiosis is a protozoan disease that infects the intestine of poultry birds like broilers, layers, turkeys and other animals. This disease can cause damage to the host bird within 4-7 days as the Eimeria parasite replicates and damage the intestinal mucosa of the host within this period. This disease starts when poultry birds (broilers, layers or turkeys) ingest relatively many sporulated oocysts of the parasite. These oocysts are present in litter, contaminated feed, soil, dust and water. Furthermore, these oocysts can be transmitted by insects, clothing, pen materials or equipment or in the faeces of infected birds. However, fresh oocysts are not harmful or effective unless it is sporulated, and this could happen when the environmental temperature is around 70°–90°F and with adequate oxygen and moisture within 24-48 hours. Depending on certain environmental factor, sporulated oocysts may survive in the sporulated form for long periods and they are resistant to some disinfectants but could be destroyed by high temperatures or freezing.

If one or some of your birds is infected with cocci and on deep-litter, it means that the chances that the whole flock will be affected because they have access to the litter and the faeces excreted by those infected.

Signs and Symptoms of Coccidiosis in Poultry

When birds are suffering from coccidiosis, the following are observed:

  • Blood in droppings, blood-stained faeces or sticky white diarrhoea around the cloaca
  • Drop in feed intake due to loss of appetite and this is followed by a rapid drop in body weight
  • Ruffled feathers and dropped wings
  • High mortality rate in flock
  • Reluctance to move and general weakness (fowl paralysis)
  • Birds huddle together with closed eyes
  • Pale wattles and combs
Blood-stained chicken faeces: A common sign of cocci

How to Treat or Control Coccidiosis in Poultry

Birds that are raised on a battery-cage system have fewer coccidia infections because they have little or no access to litter or faecal droppings. Hence, it is recommended to raise birds in cages rather than on deep-litter. However, if the birds are on a deep-litter system, the litter should be changed regularly (once in two weeks) and avoid too much of water spilling on the litter. When the litter is wet or smells ammonia, it should be evacuated and replaced to dry litter (wood shavings).

Anti-coccidial vaccines and drugs could also be used as they are very effective in controlling coccidiosis. Anti-coccidial drugs that can be used to treat coccidiosis include Prococ, Amprocox, Coxstop and Sulpha drugs. Continuous use of low level of a coccidiostat through feed also helps.

Above all, maintaining a high level of hygiene and sanitation would greatly help in preventing coccidiosis in your flock.

For Further Reading:
http://www.merckvetmanual.com/poultry/coccidiosis/overview-of-coccidiosis-in-poultry

http://www.chickenvet.co.uk/health-and-common-diseases/coccidiosis/index.aspx

http://www.thepoultrysite.com/publications/6/diseases-of-poultry/206/coccidiosis/

Nutritional Requirements of Broilers

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Nutrition is an important part of poultry farming because the performances of chickens and other poultry birds depend majorly on their nutrition. One mistake some broilers farmers make is giving less focus on what their broilers consume. Each class of birds has its own specific nutritional requirements, and these requirements are always considered when formulating feed for chickens. Anything lower or higher would affect the performance of the chickens. That is why it is important to know the nutritional requirements of broilers. When you have an idea of what your chickens need, feed analysis and formulation would be carried out efficiently.

Nutritional Requirements of Chicks, Pullets & Layers

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Nutrition is an important part of poultry farming because the performances of chickens and other poultry birds depend majorly on their nutrition. One mistake some layers farmers make is giving less focus on what their laying hens consume. Each class of birds has its own specific nutritional requirements, and these requirements are always considered when formulating feed for chickens. Anything lower or higher would affect the performance of the chickens. That is why it is important to know the nutritional requirements of chicks and layers. When you have an idea of what your chickens need, feed analysis and formulation would be carried out efficiently.

Causes and Prevention of Prolapse in Layers

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prolapse in chicken

Prolapse (pickout) is the turning inside out of the oviduct and rectal organs through the vent, to the extent of not retracting back. Its occurrence may results in death. Its discovery in time will assist in the reposition of the organs back to their normal position using the hand.

Reasons for Vaccine Failure

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Poultry farmers sometimes experience vaccine failures and their birds come down with the diseases against which they were vaccinated for. There are many factors that could prevent a vaccine from being effective. Therefore many precautionary measures need to be taken when administering vaccines, following are some of them:

How to Vaccinate Poultry Birds

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Vaccines have contributed immensely to the prevention and control of major diseases of poultry, which were previously incurable or difficult to cure. Most commercial poultry farmers, therefore, follow a vaccination program aimed at controlling these diseases. However, inexperienced poultry farmers do not know how to vaccinate their birds. Vaccines can be administered through various routes such as through:

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