Artificial Insemination (AI) is an important tool to improve the reproductive performance of birds especially broiler breeders and turkey where fertility is low due to heavy body weight. Even though AI is well developed technique in cattle, is not so well developed in poultry because no standard technique is available to store poultry semen for a long period. The techniques available at present permits to collect semen and use it for insemination immediately with or without dilution using semen diluents at 1: 2 ratio. Semen collected from one cock is sufficient for inseminating 5 to 10 hens depending upon the semen volume and sperm concentration. At farms, where AI is practiced the males are kept separately in individual cages where sufficient space is available for movement of the birds. There should be a particular team of workers to associate collection and insemination of semen. Frequent changes of personnel in the team may affect the normal behaviour of birds. Rough handling should be avoided, if not it may develop fear reaction, which affects the semen volume during ejaculation.


Semen consists of spermatozoa and seminal plasma. Fowl semen is generally highly concentrated (3 to 8 billion spermatozoa per ml for broiler fowl). This is due to the presence of limited amount of seminal plasma since the accessory reproductive organs are absent in avian species. The seminal plasma is derived from the testes and excurrent ducts. At the time of ejaculation a lymph-like fluid (also known as transparent fluid) of cloacal origin may be added to the semen in varying amounts. The addition of transparent fluid to semen at the time of ejaculation act as an activating medium for the previously non-motile spermatozoa, thus ensuring their transport from the site of deposition to the sites of sperm storage tubules in the utero-vaginal junction of the hen’s oviduct. Usually cock start producing semen from the age of 16 weeks but the fertilizing capacity of the semen is low. So the cocks from 22 or 24 weeks of age are used for semen collection. The natural colour of poultry semen is white or pearly white. Heavy breed male can produce 0.75 to 1 ml semen and light breed male can produce 0.4 to 0.6 ml of semen. A male can be used thrice in a week for semen collection with a gap of one day. Although every day semen collection will not change the fertilizing capacity but the volume of semen will be low.


Small glass funnel with stem plugged with wax.  Inseminating syringe Wide mouthed glass vial.  Small pyrex semen cup Large flask to hold water at 180 C to 200 C range for short time holding of semen.


AI in poultry is a three-step procedure involving semen collection, semen dilution and insemination. The second step may be omitted if ‘neat’ semen (undiluted) is to be used for inseminations within 30 minutes after collection.


The first step in AI program is manual collection (milking) of the semen. For semen collection, a team of two members are generally involved, one for restraining the male and the other for collecting semen. The bird is held in a horizontal position by a person at a height convenient to the operator who is attempting to collect the semen. To collect semen the operator should place the thumb and index finger of the left hand on either side of the cloaca and massage gently. By his right hand the operator should hold a collecting funnel and with the thumb and index finger massage the soft part of abdomen below the pelvic bones. Massage should be rapid and continuous until the cock protrudes the papilla from the cloaca. Once the papilla is fully protruded, the previously positioned thumb and index finger of the left hand are used to squeeze out the semen in to the collecting funnel. Avoid contamination of semen with faeces and feather. Semen evaluation at the time of collection Normal colour of the semen in pearly white or cream coloured. Yellow semen and semen contaminated with blood, urates, faeces or other debris should be avoided.  Do not allow semen to contact water. If debris or contaminants are observed in pooled semen, carefully aspirate contaminates from the sample before mixing with additional diluent with the semen Place the diluted semen in a cooler or refrigerator (3 to 12 oC) to cool down.


All equipment used for insemination should be thoroughly cleaned and dry before Use. Insemination must be carried out when majority of the birds completed laying since a hard shelled egg in the lower end of the oviduct obstructs insemination and lowers fertility. In practice, inseminating chicken after 3 pm obtained better results. In turkey flocks much better results are obtained if insemination is done after 5 pm. It is difficult to inseminate non-laying hens. Usually insemination is done when the flock reaches 25% egg production. Hens are inseminated twice during first week. Then at weekly intervals.


Bird is held by the legs with the left hand down and tail tucked back and against the operator chest. The thumb of the right hand is placed against the upper lip of the vent then with a rounding motion press the abdomen muscle. Do not squeeze with fingers but apply pressure evenly with the palm of the hand. When the oviduct is everted, the second operator inserts the syringe into oviduct as far as it is going inside without exerting pressure. The insemination apparatus is introduced into the vagina about 1 inch and semen is deposited at the junction of vagina and uterus.


Chicken : 0.05 ml, once in a week Turkey : 0.025 ml once in every 2 weeks Ducks : 0.03 ml once in every 5 days Goose : 0.05 ml for every 7 days. It has been observed that the males produce more semen of good quality during morning and females produce more fertile eggs when inseminated around 9 p.m.


Species = Volume (ml) = Sperm concentration (million per ml) = Need of sperm concentration per insemination (million)

(1) Broiler type chicken = 0.7 = 3500 = 150 to 200

(2) Layer type chicken = 0.5 = 4000 = 150 to 200

(3) Tom = 0.25 = 9000 = 300

(4) Gander = 0.6 = 2500 = 250

(5) Drake = 0.3 = 4000 = 300


The main breeds of backyard poultry are Kalinga Brown, Mumbai Desi, Rhode Island Red and CARI Nirbheek. The methods of rearing chicken in the backyard differ greatly from place to place. Though the housing conditions are almost adequate, proper attention to feeding is practically not given. Also the production potential of the desi flocks in such units may be greatly improved by introducing exotic breed. Therefore particular attention may be given to those important aspects namely,

  • Introduction of exotic males in the backyard units.
  • Rearing of cross-bred birds’ viz. Gramalakshmi, Gramapriya, etc.
  • To give better ventilation in the night shelter.
  • Timely preventive vaccinations and deworming.
  • To provide some amount of balanced feed rather than leaving the birds entirely for scavenging.

A suitable all-purpose premix is suggested below exclusively for the use of backyard poultry. Fairly good egg production can be achieved by providing 50 per cent of daily requirement of feed in the form of balanced feed,commercial feed Concentrate mixture for backyard poultry Ingredients  Premix I (%) = Premix II (%)

(A) Groundnut cake (expeller) 52= 60,

(B) Gingelly oil cake 20= 0,

(C) Unsalted dried fish 20= 32,

(D) Broken rice/wheat/dried tapioca 4= 4,

(E) Mineral mixture for poultry 4= 4, Total  100= 100



Broilers are young chicken of either sex of six to eight weeks of age, tender meat with soft, pliable, smooth textured skin and flexible breast bone cartilage.


Provide 930 cm2 floor spaces per broiler chick. Provision must be made for adequate ventilation. The general management of broiler chicks is similar to those discussed under egg type chicks.


Provide up to 2 weeks 5 cm and from 3 weeks to finish 10 cm linear feeder space per bird. Raise the level of the feeder as the birds grow. Do not fill the feeder more than half. If tube feeders are used, provide 3 nos. of 12 kg capacity feeders per 100 chicks.


Ingredient = [Percentage inclusion] Starter (0-5 weeks)- Finisher (6-7 weeks)

(A) Yellow Maize= 47.00 – 54.50

(B) Rice polish= 8.00 – 10.00

(C) Soyabean meal = 17.50 – 14.00

(D) Groundnut cake (expeller) = 15.00 – 11.00

(E) Unsalted dried fish = 10.00 – 8.00

(F) Mineral mixture = 2.00 – 2.00

(G) Salt = 0.50 – 0.50 Total =100.00 – 100.00 Alternatively commercial broiler starter and finisher rations prepared by reputed feed manufacturers can be given.


