Poultry rearing has always been an integral component of livestock production system in India. Poultry production in India has taken a quantum jump within the last four decades, emerging from a completely unorganized and unscientific farming practice to a billboard production system with state-of-the-art technological interventions.
Indian commercial poultry sector has advanced remarkably thanks to a scientific approach adopted by the industry and an enabling environment created by the government.
About 74% of the entire world poultry meat and 68% of poultry eggs are produced from intensive poultry farming and free-range farming methods.
Intensive Poultry Farming
- Intensive poultry farming efficiently saves space, feed, labour and other resources and increases production.
- This system will be fully under the control of the farmer thus ensuring production throughout the year.
- It has a drawback that chances of health risk for the poultry birds is high and regular inspection is needed for healthy birds and quality eggs from them.
Free Range Poultry Farming
- Free range poultry farming requires more open space, better management and production sometimes get affected by climatic conditions.
- Farmer have to take more care of the flock on unfavourable climatic conditions.
- Requires regular inspection to keep the poultry birds free from any diseases and to produce quality eggs and meat.
Layer Poultry Farming Methods
Majorly egg-laying poultry birds are reared under layer poultry farming method. Commercial hens begin to lay eggs from the age of 12-20 weeks. And they start laying eggs regularly for 25 weeks.
In layer poultry farming systems, the environmental conditions of the farm are often controlled automatically for ensuring maximum production. Light and temperature are the factors which induce the hens to lay eggs.
Common layer poultry farming is as follows:
A. Free Range Roaming Poultry Farming
For free-range poultry birds farming, an open space with adequate drainage facilities good ventilation, protection from prevailing winds, predators, excessive heat or cold or dampness.
B. Organic Layer Poultry Farming
C. Yarding Method
A method in which cows and hens are raised together is generally termed as the yarding method. Small farmers make a fence in his yard and keep all the poultry birds and cows in it, so they are free to move inside and roam around that space.
D. Battery Cage Method
It is a very common method popular and used in many countries. In this method, a small metal cage which can accommodate 3 to 8 hens is used.
The main benefits of battery cage system are:
- Easy to care birds
- Easy to collect eggs
- Requires less feed for maximum egg productivity
- Thousands of hens can be accommodated in less space
- Bird suffer less by internal parasites
- Low labour cost
Apart from these benefits, the battery cage system has some drawbacks too. By accommodating a large number of birds, the amount of CO2 accumulation inside the house would be high.
Furnished Cage Method
It can be said as the updated version of the battery cage system. In this system, hens get more space and facilities than the battery cage system. They will get sufficient space to walk, perch, flap their wings, nest, special feed and water pot etc.