When your birds are getting to a marketable age, there is need to plan how they will be taken to the market and sell them off to consumers. Most part of poultry bird marketing entails conveying these birds from the farm to the market or consumers’ house. However, due to carelessness or ignorance, some livestock farmers lose some of their birds such as broilers, spent layers, cocks, and turkeys in the process of taking them to market to sell.
Another important thing to note is that, proper handling of these chickens or birds is necessary before and when moving birds to the market. When animals are improperly handled, they may be bruised or wounded which lowers the quality of the animals and their meat. The value of these birds would also reduce when they are not well handled, in which could lead to loss or reduced profit. To avert these losses as a farmer, then put the following into practice:
- Stop feeding your birds with grits 2 weeks to marketing. Stop any form of medication 2-3 weeks before the day they will be taken to the market. This is to circumvent the residual effect of drugs on meat or tainting which is a disadvantage to meat quality.
- Cull sick or weak birds in the flock and put them in separate pens and you can give them feeds and medication separately but must not be sold at the same time with the healthy ones.
- Empty feeders for 2 hours before starting the catching and also remove the waterer. This is to prevent the birds getting injured in the process of catching them.
- Engage experienced attendants in the catching and loading operation. An experienced attendant knows what and how to handle birds with care, unlike inexperienced one.
- Carry out the operation under a dim light if it is to be done at night. This is ideal to make the operation very easy.
- Corral the whole flock into smaller groups for convenience and to avert deadly stampeding which are unavoidable when birds are in larger number.
- Grasp the birds by their shanks and not head, neck or the wings and maximum of 5 birds at a time must be carried.
- Make sure the birds are protected from extreme weather condition. When the weather is hot, protect birds from heat stress in shipment by pitting them inside open crates and avoid stopping for long when in route.
When the above are applied, the avoidable losses you that comes prior and during marketing are prevented. Feed your chickens well with good management and they will give you more revenue and profits.