  • Provide for 100 chicks of 0-2 weeks – 2 x 2 litres capacity waterers.
  • 3 weeks to finish – 2 x 5 litres capacity waterers.
  • Ensure clean fresh water always.
  • Exercise extreme care and attention during the brooding period. If the losses in the first few days exceed 2%, carefully check the brooding management and get the postmortem examination done.
  • Reduce brooder temperature every week by 3oC. When the brooder is removed provide one 40-watts bulb for every 250 broilers during night.
  • To ascertain approximate quantity of feed and water that 100 broilers consume per day, the following formula given will be useful. Kg feed per 100 birds – Age in days/4.4 Litres of water per 100 birds – Age in days/2.0
  • The above formula will give approximate figures under average conditions. Depending on the season of the year, there is likely to be variations in the range of 5-10%.
  • ((Vaccination programme for broiler chicken))

Age= Disease = Vaccine = Route

(A) 0-5 days = RD = Lasota or F vaccine = Occulonasal

(B) 10-14 days = IBD = IBD Live = Drinking water

(C) 24-28 days = IBD= 0 = Drinking water


If hatching eggs are to be produced, cockerels have to be maintained. Rear at the rate of 15 cockerels per 100 pullets, cull- down to 12 cockerels at 10 weeks of age. For mating, provide one cock for 10-15 pullets of light breeds and 6-8 pullets of heavy breeds. Collect hatching eggs two weeks after introduction of males. Gather hatching eggs 3 to 4 times a day. In hot or cold season increase the frequency of collections. As soon as the eggs are collected, store them at a temperature between 10 and 16oC with a relative humidity of 70 – 80%. Select eggs for hatching that meet the weight requirement and that are normal in shape, colour and texture. While storing and transporting hatching eggs, keep them with broad end up and handle the eggs very gently. If possible either set the eggs for incubation or market hatching eggs twice a week. Never hold hatching eggs for more than one week under ordinary conditions of storage.


The incubation period of chicken egg is 21 days. For successful hatching, eggs require specific conditions of temperature, turning and ventilation

((Specific conditions for hatching ))

(A) Temperature: 1-18 days = 37.5 – 37.8’C 19-21 days = 36.9 –37.5’C

(B) Humidity: 60% up to 18 days = 70% thereafter

(C) Turning: Once every 4 hours up to 18 days = –

(D) Ventilation: 1-18 days = 8 changes/hour 19-21 days = 12 changes/hour


Candle the eggs twice during incubation – one on 7th day and the other on 18-19 days of incubation. Transfer the eggs to the hatches after candling on 18th day.


Diseases are likely where larger numbers of birds are reared in confinement. Therefore, a planned programme for the prevention and control of diseases in the poultry houses is a crucial factor in profitable poultry farming. The following general principles are to be followed.

  • Clean the house at least two weeks before housing a new batch of birds.
  • Remove all old litter and equipment. Clean the ceiling, walls and floor. Thorough sweeping and washing followed by treatment with disinfectants are necessary.
  • Wash, disinfect and dry the equipment before placing in the house.
  • Clean the light reflectors, replace burnt out bulbs and check electric connections.
  • Keep all wild birds, rats, dogs and cats out of the farm.
  • Do not allow visitors into the poultry houses.
  • Burn or bury all dead birds immediately.
  • Clean the waters and feeders daily with 1% ammonia solution.
  • Change foot-bath at the entrance of poultry house daily.
  • Adhere to strict sanitation in and around the poultry house.
  • Remove wet litter immediately.
  • Look for signs of ill health in the flock every time you enter the poultry house.
  • Deworm the birds as and when required after peak production.
  • If any disease is suspected, immediately obtain accurate diagnosis and follow recommendations of the poultry specialist consulted


Chicken show varying degrees of sensitivity to different mycotoxins. Presence of mycotoxins in feed is found to cause depressed growth in chickens, depressed egg production and egg weight in laying hens. It adversely affects fertility and hatchability also. Ducks are more sensitive to mycotoxins than chicken. The feed ingredients and feed should be free from mycotoxins. Moisture content above 11% leads to mould growth. Spoilage during storage can be avoided by drying, keeping in air tight bins and reducing storage humidity. Screening of feed ingredients and compounded feed may be carried out regularly. Toxin binders and mould inhibitors may be added to feed for safety.


  1. Lysol: Used as a 1-2% solution. Effective general disinfectant, suitable for instrument; poultry equipments, foot-bath etc;
  2. Lime (CaOH powder): An inexpensive general disinfectant can be used as a white wash to walls. 2-5% solution will destroy most pathogenic organisms and their spores. Highly corrosive to skin.
  3. Bleaching powder: May be used as floor disinfectant in empty houses. 4. Phenols (Cresol): Less toxic but costly. Usually used as a 2-4% solution for disinfecting poultry houses and equipments.


Name of Vaccine = Route = Age of birds

(1) La Sota or F vaccine Ranikhet = Intranasal drop = 3 to 7 days

(2) Marek’s vaccine (in Hatchery) = Intramuscular = 1 day

(3) Infectious Bronchitis (1st dose) = Eye drops = 2 – 3 weeks

(4) La Sota Ranikhet = Drinking water = 5 – 6 weeks

(5) Fowl Pox (1st dose) = Wing Web = 7 – 8 weeks

(6) R2B Ranikhet = Sub cut or Intramuscular = 9 – 10 weeks

(7) Infectious Bronchitis = Eye drop or drinking water = 16 weeks

(8) Fowl Pox (2nd dose) = Skin Scarification = 18 weeks

(9) La Sota (if necessary) Ranikhet = Drinking Water = 20 weeks

(10) La Sota (if necessary) Ranikhet = Drinking Water = 40 weeks IBD :

(11) Mildly invasive vaccine = Drinking Water = 0 – 3 day

(12) Intermediately invasive vaccine = Drinking Water = 15th day

(13) Intermediately invasive vaccine = Drinking Water = 28-30th da



At 18 weeks of age all under grown pullet chicks are to be culled and disposed off. Careful selection at the time of housing enables better returns and fewer culls later. The stock can either be reared in the same house where it was grown or transferred to laying house. Optimum housing density should be maintained for best utilization of house, equipment and labour. Provide 65 feet of floor space per egg type bird. Nest boxes must be introduced to laying house two weeks prior to the onset of lay to help birds to get used to nest. The nests should be roomy, dark, cool, well ventilated and located on one side of the building. Nest boxes made of cheap deal wood, measuring 30 x 30 x 40 cm each may be provided at the rate of one box for every five hens. Clean nesting materials should be placed inside the nest boxes and the nesting materials should be changed periodically. If needed, top-dress the litter with new material


Use correct lighting schedule to ensure better performance. While light period should not be increased for growing birds, it would be advantageous to increase the light period or photoperiod for laying chicken from 22nd week of age onwards at the rate of 15 minutes per week so as to reach 16 hours of total photoperiod (natural plus artificial). When the birds have been in lay for about 6 months, the photoperiod may be increased to 17 hours per day. The light period may be constantly maintained throughout the rest of laying period. There is no special advantage in increasing the photoperiod over 17 hours per day. The lighting programme, if started, should be followed systematically.


A good quality layer mash should be provided to the laying birds. Ration of layer mash for chickens Ingredients = Percentage

  • Yellow Maize = 47
  • Soyabean meal = 12
  • Gingelly oil cake = 4
  • Groundnut oil cake (expeller) = 6
  • Rice polish = 13
  • Wheat bran = 4
  • Fish meal/dried unsalted fish = 6
  • Dicalcium phosphate = 1
  • Salt = 0.25
  • Mineral mixture = 1.75
  • Shell meal = 5 Total 100.00

The feed may be given in linear feed troughs or in hanging feeders. Provide five hanging feeders, each 50 cm in diameter with 20 – 25 kg capacity for 100 layers. Place the feeders within 3 meters of water. Stir the feed few times a day to promote eating. Water space of 2.5 linear cm per bird should be provided. Increase watering space 25% when temperature goes above 27’C. The feeders in the laying pen must be positioned in such a way that the upper edge is slightly higher than the back of the birds. The feeders should not be filled more than 1/3 full.


The advantages of cage rearing are easy management, housing of more number of birds in limited space, clean egg production, less problem due to parasites and other diseases, easier culling, etc. Some of the disadvantages include high initial investment, wet dropping, odour and fly problem. To offset these problems, elevated cage houses are useful. Four birdcages are ideal for commercial layers. The specification of a 4 bird cage is as follows. Length (Frontage) = 45 cm, Height at back = 38 cm, Height at front = 42 cm Width = 42 cm. Since there are two different measurements in height, the floor of the cage will have a slope towards front. Most material for laying cage floors is welded wire fabric. Sometimes the wire is coated with plastic. Most cage floors are constructed of 14 gauge wire to give necessary strength. Usually cage floors are constructed of wire with a mesh size of 2.5 x 5.0 cm (1 x 2″). The wire floor should be extended past the front of the cage for 18 cm and rounded up so as to collect the eggs there. To conserve space, thereby reducing the investment in the house in which the laying cages are placed, many methods have been developed to house birds in a given area. Single-deck, double-deck or triple-deck arrangement can be adopted. The floor of the cage should be about one meter higher than the ground level. In order to collect the droppings from the cages a shallow pit at a depth of 30 cm from the floor level at length-wise just under the cages may be constructed. Long, continuous troughs are used for feeding caged layers. Water is supplied by channel running the length of the cage unit. The water channel is usually placed above the feed trough outside the cage. Instead of water channel, nipple drinkers can also be provided. Birds should be dewormed once in every 3 months.


