Factors Affecting Egg Production
For every country to satisfy the needs of its citizens, food is one of the necessities to easily access in adequacy and the best quality. Farmers have always tried different ways of making income and egg production has been one of the greatest strategies on their agenda. Poultry enterprise has become the in-thing for many farmers out there. However, it varies from basic poultry keep approaches to mechanized and automated production. To excel in this enterprise, there are also factors that affect egg production that every entrepreneur should be well-versed with.
There are different types of poultry enterprises that every farmer or interested business personnel should be familiar with. This includes backyard egg production where birds live free range and hatch their own eggs. Their diet is supplemented with waste or food leftovers. We also have the farm flock production where eggs production involves hatching them at separate places where the hatch and the sexing of birds is controlled. Commercial poultry is where farm egg production involves full-time labor and is directed towards producing on a sufficient amount of eggs and meat for sale.
Another type off egg production is the specialized type where we separate meat and egg production. A specialized farmer will oversee every specific aspect of egg production. Lastly, integrated egg production is a type where most of full mechanization and automation of egg production including battery egg laying, scientific feeding, temperature controls and mechanized egg collection methods take place.
The egg production sector is highly disjointed as most of the production is done by vast number of farmers each with a certain number of flocks. Most of the produce is sold within the markets close to the farms. It is not a challenge to access chicks locally. There are also hatcheries licensed by international hybrid breeding companies that farmers can rely on. Depending on one’s goals, there are different varieties of chickens for egg production to go for. Unfortunately, there are factors affecting egg production that every farmer should be conversant with all the time. They include;
- Breed- The breed of the laying bird that farmers go for influence egg production. However, it is wise to consider the feeding practices and management factors.
- Mortality rat- Deaths of egg laying birds may rise due to disease, high temperatures or action of predators. The mortality rate of a flock ranges from 20 to 25 percent a year.
- Age- Egg chickens start producing eggs in their 20th or 21st week and continue laying for slightly over a year. The more chicken keep on producing eggs their sizes also increase until the end of the egg production phase.
- Feed- Hens will continue to produce more eggs depending on the supplemental food. Fresh and clean water should always be available. Selection of these hens should also be done depending in how resistance they are and best feeding strategy that they go well with.
- Laying house- The laying house should be well-built and according to local climatic conditions and farmer’s capital or finances. A good house will keep thieves away, predation, rain, wind and excessive direct sunlight.
- Climate- The optimal temperature should be between 11° and 26° C while the humidity level should not be above 75% as it will cause a reduction in egg production.
- Management – Effective and efficient management strategies should applied to aid increase egg production and increase income.
- Diseases and control- There are different diseases that affect hens and they can lead to low egg production. This includes Newcastle, fowl plague, coccidiosis and perosis among others.
- Egg collection- Frequent egg collection will make it hard for hens to brood eggs, eat them or damage them with house dirty.
In case of any change in egg production, it is wise to consider the above-mentioned factors. It is also wise to understand chicken nutrition to improve the quality of eggs. In case of any worries or complications in egg production, it is wise to seek help from private or state veterinarian or animal health technician and rest assured of more output and income.
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