BROILERS MANAGEMENT

broiler ( Gallus gallus domesticus ) is any chicken
that is bred & reared specifically for meat
production. Many typical broilers have white
feathers & yellowish skin. Some commercial broilers
attain slaughter-weight between four & seven
weeks of age,slower growing breeds attain
slaughter-weight at approximately fourteen weeks of age.
Due to the fact that the meat broilers are this young at slaughter
(roughly 500g), their behaviour & physiology are
that of an immature fowl. Due to extensive breeding
selection for fast early growth and the husbandry
used to achieve this, broilers are susceptible to
several welfare needs, particularly skeletal
malformation & dysfunction, skin & eye lesions,
congestive heart conditions. Management of
ventilation,stocking density,housing and in-house
procedures must be evaluated regularly so as to support
good welfare of the bird. The breeding stock (broiler-
breeders) develop to maturity & beyond but mostly have
welfare issues related to the frustration of a huge
feeding motivation as well as beak trimming(debeaking). Broilers are
usually developed as mixed-sex flocks,in large sheds
under intensive conditions.
Modern breeding
Before the development of modern commercial meat
breeds, broilers were mostly young male fowls
culled (removed) from farm flocks. Pedigree breeding started
around 1916. Magazines for the poultry birds industry
existed at this time.A hybrid variety of bird was produced from a cross (mate) of a male of a naturally
double-breasted Cornish strain & a female of a tall,
large-boned strain of white Plymouth Rocks.This
first attempt of this hybrid meat breed was introduced
in the 1930s & became dominant in the 1960s. The
original hybrid was plagued by issues of low
fertility, slow growth as well as disease susceptibility.
Modern broilers have become something different from the
Cornish/Rock hybrid. As an example, Donald Shaver
(originally a breeder of egg-production-breeds) started
gathering breeding stock for broilers program in
1950. Besides the breeds normally considered, Cornish
Game,New Hampshire,Plymouth rock,Langshans,
Jersey Black Giant and also Brahmas were included. A
white feathered female line was bought from
Cobb. A full scale breeding program was begined
in 1958, with commercial shipments in Canada &
the US in 1959 & in Europe in 1963.
As a second example, colour sexing broilers was
introduced by Shaver in 1973. The genetics were
based on the company’s breeding idea for egg-layers
which had been inreased in the mid-1960s. A
difficulty that is facing the breeders of the colour-sexed
broiler is that the fowl must be white-feathered by
slaughter age. After twelve years, accurate colour sexing
without compromising economic traits was
attained.
Artificial insemination
Artificial insemination: This is a mechanism in which
spermatozoa are deposited into the reproductive tract(vagina)
of a female. Artificial insemination gives a
number of benefits relating to reproduction in the
poultry production industry. Broiler breeds have been selected
specifically for growth(rapid).The amount of sperm produced
& deposited in the hen’s reproductive tract perhaps
limited because of this. Additionally, the males overall
sex drive may be significantly decrease due to growth
selection. Artificial insemination has also allowed
most farmers to incorporate selected genes into their
stock, increasing their genetic quality
Abdominal massage is the most common method mostly
used for semen collection.  During this process, the
rooster is restrained & the back region sited
towards the tail & behind the wings is caressed.
This is done slowly but quickly. Within a short period
of time, the male should have an erection of the
phallus. Once this occurs, the cloaca is squeezed &
semen is collected from the external papilla of the
vas deferens.
During artificial insemination, semen is
frequently deposited intra-vaginally by means of a
plastic syringe. In order for semen to be deposited
, the vagina orifice is everted through the cloaca.
This is achieved by applying pressure to the
abdomen of the hen. The semen-containing
instrument is placed 2–4 cm into the vagina orifice.
As the semen is deposited, the pressure applied
to the hen’s abdomen is being released
at the same time. The individual performing this,uses one hand to move and direct
the tail feathers, while using the other hand to put
the instrument and semen into the vagina.
General biology
Modern commercial broilers, for example, Cornish
crosses & Cornish-Rocks, are
artificially selected  bred for huge-scale, efficient
meat production. They are noted for having rapid
growth rates, a high feed conversion ratio , and also low
levels of activity. Modern commercial broilers are
bred to attain a slaughter-weight of about 2 kg in
only 35 to 49 days. As a consequence, the
behaviour and also physiology of broilers reared for meat
are those of immature birds(broilers), rather than adults. Slow
growing free-range and organic strains have been
grown which reach slaughter-weight at 12 to 16
weeks of age.
Typical broilers have white feathers and also yellowish
skin. Recent genetic analysis has shown that the
gene for yellow skin was incorporated into domestic poultry
birds through hybridization with the grey junglefowl
( G. sonneratii).  Modern crosses are also
good for meat production because they lack the
typical “hair” which most breeds have that
necessitates singeing after plucking. Both male and
female broilers are mainly reared for their meat.
Behaviour
Broiler behaviour is modified by the environment, and also
alters as the broilers’ age & bodyweight fastly
increase. For examing, the activity of broilers reared
outdoors is greater than broilers reared