Breeding birds are reared for the production of hatching eggs. Care should be taken to produce maximum fertile eggs that hatch well. For this purpose males should be reared separately from the females during the growing period. Breeder males should be introduced to the flock of females at 20 weeks of age in the ratio of 1 : 8 for heavy breeds and 1:10 for light breeds. Hatching eggs can be saved from the age of 24 weeks onwards. The birds must be kept free of Pullorum disease and Mycoplasmosis. Clean and dry litter is necessary to produce clean eggs with good hatchability and to improve general health of birds. The hatching eggs should be fresh and with good shell quality. Hair like cracks on the egg shell will reduce hatchability. Nests should be provided at the rate of one per five birds. Breeding birds should be given breeder mash or a layer mash supplemented with MnSO4, Choline Chloride, Selenium, Vit. E, Lysine and Methionine as per standards.


Meat type breeders have the inherent ability to grow faster. There is a negative correlation between the body weight and reproductive capacity. Hence top priority should be given to control the body weight of broiler breeders during growing and laying phases so as to get maximum production and profit.


  • Uniformity in the flock.
  • Produces better egg size during early periods of laying.
  • Reduces body weight at sexual maturity.
  • Offers better livability during egg production.
  • Avoid problems of fertility and hatchability.
  • Leg disorders due to over feeding can be controlled.
  • Mortality due to over feeding will be prevented.
  • Avoid mating difficulties due to their large body size in males.


There are two methods of feed restriction a. Restrict the daily amount of feed given to the bird considering the body weight standards of the particular breed. b. Skip a day feeding either by feeding every alternate day or by skip feeding one day per week. The weekly body weight record is the main criterion for the feed restriction programme. So sample of birds should be weighed on weekly basis and this weight can be compared with that of the standards for those particular breeds. If the body weight is below the standards the feed allotments must be increased.


Year round culling of unproductive stock will fetch better profit. Culling is based on physical characters, which reflect the physiological changes related to egg production.


Birds which do not perform well are culled to optimize profits. Culling is practiced on the basis of outward appearance of available records. Stunted growth and physical deformity do not pose any problem. Culling for poor production or non-production requires handling of all the stocks in the laying pen. Since culling may be a source of annoyance to the flock thereby causing a drop in production it should be practiced in the night.


The appearance of a bird though not an index of its laying ability gives an idea about its health and vigour. The main characteristic for distinguishing a layer from a non-layer is given below. Character = Laying hen = Non-laying hen

  • Comb and wattle = Full, red, waxy, warm and velvet like = dry, hard cold, coarse and shrunken with white scabs
  • Beak = Stocky, well curved, worn -out and less yellow = Very long, thin and sharp pointed, yellow
  • Eyes = Bright and alert = Dull and sleepy
  • Ear lobes = Full, waxy and velvet like = Shrunken, wrinkled and coarse
  • Pelvic bones = Usually spread apart more than 2 fingers, thin and pliable = practically close together thick and stiff
  • Abdomen = Large, spread 3 to 5 fingers, soft and less of fat = Small usually less than 2 fingers, hard and more of fat
  • Vent = Full, large and moist = Small, dry and puckered


Moulting which refers to the shedding of feathers provides some indication about the laying capacity of a bird. Good layers not only moult late but also complete the moulting period quickly and sometimes continue to lay even during moulting. Poor layers on the other hand moult early, take a long time to complete the process and do not lay any eggs during the moulting period. It is possible to determine the beginning of moulting by counting the stiff primary feathers in the wing. The first one to be dropped is the inner one next to the axial feather which separates the primate is from the secondaries. It takes about 6 weeks for the first new primary feather and 2 weeks for each additional full-grown feather. A wing having 4 new primaries during moulting season indicates that the bird has been in moulting for 12 weeks. Laying flocks are generally to be liquidated after one year of production, since keeping them longer into second year of production may be uneconomical. If there is any outbreak of vertically transmitted diseases, like salmonellosis, total culling is recommended.


Eggs produced under clean conditions are most profitable. To produce table eggs keep males out of flock. Fertile eggs deteriorate more quickly than infertile eggs. Provide clean good litter material in the nest boxes. Collect eggs as frequently as possible at least 3 times a day and keep them cool until they are disposed off. In warm weather increase collection to four or five times a day. Handle eggs carefully. Collect the eggs in clean filler flats or in well-ventilated wire plastic baskets. Market eggs frequently. If the percentage of dirty eggs is more, check the management of layer house and take corrective measures.


Chickens prefer a laying house temperature of about 23.8oC and are comfortable up to 29.4oC. When the laying house temperature is above 32.3oC, birds are uncomfortable and the feed consumption is greatly reduced with low egg production. Over 37.8oC, the mortality rate is rather high. Coupled with these, the farmer often faces low egg prices also. Therefore adequate protection of laying birds during hot weather is emphasized. The following tips are recommended to keep the birds comfortable and to curtail deaths during summer months.

  • Provide plenty of clean, cool drinking water at all times. Crushed ice may be provided in waters if possible.
  • Plant shade trees around the poultry house.
  • Use a hosepipe sprinkler on the roof. Sprinkling can reduce temperature inside the house.
  • Clean the wire netting regularly to maintain perfect ventilation.
  • Reduce the thickness of old built-up litter. Two inches of fresh litter may be provided in the place of old litter.
  • Preferable to give artificial light in the early morning hours so that birds eat and drink more during the cooler hours of the day.
  • Provide plenty of soluble grit so that the hens can adjust their calcium intake. This will save a lot of cracked and broken eggs.
  • Addition of electrolytes, Vitamin C, and probiotic in drinking water helps to alleviate heat stress.
  • Provide fan ventilation during summer.
  • Feed during cool hours of the day. Addition of vitamins and minerals in the feed is advantageous.
  • Hang wet gunny bags on the sides.
  • Keep water in mud pots.
  • Provide sprinklers in the pen



India has made considerable progress in broiler production in the last two decades. High quality chicks, equipments, vaccines and medicines are available. With an annual output of 41.06 billion eggs and 1000 million broilers, India ranks fourth largest producer of eggs and fifth largest producer of poultry broiler in the world. The broiler production has also sky rocketed at an annual growth rate of about 15 percent at present. Broiler farming has been given considerable importance in the national policy and has a good scope for further development in the years to come.


  • Initial investment is a little lower than layer farming.
  • Rearing period is 6-7 weeks only.
  • More number of flocks can be taken in the same shed.
  • Broilers have high feed conversion efficiency i.e. least amount of feed is required for unit body weight gain in comparison to other livestock.
  • Faster return from the investment.
  • Demand for poultry meat is more compared to sheep/Goat meat.


Americal Class:

New Hampshire, White Plymouth, Rock Rhode Island Red, Wyandote II

Mediterranean Class:

hey are light bodied and well developed for high egg production. Leghorn, Minorca, Ancona

English Class :

Australorp, Sussex, Orphington They are mostly utility breeds noted for their excellent flushing properties.

Asiatic Class

They are large bodied with heavy bones feathered shanks and poor layers.

Indian breeds:

Asil (Fighting purpose), Kadacknath (Resh is black in colour) Bursa

Commercial Broiler strains:

Eg. Cobb, Hubbard, Lohman, Anak 2000, Avian -34, Starbra, Sam rat etc., ((Commercial Layer Strains)) Eg.BV-300, Bowans, Hyline, H & N nick, Dekalb Lohman etc.


Broiler are young chicken of either sex, which are reared primarily for meat purposes and marketed at an age of 6-8 weeks


The management of birds during 9-20 weeks or to the point of laying is referred to as grower period.


The management of birds during 21-72 weeks of age for the purpose of laying eggs (egg production).

Breeds of Chicken

Chickens are grown for their egg and meat. Likewise they are classified as egg-type chicken and meat-types chickens. Egg type chickens are composed of stock that has been developed for egg production and are maintained for the principal purpose of producing chicks for the ultimate production of eggs for human consumption. Breeds of meat type chickens primarily include broilers, fryers, roasters, and other meat type chickens. Here broilers and other chickens are raised for their meat. Broilers are genetically selected for fast growth and raised for meat rather than eggs

e.g. White Synthetic Male line (WSML), white synthetic dam line (SDL), coloured synthetic male line (CSML), coloured synthetic female line (CSFL), introgression of frizzle gene etc.

