LIFECYCLE OF COMMERCIAL LAYER FROM POINT OF LAY TO CULLING (SPENT LAYERS)
The aim of this article is to educate the manager and owner on the weekly needs and expectations. Below shows the weekly activities of commercial layers from point of lay to culling or when they are sold as spent layers. The duration of the programme is 65 weeks and planned for 5000 birds. Point of lay birds are described as young hen or pullets which are about to begin or have matured to the stage when they should start to lay eggs. It is usually around 16 to 20weeks of age. Spent layers are however described as hens that have been in production for almost one and half years, in which the quality and quantity of the eggs produced are generally considered uneconomical and poor with the birds being maintained on high cost of feed and low egg production. Therefore, elimination of these birds is advisable and replacement with a new flock should be done.
Necessary things have to be put in place before introducing your birds to the farm. These include: fumigation of poultry pen, proper cleaning, washing and disinfecting of equipments (waterers and feeders inclusive). Cages should also be installed. The environment must also be kept tidy. Check the light and water system of the poultry house. Record book should also be provided because successful intensive poultry keeping requires good records of all flock activities (that is date, opening stock, mortality, closing stock, feed intake, water intake, medication/vaccination, crate of eggs produced and remarks). Also, prepare the dip system as means of biosecurity measures. Before the arrival of the birds, you also have to check for the weight of the birds. Also, ask for the medication/vaccination records and see that they are up to date, check whether the birds have been debeaked and dewormed. Two workers should also be ready.
Feeding birds with quality feeds at specific time, giving fresh water always and checking for availability of water on all nipples and stop licking ones. Egg collection( like 3 times), daily observation for sick birds, cleaning pen houses and environment, change dip solution, removal of dead birds (should be kept in an ice pack and the Vet called to perform a post mortem)
Cleaning of droppings, dusting of nets and administration of drugs and vaccines (as directed by the Veterinary Doctor)
WEEK 1: Week of introduction (16 weeks)
The birds will be brought in crates and transfer to cages. Multivitamins and (antibiotics depending on the decision of the veterinarian) should be given. They are fed with grower in three ration, 0.076kg per bird/day hence 15 bags will be needed daily. 5bags in the morning same by 1pm and finally same by 6pm. Water is given ad libitum.
Feed cost: 105 bags (vital feed) of 25kg grower mash @#3000= #315000
WEEK 2: Week of Settlement (17 weeks)
The birds are adjusting to their new environment. Feeding, water administration and daily routine must be done. Feed requirement is increased to 0.008kg per bird/day hence 16bags will be needed daily. 112bags for the week will be purchased at #333600. Feeding pattern will be 5.3bags in the morning, noon and evening.
WEEK 3: Routine Activities (18 weeks)
Feed intake is increased to 0.084kg per bird/day hence 17 bags will be needed daily. 118 bags of 25kg for the week will be purchased at #354000. Feeding, water administration and daily routine must be done.
WEEK 4: Week of preparation (19 weeks)
In preparation for lay, crates and plastic basket should be purchased. Cost= estimation #50000. Feed intake should be 0.090kg/birds/day hence 18 bags of grower mash will be needed daily and divided in three rations. Feeding, water administration and daily routine must be done.
WEEK 5: Week of expectation (20 weeks)
Feed intake should be 0.095kg/birds/day hence 19 bags of grower mash will be needed daily and divided in three rations. Attendants and manager should look out for eggs this week. Owner and consultant should be notifed if any egg is seen. The size of the egg will be small and few in number. Feeding, water administration and daily routine must be done. Cost of feed for the week is #399000 (133 bags)
WEEK 6: Week of increase (21 weeks)
It is expected at this week for the birds to have started laying eggs. The birds could reach about 5-10% production this week. Switch over to layers feed the moments 10% lay is observed which is about 500 eggs in a day. Feed intake is 0.100kg/bird/day hence 20 bags of layers mash will be needed daily and divided in three ration. Feed cost for the week is #420000 (140 bags). The eggs are small and up to 50 crates of “pullet” eggs if possible and are sold at #700 per crates. Income would be about #35000 this week.
WEEK 7: pullet Eggs (22 weeks)
Pullet eggs produced at this week could increase to about 58 crates. At #700, total revenue this week would be about #40600. Feed consumption is increased to 0.105kg/bird/day hence 21 bags daily. Cost of feed for the week will be #448350 (147 bags). Balance on cost is #407750.
Cost of vital layermash= #3050 per bag
WEEK 8: Increase in Pullet eggs (23 weeks)
Feed consumption is increased to 0.110kg/bird/day hence 22 bags daily. Cost of feed for the week will be #469700 (154 bags). About 120 crates of eggs is possible this week. Total expected revenue is about #84000. Balance after sales of eggs is #385700.
WEEK 9: Twenty five percent lay (24 weeks)
It’s possible for eggs to have increased to 42crates per day. Total income would be #205800 for the week. Cost of feed for the week is still #469700 (154 bags). Balance at this point would be about #263900
WEEK 10: Forty percent lay (25 weeks)
Production at this week is expected to have reached 40% therefore 67 crates is obtainable on daily basis hence #328300 income per week. Cost of feed for the week is still #469700 (154 bags).
WEEK 11: Birds can feed self (26 weeks)
Production will increase to 60% this week therefore 100 crates is obtainable on daily basis. #490000 will be the total income for the week. Cost of feed is still the same as #469700. Feeding, water administration and daily routine must be done.
WEEK 12: Week of Profit (27 weeks)
Birds would be able to generate at this stage more than they consume. Feed cost is constant at #469700. Production should increase to 65%, hence 108 crates per day, #529200 total income per week.
WEEK 13 – WEEK 21 (28 weeks – 36 weeks)
Production increase gradually to 75%, pullet eggs disappear, and birds start to lay medium sized eggs. Farm is stable. About 125 crates of egg per day and will be sold at #750 per crate. Daily revenue will increase to #93750. Feeding, water administration and daily routine must be done.
WEEK 22- WEEK 40 (37 weeks – 55 weeks)
The eggs increase in size and volume. Production would have increased to 80%. Larger eggs are more, medium and small egg still available. Eggs could be sorted out. Feed cost is still #469700 per week. Income for the week would be #698250 (133 crates)
WEEK 41- WEEK 50 (56weeks – 65weeks)
Larger eggs are being produced. Percentage lay would increase to 82%. Population of birds could be around 4800 hence weekly revenue would be #687750. Cost of feed for the week is #448350 (147 bags).
WEEK 51 – WEEK 59 (66 weeks – 74weeks)
Decline in egg production to 70%. Egg is still large, about 112 crates of egg per day. Egg production start to decline gradually to the point when they could no longer feed themselves and then when much feather is lost.
WEEK 60 – WEEK 65 (75weeks – 80 weeks)
Percentage lay continues to decline. At 80 weeks birds are culled and sold as spent layers. About 4700 birds should be available for sale at #1000 each. Total sales of birds will be #4700000.
Dr Alaba Bukola
Farmergiant Nigeria limited