Should I start with day-old chicks (DOC) or Point of Lay (POL)? This is a common question asked by most people who want to start layer farming. They are confused and don’t know which option they should go for. If you’re in this situation, this post will assist you in making the best choice when it comes to choosing DOC or POL.
- DOC is the abbreviation for Day Old Chick. It is the name given to newly hatched chicks.
- POL is the abbreviation for Point of Lay. It is the name given to pullets that are close or ready to start production and laying of eggs.
- You can buy your point of lay from this reliable seller.
Layers (Egg) business is obviously a lucrative business, but getting it wrong from the beginning could be disastrous and make a farmer run into a severe loss. The actual issue is not the choice you have made (DOC or POL). The major thing is the quality and history of the birds. Some birds have a bad history or parents, and this will affect the general performances of such birds. For example, birds whose parents are poor egg producers or come up with diseases often will inherit these genes from their parents. They will begin to exhibit the trait later in their lifetime. This is the primary reason why chicks must be procured from reputable hatcheries. Back to the topic, if you want to choose between DOC and POL, you must consider the following:
1. Capital—How much do you have? No doubt, you need to have reasonable capital before you can start any business. The amount of capital you have will determine if you need to choose DOC or POL. If the capital is not sufficient enough to raise chicks from day 1 to week 17, then you should go for point of lay. However, have it at the back of your mind that a point of lay chicken will eat an average of 80g per day.
2. Level of Experience—Do you have any experience in raising chickens, especially layers? What is your level of experience in the area—basic, intermediate or advanced? It is vital for you to know how chickens are raised or managed. If you have basic or no experience in this area, you are advised to go for point of lay. On the other hand, if you are experienced and you know what should be done, you can start with DOC.
3. Goal—If your goal is to make profits within a few weeks of starting the business, go for POL option. If your primary goal is to learn how to raise layers and not to make profits immediately, consider starting with DOC. Beginning with DOC will allow you to experience what raising chicks is all about, and you will be able to learn from your mistakes.
4. Availability of Brooding Pen and Facilities—Do you have enough space, facilities and resources to build the brooding, growing and laying pens? If you want to raise chickens from DOC, you must have brooding house and/or growing house. These are where the chicks are provided with the best care until they are mature and ready to lay. So if you know there is no brooding house and there is no immediate plan to construct one, you should go for point of lay.
5. Age & Vaccination History—One of the challenges faced by farmers is the unavailability of trusted chicken breeders or POL producers. Many breeders claim their birds have been vaccinated up-to-date and ready for laying; however, one would discover that their claim is not entirely true. Vaccination is very important in chicken farming. When a bird is not well or duly vaccinated, such a bird will always be down with several diseases and would eventually die. So if you’re or will be unable to get a trusted point of lay seller(s), you should go for chicks. At least, you will be sure of the vaccination and medication history and age of your birds, and in case a problem arise, you will be able to figure out the problem’s source. Nevertheless, if you can get a trusted POL seller, you can get the birds and take them down to your farm. I can vouch for this seller here. I have referred several clients to them and their experience with the POL bought were great and positive. Click here to check the seller out.
Choosing between day old chick and point of lay is a personal thing. However, in order to make the right choice, you should consider the four things above. I want to reiterate that there is nothing wrong with starting with DOC and POL. The most important thing is to have a hitch-free production period which is determined by what you start with.