Native breeds of egg type chicken in India Breed Body weight (20 weeks)= Age at sexual maturity (days)= Annual egg production (No.)= Egg weight at 40 weeks (g)= Fertility= Hatchability FES (5)

(A) Aseel 1220 =196=92=50=66=63,

(B) Frizzle 1005= 185=110=53=61=71

(C) Kadaknath 920=180=105=49=55=52

(D) Naked neck 1005=201=99=54=66=71


The common control hen, the desi, is as a rule the best mother for hatching. She is a good forager. Some of the Indian flows resemble the Leghorn in size and shape, but have poor laying qualities. They are Found in various colours. one variety found in India resembles the sussex or Plymouth Rock in shape but is smaller. These birds lay family well and are more common in the eastern parts of the country. The Indian birds are mostly non-descripts, and are of very little value as layers. They have several local breed names such as Tenis, Naked Neck, Punjab, Brown, Ghagus, Lolab, Kashmir Faberella, Tilri, Busra, Telllicherry, Danki, Nicorai and Kalahasti. There are only 4 pure breeds Karaknath and the Busra. The last occurs in western India. A large number of flows of different size, shapes and colours, and for the most part resembling the jungle fowls, are found all over India. They vary in appearance according to the locality in which they have been bred. These with Chittagong, Aseel, Langshan or Brahma blood in them are bigger in size and better in meat quality than the common flows.


Asil is noted for its pugnacity, high stamina, majestic gait and dogged fighting qualities. The best specimens of the breed, although rare, and encountered in parts of Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rsjasthan. The most popular varieties are peela (golden red), yarkin (black and red), Nurie 89(white), kagar (black), chitta (black and white silver), Teekar (brown) and Reza (light red). Although poor in productivity, the birds of this breed are well-known for their meat qualities. Broodiness in most common and the hen is a good sitter and efficient mother. They possess pea combs which are small but firmly set on head. Wattles and ear lobes are bright red, and the beak is hart. The face is long and slender, and not covered with feather. The eyes are compact, well set and present bold looks. The neck is long, uniformly thick but no fleshy. The body is round and short with broad breast straight back and close – set strong tail root. The general feathering is close, scanty and almost absent on the Brest. The plumage has practically no fluff and the feathers are tough. The tail is small and drooping. The legs are strong, straight, and set well apart. Standard weight (kg): Cocks, 4 to 5; hen 3 to 4; cockerrels, 3.5 to 4.5; pullets, 2.5 to 3.5.


The original name of the breed seems to be Kalamasi, meaning a fowl with black flesh. However, it is popularly known as Karaknath. The eggs are light brown. The day-old chicks are bluish to black with irregular dark stripes over the the back. The adult plumage varies from silver and gold-spangled to bluish-black without any spangling. The skin, beak, shanks, toes and soles of feet are slatelike in colour.The comb, wattles and tongue are purple. Most of the internal organs show intense black colouration which is pronounced in trachea, thoracic and abdominal air-sacs, gonads and at the base of the heart and mesentery. Varying degrees of block colouration are also seen in the skeletal muscles, tendons, nerves, meninges, brain etc. The blood is darker than normal blood. The black pigment has been due to deposition of melanin, The flesh although repulsive to look at, is delicious. A medium layer, lays about 80 eggs per year. The bird is resistant to diseases in its natural habitat in free range but is more susceptible to Mareks disease under intensive rearing conditions.

Other commercial breeds of broiler chicken in India

Breed  First egg= 50% Production= Peak production=Livability= Egg production peak= Feed efficiency= Egg weight= Net egg production (72 weeks)

(a) ILI-80 17-18 weeks=150 days=26-28 weeks=Grower (96%) Layer (94%)=92%=2.1=54 g =280 eggs

(b) Golden-92 18-19 weeks=155 days=27-29 weeks Grower (96%) Layer (94%)=90%=2.2=54 g=265 eggs

(c) Priya  17-18 weeks=150 days=26-28 weeks Grower (96%) Layer (94%)=92%=2.1=57 g=290 eggs

(d) Sonali  18-19 weeks=155 days=27-29 weeks Grower (96%) Layer (94%)=90%=2.2=54 g=275 eggs

(e) Devendra 18-19 weeks=155 days=27-29 weeks Grower (97%) Layer (94%)= 90%=2.5=50 g=200 eggs

Commercial available meat-type chicken in India

Breed  Weight at six weeks (g) = Weight at seven weeks (g) = Food conversion ratio = Livability (%)

(a) B-77 1300 =1600=2.3= 98-99

(b) CARIBRO-91 1650= 2100= 1.94-2.2=97-98

(c) CARIBRO Multicolored 1600=2000=1.9-2.1= 97-98

(d) CARIBRO Naked necked=1650= 2000 = 1.9-2.0=97-98

(e) Varna 1500=1800=2.1-2.25= 97



Ranikhet disease, also known in the West as Newcastle disease is a contagious and highly fatal daises of flows. In spite of the notable work done towards its control, this disease still ranks as one of the most serious virus diseases of poultry. The disease occurs in almost all countries and usually assumes a server form affecting birds of all ages. Mortality in flows varies from 50 to 100 per cent. Ranikhet disease is largely a disease of flows, but it also effects turkeys, pigenosn, grows, ducks, geese, koel pheasants, guinea-flows, partridges and doves. hedgehogs have been suspected as reservoirs of the disease. The disease is also suspected to cause conjunctivitis among laboratory workers and persons handling infected birds.


The symptoms vary according to the age of the affected birds. The first symptoms usually observed in young birds are sneezing, gasping and often droopiness. It is in this stage of the disease that the manifestations rather closely resemble those of infections bronchitis. Within a short time after appearance of respiratory symptoms, deaths occur in a flock in quick succession and in increasing numbers from day to day. Among growing birds and in adult sudden deaths occur in a dew instances, and are followed by a number of birds showing respiratory symptoms. The affected birds are full and depressed with ruffled feathers. These symptoms are accompanied by diarrhea, characterize by the passing of a watery stool with an offensive smell. There is profuse salivation. The saliva often accumulates in the mouth and obstructs respiration, which results in the production of gurgling disused birds may be soft – shelled and deformed. In turkeys the disease runs a very mild course. In adults, in particular, it may pass unnoticed except for some dullness, loss of appetite and other minor symptoms.


At present there is no effective treatment of any value. Proper housing and general good care are indicated in an effort to shorten the duration and severity of the infection. An early recognition of the disease and application of struck sanitary measures are of great value in the control of the disease. Some important measures for its prevention are ; slaughtering of all apparently ailing birds, segregating of in – contact in group of 10 to 15 each; removal of all infective materials such as droppings, residues of poultry cleanliness ; and provision of separate attendants for each group of birds. The poultry farm should be at a distance from place of traffic. All newly purchased birds should be kept in segregation from not less than 10 days before taking them into the farm. The poultry runs should be ploughed from time to time and lime applied thereon as a general disinfectant. As far as possible the pens and runs should be made inaccessible to free – flying birds by providing a barrier of wire – netting.


Control of Ranikhet diseases can be effect with judicious application of sanitary and vaccination measures. The possibility of entry and spread of infection is considerably reduced through the maintenance of flock on deep little system and stopping all unauthorized entries, even of human beings, into the battery brooders. Disposal of fowl carcasses by burning or deep brutal to reduce the scope of carrion-eating birds like crows, kites and vultures perching near fowl pens or poultry farms helps to resume the hazards of this infection. Two types of vaccines are available in India, one for the adult birds an another for younger birds or body chicks. The virus strain for Ranikeht disease vaccine used for adult birds age over weeks was evolved at the Indian veterinary Research Institute. The vaccine consists of freeze – dried virus grown in chick embryos. Vaccination of birds 6 weeks old and above confers immunity for 1 to 3 years. Care should be taken to vaccinate birds not carrying heavy coccidian infection. Birds with heavy worm infection or coccidiosis are not protected even with a good vaccine. There are sometimes complications side reactions following vaccination. There are sometimes complications side reactions following vaccination with ‘Mukteswar’ strain of Ranikhet disease vaccine. These consist on inco-ordination of limbs and sometimes paralysis in 1 to 3 per cent to the vaccinated birds. The reactions may become more acute if the birds are affected with roundworms, coccidiosis or are weak on account of malnutrition.


Age Disease Vaccine Route 1.