indoors, but from six weeks of age, reduces to
comparable levels in all groups. The same study
reveals that in the outdoors group, amazingly little
use is made of the extra space and facilities such as
perches – it was proposed that the main reason for
this was leg weakness as 80 per cent of the birds
had a detectable gait abnormality at seven weeks of
age. There is no evidence of reduced motivation to
extend the behavioural repertoire, as, for example,
ground pecking remained at significantly higher levels
in the outdoor groups because this behaviour could
also be performed from a lying posture rather than
standing.
Examining the frequency of all sexual behaviour
shows a large decrease with age, suggestive of a
decline in libido. The decline in libido is not enough to
account for reduced fertility in heavy cocks at 58
weeks and is probably a consequence of the large
bulk or the conformation of the males at this age
interfering in some way with the transfer of semen
during copulations which otherwise look normal.
Feeding and feed conversion
Chickens are omnivores and modern broilers are
given access to a special diet of high protein feed,
usually delivered via an automated feeding system.
This is combined with artificial lighting conditions to
stimulate eating and growth and thus the desired
body weight.
In the U.S. in 2011, the average feed conversion ratio
of a broiler was 1.91 pounds of feed per pound of
liveweight. In 1925 the figure was 4.70. [17]
Canada has a typical FCR of 1.72. [18]
New Zealand commercial broiler farms have recorded
the world’s best broiler chicken FCR, consistently at
1.38 or lower. [19]
Welfare issues
Meat birds
One-day old chicks arriving to be unpacked
and placed in shed.
Young birds being reared in a closed broiler
house.
Artificial selection has led to a great increase in the
speed with which broilers develop and reach
slaughter-weight. The time required to reach 1.5 kg
live-weight decreased from 120 days to 30 days
between 1925 and 2005. Selection for fast early
growth-rate, and feeding and management
procedures to support such growth, have led to
various welfare problems in modern broiler
strains. [20] Welfare of broilers is of particular
concern given the large number of individuals that are
produced; for example, the U.S. in 2011 produced
approximately 9 billion broiler chickens. [21]
Cardiovascular dysfunction
Selection and husbandry for very fast growth means
there is a genetically induced mismatch between the
energy-supplying organs of the broiler and its energy-
consuming organs. [13] Rapid growth can lead to
metabolic disorders such as sudden death syndrome
(SDS) and ascites .[20]
SDS is an acute heart failure disease that affects
mainly male fast-growing broilers which appear to be
in good condition. Affected birds suddenly start to
flap their wings, lose their balance, sometimes cry out
and then fall on their backs or sides and die, usually
all within a minute. In 1993, U.K. broiler producers
reported an incidence of 0.8%. In 2000, SDS has a
death rate of 0.1% to 3% in Europe. [13]
Ascites is characterised by hypertrophy and dilatation
of the heart, changes in liver function, pulmonary
insufficiency, hypoxaemia and accumulation of large
amounts of fluid in the abdominal cavity. Ascites
develops gradually and the birds suffer for an
extended period before they die. In the UK, up to 19
million broilers die in their sheds from heart failure
each year. [22]
Skeletal dysfunction
Breeding for increased breast muscle means that the
broilers’ centre of gravity has moved forward and
their breasts are broader compared with their
ancestors, which affects the way they walk and puts
additional stresses on their hips and legs. [13] There
is a high frequency of skeletal problems in broilers,
mainly in the locomotory system, including varus and
valgus deformities, osteodystrophy , dyschondroplasia
and femoral head necrosis .[20] These leg
abnormalities impair the locomotor abilities of the
birds, and lame birds spend more time lying and
sleeping. [23] The behavioural activities of broilers
decrease rapidly from 14 days of age onwards. [24]
Reduced locomotion also decreases ossification of
the bones and results in skeletal abnormalities; these
are reduced when broilers have been exercised under
experimental conditions. [20]
Most broilers find walking painful, as indicated by
studies using analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs.
In one experiment, healthy birds took 11 seconds to
negotiate an obstacle course, whereas lame birds
took 34 seconds. After the birds had been treated
with carprofen , there was no effect on the speed of
the healthy birds, however, the lame birds now took
only 18 seconds to negotiate the course, indicating
that the pain of lameness is relieved by the drug. [25]
In self-selection experiments, lame birds select more
drugged feed than non-lame birds[26] leading to the
suggestion that leg problems in broilers are painful.
Several research groups have developed “gait
scores” (GS) to objectively rank the walking ability
and lameness of broilers. In one example of these
scales, GS=0 indicates normal walking ability, GS=3
indicates an obvious gait abnormality which affects
the bird’s ability to move about and GS=5 indicates a
bird that cannot walk at all. GS=5 birds tried to use
their wings to help them walking, or crawled along on
their shanks. In one study, almost 26% of the birds
examined were rated as GS=3 or above and can
therefore be considered to have suffered from painful
lameness. [13]
The video recordings below are examples of broilers
attempting to walk with increasing levels of gait
abnormalities and therefore increasing gait scores.

