Many poultry farmers still do not know that there are better and standard poultry equipment that can give better productivity and also ease stress in the poultry activities while some who are new in the field may not know what and what to put in place as they go into the business. So it is imperative we know our poultry equipment and their uses. And they include;
1. Water equipment:
- Pan and jar type: this is a type of poultry equipment for filling and conveying water.
This type of waterer is circular in nature, having two compartments i.e. jar for filling water and pan for delivering water.
- Bell type automatic waterer
These are made of high-impact plastic in a bell shape usually suspended from separate pipeline for the purpose.This type of waterers has control over the water flow and maintains the required water level always.
There will be a continuous flow of water so as to ensure that water is available for the birds throughout the day. Height at which the water is available can be easily adjusted by simple clamp mechanism and rate of flow water is adjustable by a valve (spring-mounted). Plastic drinkers will be brightly coloured (red, blue) and hence are expected to attract layers, especially chicks to water.
- Nipple drinker
It can be used both in deep-litter and in cage system. When used in deep-litter system, it is attached with cup under the nipple to prevent wetting of litter material. These drinkers look like a nipple and water drops comes out when they are pressed. They can be used for all types and classes of birds, but most commonly used in laying cages. One nipple drinkers in each cage housing 3 layers is sufficient.
- Manual drinker
In case of chicks during first week of brooding, manual drinkers are popularly used. They also referred as “fountain drinkers” because water comes out of the holes like that in case of a fountain. The main advantage of manual drinkers is the ease of giving vitamins and other probiotics/medicines/vaccines through water.
Manual drinkers with stand made of high-impact plastic in bright colours (red or blue) are available. Arrangement of drinkers at an equal distance of 0.6m between any two feeders and feeder and a drinker.
- Feeding Equipment
Feeders are equipment used in feeding poultry birds. The food is deposited in the feeder and the birds feed from it. The amount of feeders provided for a poultry farm should be according to amount of birds available. It is important that you always keep the feeders clean to ensure the health safety of the birds.
- Linear feeder
Different sizes of linear feeder with guards are available. Provision is also made to adjust the height of the feeder. Linear feeders are usually made of Galvanized Iron. However it can as well be made out of any locally available material like wood, bamboo, etc.
Provisions for stability and adjustment in height at which the feeder stands have to be made in its design. Birds can stand on either side of the linear feeder. Total feeder space available = 2* length. No of linear feeders = (2*Length of the feeder) ÷ Feeder space with all measurements in cm.
- Circular feeder:
These are semi-automatic feeders and can hold 5 to 7 kg feed in its cone at a time. The feed is slowly delivered to the bottom by gravity. It can also be attached with feed grills to prevent wastage. These are made of high plastic and usually suspended from roof/ roof-truss or from separate pipeline for the purpose.
These are also called as ‘hanging feeders’.These feeders are available in different capacity and when completely full, the feed will suffice 4 to 7 days, depending upon the age and number feeding on them.
The height at which the feed is available can be easily adjusted by simple clamp mechanism.
Plastic feeders will be brightly coloured (red or blue, generally) and hence are expected to attract layers, especially chicks to feed. No. of hanging feeders = 1.3* (Circumference ÷ Feeder space) with all measurements in cm.
30% more birds can be accommodated in a hanging feeder when compared to that in linear feeder.
- Shell grit box
It is used to provide shell grit to the layer birds as a supplemental source of calcium.
- Automatic feeder
In case of automatic feeder the feed is supplied to the entire length of the poultry house by specially designed feed troughs with auger type or chain type devices to move the feed from the feed bins to the other end.
These are operated with electricity and the height of the feeder can be adjusted depending upon the age of the birds.
Heaters or Brooders
It is essential that the temperature of the poultry farm be regulated especially during cold weather. The heater or brooder is an equipment used in regulating and increasing the temperature of the poultry farm. These helps to keep the birds warm when the weather is cold.
- Charcoal stove / kerosene stove
These are used in places where electricity is not available or costly and where power failure is quite common.
These stoves are covered with plates or pans to sustain the heat in the brooding area.
- Gas brooder
Natural gas, LPG or methane is connected to heating element which is hanged 3 to 5 feet above the chick to provide heat.
It is attached with canopy type reflectors to reflect the heat towards the chicks.
- Infra-red bulbs
It is a self reflecting bulb and hence no need of reflector over the bulbs.
150 and 250 watt bulbs are available to provide sufficient heat to 150 and 250 chicks, respectively.
- Reflectors/ Hovers
These reflectors are called Hovers.These are reflectors of heat and light.The hovers are flat provided with heating element, heating mechanism and pilot lamp and in some cases thermometer are also there in order to record the temperature. Generally they are mounted with stands on all four corners, instead of hanging from the roof.
This is an instrument used in hatching eggs. Egg hatchery with an incubator can be described as a means of hatching of eggs in an artificial way. These means can be employed when there are many eggs to be hatched especially in a commercial scale.
This poultry equipment is mainly used for the protection of eggs as they are been layed or dropped by the layer bird. The chick box is an equipment where the poultry birds are kept for egg laying. It has a roll away egg tray attached to it so that when eggs are layed, they roll away and the birds will not trample on the eggs. This particular equipment help in preventing egg damage.
Fly trap is an equipment used in controlling the number of flies around a poultry farm. It helps the poultry farmer to reduce the number of flies in the poultry.
Poultry Plucker Rubber Finger
This is an equipment applied to chicken dressing machine. These rubber fingers are fixed to the bottom and side plate of the dressing machine in order to produce many dressed chicken in a short period.
This is an equipment used in setting the eggs. Just like the name, it is a tray-like equipment where the eggs are place for sampling.
Poultry Incubator Controller
Poultry incubator controller is an equipment used for controlling the incubator and timer counter. It displays the temperature and humidity condition of the incubator.
The ventilation fan is an equipment used for ensuring maximum ventilation in the poultry farm. It is also an equipment used in reducing the temperature of the poultry farm during a hot weather.
Laying nest is another equipment that help the birds for laying of eggs. One of the advantages of this equipment is that it increases the egg productivity of the poultry birds.
This is an equipment used in weighing the weight of the eggs. It helps the poultry farmer know the eggs that are fertile enough for hatchery because it is assumed that an under weight egg does not have what it take to form a chick.
Egg washer is an equipment that makes use of a powder called the egg washing powder. Water is added into the egg washer and then the egg washing powder is added also. It is used for washing the eggs before delivery.
Water Pots and Drinkers
Neat water is required for growth and digestion in poultry birds just like in humans. Therefore, the drinkers are equipment used for supplying water to the birds. You must ensure that the drinkers are washed regularly to avoid disease.
Cages and Coops
This poultry equipment is used for keeping poultry birds. Coops and cages are poultry equipment suitable for small scale poultry farming.
This is an equipment used for feathering birds after slaughter. The use of a dressing machine makes chicken dressing easier, clean and hygienic.
Lastly, the use of protective clothing for humans is very necessary. Special protective clothing like hair caps, disposable sleeves, boots and coverall are required to avoid transfer or contamination from the birds to man or from man to the birds. Also, it is important to ensure that visitors disinfect their hands before touching the birds.