  • day Mareks HVT vaccine I/M
  • 5-7 days RD Lasota/F Occulonasal
  • 10-14 days IBD IBD Live Drinking water
  • 24-28 days IBD IBD Live Drinking water
  • 8th week RD R2B/RDVK S/C
  • 16-18 week RD Killed/Live S/C


Birds should be dewormed starting from one week prior to R2B/RDVK vaccination and repeated at 3-week intervals so as to give a total of 4 dewormings before housing at 18 weeks of age. Piperazine compounds, albendazole, mebendazole etc. can be used against round worms. Against tape worms, Niclosamide, Praziquintel, Albendazole can be used. While medicating through drinking water, it should be done by mixing the required quantity of medicine in the quantity of water that chicks normally consume in 4 hours time (say approximately 6 litres per one hundred, 6 week-old chicks, per day). Additional water should be given only when all the medicated water is consumed by the chicks.


The birds should be dusted or dipped and houses fumigated as soon as there is indication of ectoparasites. The following may be used for dusting and dipping. Dipping should be avoided on rainy days. Head dipping has to be avoided.

  • Tick tox “synthetic pyrithrine compound. Dose “as per manufacturers instructions
  • Butox “Deltamethrin compound. Dose “ as per manufacturers instructions

In addition to these, general measures of sanitation such as keeping young stock away from adult stock, keeping the poultry houses and equipments clean, prohibiting visitors into the poultry house, proper disposal of dead birds, prevention of entry of rodents and other birds into the pen and periodical culling will greatly help in checking diseases.


Disease, etiological agent and species affected

(1) Fowl cholera- (P.multocida) Poultry, Turkey and Duck Important symptoms: In acute cases birds may die without showing any symptom. In less severe form breathing rapid- open beak, feather ruffled, comb and wattle become cyanotic. There may be yellowish diarrhoea. In chronic form swollen comb and wattle, joints hot and painful. In duck acute haemorrhagic enteritis and oozing of blood from oral cavity noticed. Sudden death will be occurring. Specimens to be collected: Blood smear from ailing bird, spleen, liver, lung etc. from sacrificed or dead bird in separate cover (on ice), long bones from putrefied carcass in charcoal packing. In chronic case smear from wattle. Diagnosis Demonstration of organism in blood smear, isolation of organism from internal organs, isolation of the organism from long bone, in chronic case it is difficult to demonstrate the organism in blood. Smear from wattle is used, biological method using pigeon. Control / Treatment Treatment: Sulpha drugs and TMP combination, Enrofloxacin are effective. Drugs like Flamequin, Ampicillin, Chloramphenicol, Chlortetracycline and Novobiocin are also used.

  • Killed vaccine
  • Formalins vaccines with adjuvant: 1 ml s/c

(2) Pullorum disease -(Salmonella pullorum) Poultry Important symptoms Chicks hatched from infected egg, moribund or dead chick may be seen in the incubator. Sometimes disease is not seen for 5-10 days. Peak mortality during second or third week. Affected birds may exhibit a shrill cry when voiding excreta, which is white or greenish brown. Infection spread within the flock for a long time without any distinct signs. Reduction in egg production, fertility and hatchability. Specimens to be collected Ailing bird or freshly dead birds, or spleen, liver and intestine on ice from dead birds. Diagnosis Isolation and identification of organism from diseased birds, whole blood agglutination using coloured antigen (not for turkey), tube agglutination test, ELISA, post mortem lesions. In adult, abnormal ovary with misshapen, discoloured ova, pedunculated with thickened wall.  Control / Treatment No treatment is likely to effect complete elimination of carrier from infected birds. Sulphadiazine, Sulphamerazine, sulphapyrazine, Sulphamethazine are the most effective in chicken (not in turkey poults). Furazolidone is effective. Also chloramphenicol, colistin and apromycin are effective. No vaccination practised and all positive birds may be disposed off by slaughter. Birds recently vaccinated with S. gallinarum (9R) may give low titre. Since Tran ovarian transmission of organism is there, only eggs from salmonella free flock should be used for hatching.

(3) Fowl typhoid – (S.gallinarum) Poultry and Turkey Important symptoms Chicks hatched from infected egg, moribund or dead chick may be seen in the incubator. Sometimes disease is not seen for 5-10 days. Peak mortality during second or third week. Affected birds may exhibit a shrill cry when voiding excreta, which is white or greenish brown. Infection spread within the flock for a long time without any distinct signs. Reduction in egg production, fertility and hatchability. Birds show diarrhea and greenish faeces and systemic disturbances. Specimens to be collected Ailing bird or fresh carcass or liver, spleen and intestine from freshly dead birds by special messenger on ice Diagnosis Isolation and identification of organism, tube and plate test, clinical observation and necropsy findings (Bronze liver Control / Treatment Sulpha-TMP drugs, Quinelone group are used. Nitrofurans (Furazolidone) are used with some success.

  • Killed vaccine,
  • Live vaccine (9 R strain). Drugs when used as prophylactic agent, 10 days withdrawal period before slaughter.

(4) Paratyphoid infection of birds with Salmonella other than – S. Pullorum and S.gallinarum Poultry, Turkey, Ducks and Goose Important symptoms Chicks hatched from infected egg, moribund or dead chick may be seen in the incubator. Sometimes disease is not seen for 5-10 days. Peak mortality during second or third week. Affected birds may exhibit a shrill cry when voiding excreta, which is white or greenish brown. Infection spread within the flock for a long time without any distinct signs. Reduction in egg production, fertility and hatchability. Specimens to be collected Two ailing birds Internal organs in sterile vials, by special messenger on ice. Diagnosis Isolation and identification of organism, clinical observation and autopsy findings, serological tests. Control / Treatment Furazlidone, injectable gentamicin, spectinomycin, and sodium nalidixate are the drugs of choice. Bacterin and attenuated live vaccines are used.

(5) Collibacillosis Poultry, Turkey, Duck Important symptoms In acute form, symptoms resemble fowl cholera or fowl typhoid. Specimens to be collected Ailing bird or internal organs in sterile containers through special messenger on ice. Diagnosis Symptoms, isolation and identification of organism, PM lesions, pericarditis, peritonitis, air saculitis, perihepatitis, septicaemic carcass with liver, spleen, lung, kidney dark and congested. Control / Treatment Faecal contamination of hatching eggs reduced by fumigating or disinfecting eggs within 2 hours of laying. Antibiotic administration after studying the antibiogram. Furazolidone is fed (0.04%) for 10 days and chlortetracycline in water (600 mg/5 L) for 5 days. Inactivated vaccine from 02:K1 and 078:KSO strains are effective. For ducks, inactivated vaccine prepared from 078 strains is effective.

(6) Infectious coryza – (Haemophiluspara gallinarum) Chicken Important symptoms Affects upper respiratory tract, sero mucoid nasal and occular discharges and facial oedema, conjunctivitis with closed eyes. Specimens to be collected Ailing bird or trachea and lungs in sterile containers on ice. Diagnosis Isolation and identification. Control / Treatment Sulpha drugs plus TMP, streptomycin, tetracycline, chloramphenicol, quinolone 2nd generation.

(7) Chronic – ( respiratory disease (CRD) Mycoplasma gallisepticum) Chicken and Turkey Important symptoms Nasal discharge, shaking of head, coughing, swelling of the orbital sinuses and tracheal rales. Loss of weight, reduction in egg production and fertility, mortality low. Specimens to be collected Ailing bird or trachea, air sac, turbinate and lung in sterile container from dead bird. Diagnosis Symptoms, isolation and identification of organism, rapid serum plate test, HI test, ELISA. Control / Treatment Chlortetracycline, tylosin, streptomycin, erythromycin or lincomycin can be tried. But some strains are resistant to tylosin, streptomycin, erythromycin or spiromycin. Dipping of egg prior to hatching in tylosin or chlortetracycline is advised for controlling the infection. MG bacterin with oil emulsion adjuvant. Live vaccine F strain of MG can be used.