Stocking density
Broilers in a rearing shed indicating the high level stocking
densities used.
Broilers are kept at high stocking densities
which vary considerably between countries. Typical
stocking densities in Europe range between about 22
to 42 kg/m 2 or between about 11 to 25 birds per
square metre.There is a decrease esswxof feed intake
and reduced growth rate when stocking density
exceeds approximately 30 kg/m 2 under deep litter
conditions. The reduced growth rate is likely due to a
reduced capacity to lose heat generated by
metabolism. Higher stocking densities are associated
with increased dermatitis including food pad lesions,
breast blisters and soiled plumage. [20] In a large-
scale experiment with commercial farms, it was
shown that the management conditions (litter quality,
temperature and humidity) were more important than
stocking density.[27]
Ocular dysfunction
In attempts to improve or maintain fast growth,
broilers are kept under a range of lighting conditions.
These include continuous light ( fluorescent and
incandescent ), continuous darkness, or under dim
light; chickens kept under these light conditions
develop eye abnormalities such as macrophthalmos,
avian glaucoma , ocular enlargement and shallow
anterior chambers .[28][29]
Ammonia
The litter in broiler pens can become highly polluted
from the nitrogenous feces of the birds and produce
ammonia. Ammonia has been shown to cause
increased susceptibility to disease and other health-
related problems such as Newcastle disease,
airsaculitis and keratoconjunctivitis . The respiratory
epithelium in birds is damaged by ammonia
concentrations in the air exceeding 75 parts per
million (ppm). Ammonia concentrations at 25 to
50 ppm induce eye lesions in broiler chicks after
seven days of exposure. [29]
Catching and transport
Once the broilers have reached the target live-weight,
they are caught, usually by hand, and packed live
into crates for transport to the slaughterhouse. They
are usually deprived of food and water for several
hours before catching until slaughter. The process of
catching, loading, transport and unloading causes
serious stress, injury and even death to a large
number of broilers.
The number of broilers that died in the EU in 2005
during the process of catching, packing and transport
was estimated to be as high as 18 to 35 million. In
the UK, of broilers that were found to be ‘dead on
arrival’ at the slaughterhouse in 2005, it was
estimated that up to 40% may have died from
thermal stress or suffocation due to crowding on the
transporter. [13]
Slaughter is done by hanging the birds fully
conscious by their feet upside-down in shackles on a
moving chain, stunning them by automatically
immersing them in an electrified water bath and
exsanguination by cutting their throats.
Some research indicates that chickens might be more
intelligent than previously supposed, which “raises
questions about how they are treated”. A possible
10-year life span has been shortened to six weeks for
broilers. [30]
Mortality rates
According to historic records, broiler mortality rates
are decreasing. In 1925, the mortality rate in the U.S.
was 18% compared to 3.8% in 2011. [17]
One indication of the effect of broilers’ rapid growth
rate on welfare is a comparison of the usual mortality
rate for standard broiler chickens (1% per week) with
that for slower-growing broiler chickens (0.25% per
week) and with young laying hens (0.14% per week);
the mortality rate of the fast-growing broilers is
seven times the rate of laying hens (the same
subspecies) of the same age. [13]
Parent birds
Meat broilers are usually slaughtered at
approximately 35 to 49 days of age, well before they
become sexually reproductive at 5 to 6 months of
age. However, the bird’s parents, often called
“broiler-breeders”, must live to maturity and beyond
so they can be used for breeding. As a consequence,
they have additional welfare concerns.
Meat broilers have been artificially selected for an
extremely high feeding motivation, but are not usually
feed-restricted, as this would delay the time taken for
them to reach slaughter-weight. Broiler-breeders
have the same highly increased feeding motivation,
but must be feed-restricted to prevent them
becoming overweight with all its concomitant life-
threatening problems. An experiment on broilers’ food
intake found that 20% of birds allowed to eat as
much as they wanted either died or had to be killed
because of severe illness between 11 and 20 weeks of
age – either they became so lame(unable to work) they could not
stand or they have cardiovascular problems.
Broiler breeders fed on commercial rations eat only a
quarter to a 1/2 much as they would with free
access to food. They are naturally motivated to eat at
all times, presumably resulting to chronic frustration of
feeding.
Because broiler breeders live to adulthood, they might
show feather pecking or any other injurious pecking
behaviour. To avoid this, they might be beak trimmed
which can lead to acute or chronic pain.
World production and
consumption
Consumption of broilers is surpassing
to beef in industrialized countries.
Demand in Asia is rising. [32]
A report in 2005 stated that around 5.9 billion broiler fowls for eating were produced yearly in the
European Union.

