Poultry raising for meat (broilers) or eggs (layers) can be integrated with fish culture to reduce costs on fertilizers and feeds in fish culture and maximize benefits. Poultry can be raised over or adjacent to the ponds and the poultry excreta recycled to fertilize the fishponds. Poultry housing, when constructed above the water level using bamboo poles would fertilize fishponds directly.In fish poultry integration, birds housed under intensive system are considered best. Birds are kept in confinement with no access to outside. Deep litter is well suited for this type of farming. About 6-8 cm thick layer prepared from chopped straw, dry leaves, saw dust or groundnut shell is sufficient.
Poultry dung in the form of fully built up dip litter contains: 3% nitrogen, 2% phosphate and 2% potash, therefore it acts as a good fertilizer which helps in producing fish feed i.e. phytoplankton and zooplankton in fish pond. So application of extra fertilizer to fish pond for raising fish is not needed. This cuts the cost of fish production by 60%. In one year 25-30 birds can produce 1 tonne dip litter and based on that it is found that 500-600 birds are enough to fertilize 1 ha water spread area for good fish production. Daily at the rate of 50 kg/ha water spread area poultry dung is applied to the fish pond. When phytoplanktonic bloom is seen over the surface water of fish pond then application of poultry dung to the pond should immediately be suspended. Poultry-fish integration also maximizes the use of space; saves labour in transporting manure to the ponds and the poultry house is more hygienic and water needed for poultry husbandry practice can get from fish pond.By Thomas lukunguAttachments area
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