(8) Gangrenous dermatitis – (Clostridium septicum, C. perfringes ) Poultry Important symptoms Varying degree of depression, in coordination, leg weakness, ataxia, dark moist areas of skin devoid of feathers, overlying wings, breast, abdomen and leg, extensive blood tinged edema with or without gas is present beneath the affected skin. Specimens to be collected Ailing birds, swab collected from affected area. Diagnosis Clinical symptoms and lesions, isolation and identification of organism Control / Treatment No treatment is completely successful. Chlortetracycline, Oxytetracycline, Bacitracin, penicillin, copper sulphate in drinking water. Furaxone in feed

(9) Psittacosis/Ornithosis – (Chlamydia psittaci) Domestic poultry, turkey and ducks. Transmissible to man. Important symptoms Ruffled plumage, nasal discharge, watery greenish diarrhea, pasting of feathers, wasting of pectoral muscles, nervous symptoms, respiratory symptoms. Specimens to be collected Two ailing birds, impression smears from cut surfaces of liver, spleen, air sac impression smears. Diagnosis Clinical symptoms, P.M.findings, microscopical examination, impression smears, after modified ZN staining isolation and identification of the organism, CFT. Control / Treatment Broad-spectrum antibiotics, chlortetracycline 500-800 g/tonne of feed for 3 weeks. Doxycycline also tried.


Feeding constitutes the fundamental and major management concern in poultry production since major expenditure (60-70%) in poultry rising is feed cost. Efficiency in feeding therefore is one of the key factors for successful poultry production. More than 40 nutrients are required by the poultry. They can be arranged into six classes according to their chemical nature, functions they perform and the ease with which they are chemically determined. These groups of nutrients are: water, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins. Carbohydrates and fats are the principal sources of energy. Fats are the concentrated form of energy and yield 2·25 times more energy than, carbohydrates, on weight basis. Fats are also the source of essential fatty acids, i.e. linoleic, linolenic and arachidonic acids. The requirement for protein is essentially the requirement for amino acids. The essential amino acids for poultry are : arginine, glycine, histidine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, methionine, cystine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Out of these, the ones critical in practical diets are arginine, lysine, methionine, cystine and tryptophan. Minerals and vitamins do not supply energy but they play an important role in the regulation of several essential metabolic processes in the body.

The minerals and vitamins that are critical in practical poultry diets are as follows:


Calcium, phosphorus, sodium. copper, iodine, iron, manganese and zinc.


Vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, pyridoxine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, folic acid, BIZ and choline . A balanced ration is the one which will supply different nutrients in right proportions according to the requirements for maintenance and various productive functions. The nutrients required by poultry must be supplied in rations through the ingredients available in sufficient quantity economically.


Conventional poultry rations usually include many cereals like maize, rice, wheat, oat, barley; and a few cereal byproducts such as wheat-bran or rice polish, animal and vegetable protein sources like fish-meal, meat-meal, soybean-oil-meal, groundnut-cake, etc. according to their availability. The whole ration is fortified with adequate minerals and vitamins either in chemically pure or through ingredients known to be rich in these nutrients. With the cost of feed soaring high and the availability of conventional ingredients becoming scarce, intensive and continuous efforts are being made to determine the nutritive value of agro industrial byproducts to replace more costly ingredients in poultry rations. The following are some of the common feedstuffs used for making poultry rations in this country.



It is highly digestible and contains very little fibre. It is used as a source of energy and is low in protein, especially lysine, and sulphur-containing amino acids. The yellow varieties are a good source of vitamin A and xanthophyll. The latter is responsible for the yellow skin in certain breeds of fowl.


Barley is not very palatable because of its high fibre content and should not constitute more than 15 per cent of the ration.

3) OAT

Oat is not very palatable because of its high fibre content. It should not constitute more than 20 per cent of the ration. Because of its manganese content, it may help in preventing hock disorders, feather pulling and cannibalism.


Wheat can be used for replacing maize as a source of energy.


It is bulky and quite laxative on account of its high fibre, manganese and phosphorus content.


This is a very useful feedstuff, similar to wheat in its nutritive value.


Broken grains of rice can be used for replacing maize.


This is a very good substitute for cereal grains and can be used up to 50 per cent of the ration. Because of the high oil content, it is likely to become rancid on storage under warm conditions.


Energy content of deoiled rice polish is low because of the removal of fat, but it is rich in protein and ash content.


The feeding value of sorghum is similar to that of maize. But it has a higher protein content, quite palatable and maybe used in place of maize. Sorghum-meal is a good source of some amino acids, but costlier than other oilcakes.


It is quite palatable and is widely used as a source of protein in poultry rations. It contains about 40 per cent protein.


Fish-meal is one of the best poultry feedstuffs as a source of animal protein. Its composition varies widely depending upon whether it is made from whole bony fish or fish cannery scraps. Most Indian fish-meals contain 45 to 55 per cent protein. The presence of fish scales reduces its feeding value.


Limestone is a source of calcium. It should not contain more than 5 per cent magnesium.


Oyster-shell contains more than 38 per cent calcium, and is a good substitute for limestone. It is quite palatable.



  • Plan the requirements of chicks, book with hatchery people and contact and confirm the exact date and time of arrival of chicks. When chicks are delivered, do not allow the delivery van into the farm premises. Take delivery at the entrance itself.
  • Keep boiled and cooled drinking water ready. Add 8gm of glucose, 0.5-1gm of mild antibiotic or antibacterial drug per liter, electrolytes and vitamin mixture at recommended dosage in water for the first day.
  • Antibiotics and vitamins may be continued for 3-5 days.
  • Keep medicated water in the water before leaving the chicks into the brooder arrangement.
  • Keep feeders open for five hours and spread a little feed on the newspaper. Check. Whether the chicks are healthy, of uniform weight with in the suggested range of 40-48 gm each.
  • Count the chicks, dip the beak of the chicks in the drinking water and place it gently into the brooding arrangement.
  • Return weak, inactive, unhealthy chicks with matted feather at the back and the dead chicks and ask for replacement.Check that the chicks’ move actively scratching and taking feed and water.
  • If kerosene stoves or coal stoves are used a metal vessel with sand is placed over the stove to dissipate heat properly.
  • Heater coils may also be provided for warmth instead of bulbs. They have to be hanged above the reach of the chicks.
  • It is necessary to verify whether the warmth given is sufficient to the chicks. During 1st week, chicks require 35 C (95 F) warmth, which may be reduced by 5C every week.
  • A thermometer kept at the bird level will indicate the temperature.
  • However, more practical way of assessing the adequacy of warmth provided is by watching the distribution of chicks with in the brooder guard management. If they are crowd under or near the source of heat, then the warmth given is not sufficient. Then a bulb may be added to the hover or the height of the hover may be brought down.
  • If chicks have moved to the periphery and are reluctant to come to the centre under heat source, then temperature in the environment is higher than required. The hover may be pushed up or a bulb removed.
  • If the chicks feel comfortable at the given temperature, they walk actively throughout the area unmindful of the heat provided and some taking rest setting their head down on the side, the posture being given the name as chick comfort.
  • Particularly, the hover may be put on for 22 hours in a day switching it off for only 30 minutes during the night. Later on, lighting for heat may be given during night only up to the end of 2nd or 3rd week, depending on the season. It may be restricted to one-week only during peak summer and extended to three weeks during winter or rainy seasons. In such seasons, it is advisable to close sides of the house with thick curtains during first week.
  • Care of growing chicks The brooder and artificial heat should be removed after about 6 weeks of age. Cull and dispose of unthrifty and sick chicks. Floor space should be 0.095-0.19 m2 floor space per bird. From 8 weeks of age, place the birds on a grower feed. A formula that can be used is given below.

Composition of grower ration Ingredients= Percentage (%)

  • Yellow Maize= 43
  • Groundnut cake (expeller) = 8
  • Gingelly oil cake= 5
  • Fish meal/dried unsalted fish= 6
  • Rice polish= 16
  • Wheat bran= 20
  • Salt= 0.25
  • Mineral mixture= 1.75 Total 100.00
  • Average feed consumption of egg type birds during growing period:

Age in weeks= Feed consumed (g/bird/day)

  • 10= 53.0
  • 11= 58.0
  • 12= 60.0
  • 13= 60.0
  • 14= 60.0
  • 15= 62.0
  • 16= 62.0
  • 17= 65.0
  • 18= 70.0
  • 19= 75.0
  • 20= 75.0

The number of feeders has to be increased, so also their height from the floor. The feeder space requirement for growing chicks is 10 cm per bird (considering both sides of the feeder). If tube feeders are used, provide one tube feeder of 25 kg capacity for 50 birds. The level of the mouth of feeder should be in line with the back of the bird or slightly high. Water should be available at all times, the water space requirement being 2-2.5 cm per bird.


The birds should be vaccinated as detailed in the schedule for vaccination. Deworming should be done routinely as detailed earlier.