Broilers Industry
The commercial production of broiler fowl for
meat consumption is a highly industrialized process.
There are 2 major sectors: (1) rearing birds
intended for consumption  & rearing parent stock
for breeding the meat birds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Importance of eating rabbit meat

REASONS YOU SHOULD EAT RABBIT MEAT!
Back in the 1940s and 1950s rabbit meat was as
met for dinner as chicken is today. It is the meat
they got many people as well their children through the
lean times of distress. They lost their
popularity after huge AGRA, who wanted to get
maximum profits with the lowest bottom line using
the government endorse chemicals as well as handouts.
Because of this, rabbits didn’t make sense. So,why
even consuming rabbit meat now? Below you shall find a few
reasons why you must consider adding rabbit meat
to your food. Raise some rabbits in your environment,it doesnt smell like poultry droppings. Be closer to your food supply know
what you consume!
1. It is one of the most importance white meats available on the
market today.
2. Its meat has a high percentage of easily digestible
protein.
3. It contains the least amount of fat among all the
other available meats,e.g chicken,pork,beef e.t.c
4. The meat of rabbit contains less calorie value than other
meats.
5. The meat of rabbit is almost cholesterol free and
therefore heart patient friendly.
6. The sodium nutrient content of rabbit meat is
comparatively less than other meats (pork,beef etc)
7. The calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) contents of rabbit meat
or more than any other meats.
8. The ratio of meat to bone is high ,that meaning there is
more edible meat on the carcass even than a chicken.
9. Rabbit meat with the many health importances do
not have a strong flavor, and is comparable to chicken(fowl)
but not identical.
10. Rabbits are one of the most productive domesticated
livestock animal . Rabbits can produce 6
pounds of meat on the same feed and water as the
cow will produce 1 pound of meat on the same feed
and water,that shows how rabbit is very unique to rear.
So as you can see, there are many health importance to
eating rabbit meat. It is healthy for you, and also cheap to
produce. Why not try to add some rabbit meat
into your diet now! Try it, i believe you’ll like it!

FARM ANIMALS

Farm animals are animals that are reared for consumption and usefulness of man. They can be grouped into ruminants and non ruminants. Ruminant animals are those with four compartment stomach that are specialized in digesting cellulose. The four stomach are: rumen,reticulum,omasum,and abomasum. The farm animals belong to this group are: Goat (Capra hircus linneus), Sheep (Ovis aris), Cattle (Bos species), e.t.c. These farm animals chew their cuds and regurgitate.

Non ruminant animals are also be referred to as monogastric animals. They have single stomach. They feed on concentrate. Examples of non- ruminants are: poultry (Gallus domesticus),pig (Swine spp),rabbit orctolagus conniculus),e.t.c. Rabbits can be called,a pseudo-ruminant, it has a large caecum which is used in digesting cellulose. Snails (Achatina marginata), Fishes(mud fish,tilapia, e.t.c) are some of the examples of farm animals.

LIST OF DIFFERENT FARM ANIMALS

  1. Cattle
  2. Sheep
  3. Goats
  4. Poultry
  5. Fishes
  6. Rabbits
  7. Pigs
  8. Snails   e.t.c

CATTLE

Cattle belong to bovidae family. They are ruminant with four stomach(rumen, reticulum,omasum,and abomasum). They can be humped,which are (Bos taurus) and humpless (Bos indicus).

BREEDS OF CATTLE

Breeds of cattle are:

1. Indigenous breeds

2. Exotic breeds

A. Indigenous breeds of cattle: These are Sokoto Gudali, Red Bororo,White Fulani, Keteku, Ndama,Muturu,Kuri, e.t.c

B. Exotic breeds of cattle: These are Friesian, Jersey, Aberdeen, Brown swiss, e.t.c

FEEDING OF CATTLE

Cattle feed on forage grasses and legumes. Some of the forage grasses include: Panicum maximum,Axonopus compresus,Imperata cylindrical,Pennisetum purpureum,Andropogon gayanus. Examples of forage legumes fed by cattle are: Mucuna utilis, Centrosema pubsence, Calopogonium mucunoides,Stylosanthes gracilis e.t.c.  Forage grasses are used for maintenance ration and provide carbohydrate for ruminant animals. On the other hands, forage legumes are used for production ration as it supplies protein for ruminant animals.