Roost or Perches
Perches in laying house can be provided or left out. When present, place them at the rear of the building so that birds use them for resting. Roost or Perches can be made using timber of 20mm by 25mm spaced 30cm apart. Where timber is used, all corners must be rounded. A space of 8 to 10 inches should be allowed per bird.
Caution! No roosts should be provided in the in the case of broilers. Birds tend to develop problems on their legs spoiling the quality of meat.
Layers should be provided with laying nests when they reach the age of 18 weeks. Tunnel or commercial nests are now common. In case of tunnels birds share the nests. The front is about 30cm high and the back 45cm high. If individual nests are needed the tunnel is partitioned at 60cm apart. Birds’ entrance should be made 20 by 20cm Square and 9cm above the nest floor for both types. To prevent egg eating, laying nests should be made as dark as possible so that birds do not see eggs.
Birds’ density in the nests should be: –
• 5 birds for commercial or tunnel nests of 60 by 180cm.
• 5 birds for box nests of 30 by 30cm.
Feed troughs should be provided in the building. Troughs known as improved Naivasha feeders’ have proved suitable and economical. Round plastic or metal trough feeders are available and good, but costly.
Trough Space Requirement Per Bird.
a) Long feeders.
• Chicks = 4cm; Growers = 8.8cm; Layers = 10cm; Broilers = 4cm.
b) Round Feeders.
• Chicks = 1.6cm; Growers =2cm; Layers = 3cm; Broilers = 2.4cm.
• Feeders should be about 14cm deep and should always be filled about ½ to 2/3 full. Drinkers should be 20% of the provided feeders.
• Farmers can make their own drinkers at home using plastic jerry cans. Jerry cans are cut on the sides to allow birds to get water. Round cans are recommended.
• Drinkers should be washed daily and filled with fresh water.
• Allow 20 litres of water for every 25 birds.
Characteristics of good feeders and drinkers.
Good feeders and drinkers are: –
• Easy to clean.
• Allow no feed or water wastage. Easy for birds to get feeds or water from the bottom.
• Should keep both feed and water clean.