Debeaking prevents cannibalism and feed wastage. It is an established procedure for poultry management, usually carried out by means of thermocautery by using electric debeaker. It is important to remove only 1/3 of the upper beak and slight cutting only of the lower beak. Debeaking can be carried out between one day and six weeks of age. Debeaking may have to be repeated sometimes before the pullets are placed in the layer house, say at about 16 weeks of age. Birds under backyard system are not to be debeaked. If indicated broiler chicks may be debeaked during the first week. A trained person should carry out debeaking.


Dubbing may be resorted to in day old chicken belonging to breeds, which have larger/lopped comb.

  • LIGHT:

During night hours, light is not required for egg type growers.


Hatching of eggs refers to the production of baby chicks. In early days eggs were hatched by placing them under broody hens. Desi hens proved to be ideal for this purpose. Only 10 to 12 eggs can be put under 1 hen. This method of hatching is highly unsatisfactory for large-scale production of baby chicks. Incubators, which provide similar environment as that of broody hens, but more efficiently, are used at present for hatching of eggs


The physical factors necessary for successful incubation are temperature, humidity, gaseous environment and turning of eggs. Optimum and uniform temperature inside the incubator is very essential for obtaining satisfactory results. The incubator temperature should be maintained as recommended by the manufacturer. It usually varies from 99.5° to 100.5°F (37.2°C – 37.8°C) for forced draft-type incubators and about 1°F higher for still-air incubators. Low temperature slows down the development of embryo and higher than optimum temperature hastens the embryonic development. When abnormal temperature conditions extend over a long period, hatchability is adversely affected by increase in embryonic mortality and weak and deformed chicks. Humidity in the incubator affects hatchability. Dry and wet bulb thermometers are used for measuring humidity. In fowls egg takes about 21 days to hatch. The relative humidity should be around 60 per cent during the first 18 days of incubation and 70 per cent in the last 3 days for optimum hatchability. In the forced draft-type incubators the temperature requirement decreases as the humidity increases. Fertile eggs are loaded into the incubator with broad end up. Hatchability decreases when eggs are placed in the incubator with narrow end up as the embryo develops with its head in the small end. Turning or eggs in the incubator improves hatchability. Eggs should be turned at least 4 times during a day when turning is done by hand. Modem incubators are provided with devices for automatic turning of eggs at least 8 times or more during 24 hours. In this egg trays turn through an angle of 90°. No turning is required after 18 days of incubation. Use of separate hatcher improves hatchability. When separate hatcher is used temperature is maintained at about 98°F and relative humidity at 70 to 80 per cent to obtain good hatch. Use of separate hatcher facilitates cleaning, disinfection and fumigation without disturbing other eggs.


The eggs are candled from fifth to seventh days of incubation to remove infertile eggs and on 18th day to remove dead germs. Although infertile eggs or eggs with dead germ do not serve any useful purpose, removal of such eggs from the incubator makes the room available for setting of more eggs. In most commercial establishments, candling is done on 17th or 18th day of incubation to save labour. Depending upon the passage of light through the egg, the eggs are classified as infertile when transparent, dead germ when translucent and eggs with live embryos when opaque. Eggs with live embryos only are transferred to the hatcher. For pedigree hatching of eggs they are to be set sire and dam wise in the incubator and also should be placed in the hatcher compartment wise, one compartment for each dam.


At the beginning of hatching season the incubator and hatchers should be thoroughly checked for their functioning and defects, if any, rectified. They should be properly cleaned, disinfected and fumigated to kill disease organisms before storing and after transfer of eggs to the hatcher. This reduces the incidence and spread of diseases. Fumigation is usually done with formaldehyde gas using 40 ml of 40 per cent commercial formalin and 20 g of potassium permanganate for each 2·8 m3 of space inside the incubator or hatcher. Potassium permanganate may be placed in a glass or earthenware container and formalin poured over it. Fumigation should preferably be done-at the end of the working day and then the rooms closed. It is a good practice to start the incubator and the hatcher at least 24 hours before setting the eggs to maintain a constant temperature. Persons working in the hatchery should use showers, and change clothes and shoes before entering. Receipt of eggs from the farm and the delivery of chicks should be away from each other to reduce infection. When electric supply is uncertain use of a standby generator is advocated.


Open-sided poultry houses are very popular in our country. Except where the temperature is exceptionally low open-sided houses work very satisfactorily and are also preferred for economic reasons. The primary objective of providing housing to poultry is to protect them from sun, rain and predators. Housing is also essential to provide comfort. Poultry houses should be-well ventilated, reasonably cool in summer and warm during winter, and free from drafts. In hotter parts of the country, the long axis of the house should run from east to west and the sides should face north-south to prevent direct sunshine falling into the house. In colder parts of the country it is desirable to construct the houses facing south or south-east to get maximum sunlight. The distance between two houses for birds of same age group should be at least 18 m to allow proper ventilation.But the young stock house should be at least 45 to 100 m away from the houses having adult stocks to prevent diseases. To avoid ventilation problem the width of the house should not exceed 9 m in open-sided houses. The height of the house depends upon temperature of the place. Ordinarily the height of the house should be 2·4 to 3 m from the foundation to roof line. When height is more it helps to reduce the inside temperature. A poultry house should not be expensive. Durability, comfort and safety of house, however, should not be sacrificed. The floor of the house should be moisture-proof, free from cracks, easily cleaned, rat proof and durable. The different types of floor in use are all-litter floor, all-slate floor, slate and litter floor, wire and litter floor, and sloping wire floor. The walls and partitions must be solid enough to support the roof and withstand heavy winds. Wide variation is possible depending upon agro climatic conditions, availability and cost of construction materials. The roof must be draft and moisture proof. Insulation of roof helps both in summer as well as in winter. Where summer temperature is high roof should be painted with a reflecting type of paint such as aluminium paint. An over-hang of 0·9 m will help to prevent the rain water splashing inside the house. The climatic conditions and age group of birds will determine the extent of side opening. Usually half to two-thirds area of the side walls are kept open in open-sided house fitted with wire mesh. In areas where temperature is high and continuous, more than two-thirds of the side wall area may be left open for proper ventilation. In brooder houses half the area is left open, in grower and layer houses two-thirds and in cage houses the maximum. Irrespective of the house, all the Poultry houses should be located in well-drained grounds, safe from flood waters and with easy access from the road.


The following are the desirable points to be borne in mind while selecting a location.

  • Establish the farm preferably in an area where chicks and feed are easily available.
  • Where there is a source of electricity.
  • Where there is a possibility of good drainage during monsoon.
  • Where drinking water is freely available.
  • Where there is good market nearby.



Poultry management usually refers to the husbandry practices or production techniques that help to maximize the efficiency of production. Sound management practices are very essential to optimize production. Scientific poultry management aims at maximizing returns with minimum investment.



Brooder house should be draft-free, rain-proof and protected against predators. Brooding pens should have windows with wire mesh for adequate ventilation. Too dusty environment irritates the respiratory tract of the chicks. Besides dust is one of the vehicles of transmission of diseases. Too much moisture causes ammonia fumes which irritate the respiratory tract and eyes. Good ventilation provides a comfortable environment without draft.


All movable equipments like feeders, waters and hovers should be removed from the house, cleaned and disinfected. All liters are to be scraped and removed. The interior as well as exterior of the house should be cleaned under pressure. The house should be disinfected with any commercial disinfectant solution at the recommended concentration. Insecticide should be sprayed to avoid insect threat. Malathion spray/blow lamping or both can be used to control ticks and mites. New litter should be spread after each cleaning. The insecticides if necessary should be mixed with litter at recommended doses.


Suitable litter material like saw dust and paddy husk should be spread to a length of 5 cm depending upon their availability and cost. Mouldy material should not be used. The litter should be stirred at frequent intervals to prevent caking. Wet litters if any should be removed immediately and replaced by dry new litter. This prevents ammoniacal odour.


Heating is very much essential to provide right temperature in the brooder house. Too high or too low a temperature slows down growth and causes mortality. During the first week the temperature should be 95°F (35°C) which may be reduced by 5°F per week during each successive week till 70°F (21·10C). The brooder should be switched on for at least 24 hours before the chicks arrive. As a rule of thumb the temperature inside the brooder house should be approximately 20°F (-6·7°C) below the brooder temperature Hanging of a maximum and minimum thermometer in each house is recommended to have a guide to control over the differences in the house temperature. The behavior of chicks provides better indication of whether they are getting the desired amount of heat. . When the temperature is less than required, the chicks try to get closer to the source of heat and huddle down under the brooder. When the temperature is too high, the chicks will get away from the source of heat and may even pant or gasp. When temperature is right, the chicks will be found evenly scattered. In hot weather, brooders are not necessary after the chicks are about 3 weeks old. Several devices can be used for providing artificial heat. Hover type electric brooders are by far the most common and practical these days. The temperature in these brooders is thermostatically controlled. Many a times the heat in the brooder house is provided by use of electric bulbs of different intensities. Regulation of temperature in such cases is difficult although not impossible. Infra¬red lamps are also very good for brooding. The height and number of infra-red lamps can be adjusted as per temperature requirement in the brooder house.


Brooder space of 7 to 10 sq inch (45-65 cm2) is recommended per chick. Thus a 1·80 m hover can hold 500 chicks. When small pens are used for brooding, dimension of the house must be taken into consideration as overcrowding results in starve-outs, culls and increase in disease problems.


To prevent the straying of baby chicks from the source of heat, hover guards are placed 1·05 to 1·50 m from the edge of hover. Hover guard is not necessary after 1 week.


Floor space of 0·05 m2 should be provided per chick to start with, which should be increased by 0·05 m2 after every 4 weeks until the pullets are about 20 weeks of age. For broilers at least 0·1 m2 of floor space for female chicks and 0·15 m2 for male chicks should be provided till 8 weeks of age. Raising broiler pullets and cockerel chicks in the separate pens may be beneficial.


Plentiful of clean and fresh water is very much essential. A provision of 50 linear cm of water space per 100 chicks for first two weeks has to be increased to 152-190 linear cm at 6 to 8 weeks. When changing from chick fountain to water trough the fountains are to be left in for several days till the chicks have located the new water source. Height of the waters should be maintained at 2·5 cm above the back height of the chicks to reduce spoilage. Antibiotics or other stress medications may be added to water if desired. All waters should be cleaned daily. It may be desirable to hold a few chicks one at a time and teach them to drink.


Basically two systems are commonly followed in our country

(1) Cage system

(2) Deep litter system


The cage system of rearing birds has been considered as a super intensive system providing floor area of 450-525 (0.6-0.75 sq.feet) per bird. In cage the birds are kept in one, two or three per cage, arranged in single or double or triple rows. Cage system


  • Greater number of birds is reared per unit of area
  • Facilitates correct maintenance of records
  • Helps in identifying poor producers and prompt culling
  • Control of vices of poultry cannibalism and egg eating
  • It helps in production of clean eggs
  • Removal of stress factors
  • Easy control of parasitic disease like coccidiosis and worm infestation
  • Prompt steps to control feed wastage.
  • The cage method of housing is ideal for the area of moderated climate conditions where the day temperature in summer does not high and temperature does not fall too low.
  • Egg production of caged layer was reported to be more then those kept in deep litter system.
  • Feed efficiency and egg weight were better in caged birds than the laying flock under deep litter system.


  • Difficulties in ensuring proper ventilation to birds especially in summer season and under very high densed conditions.
  • Incidence of leg problem, cage layer fatigue, fatty liver syndrome, flies and obnoxious gases in the house will be on increases
  • Hysteriosis of chicks


Cage fatigue is considered to a physiological derangement of mineral electrolytes imbalance. Leg weakness is common in caged birds.

Fatty live syndrome

It is a problem met with caged layers due to increased deposition of fat in the body resulting in death due to internal hemorrhage. Increasing the protein level and the diet strengthened by the addition of choline, vitamin B12, inositol and vitamin-E may be helpful in reducing the incidence of problem. Proper ventilation, correction of light-intensity, duration, temperature, ideal environmental conditions, and maintenance of comfort in cages will check the conditions of hysteria of chicken in cages.



  • It is an economical
  • Hygienic, comfortable and safe to birds
  • Built up litter supplies vitamin B12 and Riboflavin to the birds
  • Controls diseases and vices
  • It increases the efficiency of production
  • Materials such as paddy husks saw dust, dried leaf, chopped straw and groundnut kernels depending upon the availability can be used as litter materials.

Points to be considered while adopting deep litter system

  • The deep litter system should always kept dry.
  • Only right numbers of birds should be housed
  • The house should be well ventilated
  • The litter should be stirred at least once in a week-wet litter if any should be replaced immediately with new dry litter and birds must be fed a balanced ratio.
  • The time starting deep litter system should be in the dry period of the year as it allows sufficient time (At least two months) for bacterial action. 6. Placing of water should be given due attention to keep litter dry.


Size of flock

Larger size units are more economical than smaller ones under commercial conditions. A unit of 2000 layers is usually considered as economical for commercial egg production. In the case of broilers a unit intake of 250 chicks per week is usually considered as viable.


Procure the best quality chicks. No amount of good management can convert poor quality chicks into good layers or broilers. More profit can be made in a commercial unit by procuring day old pullet chicks. In broiler units, straight-run chicks would give equally good performance.

Random sample poultry performance test

Government of India has established random sample test units for layers and broilers in four locations, viz. Bangalore, Bombay, Bhubaneswar and Delhi. The test results are published annually and give information about the performance of the various strains and breeds of chicken under identical conditions. This information would help in the choice of the stock.

Number to be procured

In determining the number to be procured, normal losses that might occur due to death and culling have to be allowed. For each 1000 layers to be housed, procure 1100, day-old pullet chicks or 1050 growing pullet chicks or 1000 ready-to-lay pullets. In the case of broilers, the corresponding number would be 250-day-old straight-run chicks for 250 broilers to be marketed at 6-7 weeks of age.

Artificial brooding

Chicks newly hatched out require supplementary heat till they grow feathers. The period of brooding is usually up to 4-5 weeks of age and a little longer in cold season. Artificial brooding can be carried out in deep litter houses or in electrically operated brooder batteries.

Artificial brooding

Age weeks Floor space Sq.ft./Chick = Feeding space inches/chick= Watering space inches


  • 2= 1.5= 0.5,
  • 2= 2.0= 0.7,
  • 3= 2.0= 0.7,
  • 4= 2.5= 0.8,
  • 6= 2.5= 0.8,
  • 8= 3.0= 1.0,
  • 9 3.0 1.0.

On the deep litter, provide 700 cm2 floor area per chick till 8 weeks of age. In a hover with one m diameter, 250 chicks can be brooded. The hover can be metal or bamboo basket fitted with a heat source. The size and number of the hovers depend on the number of chicks to be brooded. Units of 250 chicks are ideal for efficient management. The hover can be placed at appropriate height from the floor either by hanging it from the roof or by placing it over bricks or stones so that chicks can go in and out easily. Temperature required for brooding is 1“2 Watt/chick. Use five bulbs of 60 Watts per unit of 250 chicks. Electricity is the common source of heat used. Electric bulbs of multiple units are preferred over single bulb to cover the wattage. Infra-red bulbs can also be used for brooding. Hover is not necessary when infrared bulbs are used. The number of bulbs to be used depends on the number of chicks to be brooded. The rule of thumb is that one Infra-red bulb of 250 watts for every 250 chicks. Position the bulb 50 cm above litter. The requirement of chicks for additional warmth decreases as they grow. The warmth as measured by thermometer at 5 cm (2 inches) above the floor level should be checked every day.

Temperature requirement of chicks during different ages

Age in weeks= Temperature under hover, at 5 cm above floor ( °C) 0-1 = 35, 0-2 = 32, 2-3 = 29, 3-4 = 26, 5-5 = 23 The distribution of chicks under the hover is a better indication of warmth than the thermometer. If the chicks are active, busy eating and drinking, it indicates that the temperature under the hover is comfortable. Generally one watt per chick appears satisfactory under our climatic conditions.

Litter management

Litter materials such as wood shavings; saw dust, paddy husk, peanut shell, paddy chaff, chopped straw and such other materials that absorb moisture well can be used depending upon the cost and availability. Spread the litter to a depth of 5 cm on the floor before introducing chicks and build it up to a depth of 15 cm by adding litter material, at the rate of about 2 cm per week. This would require approximately 10 kg of litter material/sq.meter. Litter should be raked thoroughly at frequent intervals, say at least twice a week, during the cold and rainy season, once a week during the hot season and the day after deworming. Litter should be kept dry always. During the cold and rainy season and on the area of floor where watering utensils are placed, special attention should be paid daily to check the litter condition. If required, top-dress with fresh litter. It is desirable to use dry lime at the rate of 10 kg per 10 m3 and rake the litter.


Artificial light should be discontinued from the time the chicks no more require additional warmth. Dim light of a 40-watt bulb for every 250 chicks can be provided during the night for broiler chicks.