29 Super-Interesting Facts About Geese

Geese help and protect other geese that are in trouble. When a geese fall out of the sky due to sickness, wound or when shot, two geese will follow it down. They will stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then they fly out in formation and try to catch the flock. Geese, especially the Chinese geese, can be use to control weeds in plantations, crop farms and waterways. They prefer grasses to most broad-leave plants. They have been used to control weeds for crops like asparagus, berries, mint, tobacco, beets, beans, hops, onions and potato. Their use decline with the introduction of selective herbicides. But as awareness of organic farming spread, their use is increasing. In the tropics, success has been found in kiwi plantations, cotton fields, coffee, banana, plantain and pineapple farms. They are cheap to keep because they are good scavengers.
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Open-Sided Poultry Houses for the Tropics

Open-sided poultry houses are suitable for tropical climates where the weather is hot. It is also cheaper to construct than poultry houses in cold climate regions where the sides have to be closed and insulated. The main aim of poultry housing is to protect them from the rain, sun, draft and predators. You should always think about these while constructing poultry houses. Poultry house should not be expensive. However, durability, comfort and safety should not be sacrificed at the expense of cost.

Things to consider while selecting a location for your farm:

Don’t site your farm in a place that is prone to flooding. Ask people living around your proposed area whether the land flood during the rainy season. Nearness to the market is also important. Consider the transportation cost of buying feed, drugs, vaccines and selling your products. To prevent airborne diseases, site the farm as far away as
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Feeding Strategies to Minimize Heat Stress in Hot Climate

In tropical countries like Nigeria, hot weather is a common problem where temperature can rise above 30oC. It is a well-known fact that hot weather leads to poor performance in birds. It leads to low feed consumption and high water intake. Layers under hot weather will lay fewer eggs, grow slower, easily get sick (think Newcastle disease), lay small eggs, watery eggs and eggs with thin shells. In broilers, growth rates, feed efficiency, immunity and carcass quality will be negatively affected. In breeders, egg hatchability is negatively affected.

For optimum performance, chickens require a temperature and humidity range of 18-24°C (65-80°F.) and 60-80% relative humidity. For every 1oC lower than 20oC, the bird will consume extra 1.5g of feed per day (5). When temperature rises above 24oC, egg weight and shell quality tend to suffer.

Signs of Heat Stress

Signs of a heat-stressed bird are panting, holding the wings out,
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Egg sizes can be generally classified into small, medium, large and extra-large. Among these, the ones we desire are medium and large egg sizes. Extra-large eggs are bad for the birds and we don’t want small eggs.

Commercial hybrid layers can lay 250-310 eggs in one year, but if you’re not careful, most of these eggs will be of small sizes. This is not only a problem when you sell your eggs, it is also a problem when they’re meant for family consumption. Who want to be getting only small eggs?

Discover how to prevent your birds from laying lots of small eggs Discover how to increase egg production by 20-30%. Are your birds laying small eggs and you want the size increased? Do large eggs fetch more money in your area?

To discover these, download and read this ebook.


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Health-giving and Growth-promoting Herbs for Chickens

Do you know that herbs have the capability to replace antibiotics? This will be possible if our scientists step up their research on herbs. Right now, there are lots of proven and promising researches that show that herbs and plant extracts can be used to prevent and treat diseases in farm animals. They can also be used to promote growth and lower mortality.

The good thing about herbs is that they can be used without the risk of creating the dreadful antibiotic resistance in man and farm animals.

The ebook you’re about to download contains a lot of herbal and plant extracts for chickens. You can make them in your home and benefit from the health-giving and growth-promoting power of herbs. The ebook contains:

Various herbs and plant extracts that have been used to prevent diseases Herbs and plant extracts that can be used to promote growth in broilers Herbs
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Feed Consumption Plan and Body Weight Target for Laying Hens

Feed consumption plan can help you estimate how much feed your birds will need at each stage (Chick, grower and laying). This will help you estimate feed cost before beforehand. The feed plan below is base on commercial brown egg layers that are reared intensively (i.e. they’re reared in an enclosed building and provided with feed and water daily. They’re not allowed to free-range). Obviously, you mustn’t follow this plan exactly as it is, you can make adjustments according to your own unique conditions.

Chick Starter: This is usually fed for the first 8-9 weeks. Switch to grower only when the body weight target have been achieved (i.e. about 720g from the chart below).

Grower Diet: This is usually fed from 8-9 weeks until 5% of the birds start laying. This can be at 20 weeks (more or less).

Layers Diet: A switch is made from grower to layers diet
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Wet Litter in Broiler Houses: Causes and Control

Broilers were selected to grow fast. Before you can tap into their full potential, it is very important that you keep their environment clean. One major way to achieve this is by keeping the litter in good condition.

Litter consists of droppings and bedding materials. You should ensure that the litter is always in a dry and loose form (25-35% moisture content). Wet litter occurs when the moisture content in the litter is high. This can cause the litter to cake up and trap water in it. Wet litter is common around drinkers and under leaky roofs. Below are few consequences of wet litter.

To assess the moisture level in the litter, squeeze a handful. If it forms a cake, the moisture level is too high. If it crumbles into fine dust, the moisture level is too low and the litter will be dusty. When the moisture level is optimum,
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Serological Monitoring for Egg Layers: An Effective Way to Determine Effectiveness of Past Vaccinations

If you buy egg layers as day old chicks, it will take about 4-5 months before they start laying eggs. During this period when they are unproductive, they’ll just be consuming feed without putting some money in your pocket or eggs on your table. The only gain you might get is from the sales of feed bags or manure. From day old to 5 months time, one layer can consume about 9.3kg of feed. So you can estimate feed cost from that. There are other costs such as vaccination, transportation, electricity, drugs etc. The fact is that you’ll be spending money.

Now what if after you’ve spent so much money and those young birds finally start laying eggs and they suddenly start getting sick? You may have some pullets (young egg layers) that are doing great, but once they start laying you notice that diseases started coming up and mortality
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Raising Chickens: How to Stop Cannibalism & Excessive Pecking

Result of pecking

Within a flock, chickens have a ranking order known as pecking order. To establish this order, there would be mild pecking and this is very normal. But when they start injuring each other, pulling out and eating feathers, and trying to kill and eat each other (cannibalism), it becomes a serious problem. Below are some tips that will help you prevent and control cannibalism and excessive pecking. These bad behaviours can spread like wild fire if not checked.

Ensure that the flock is uniform in colour, breed, age, size and health status. Any chicken that is different in any of these characteristics can become a victim of pecking. Separate such bird to discourage the bad behaviour from starting or continuing. External parasites can cause excessive pecking, so check if it exists and treat accordingly. Avoid exposure to bright light. Red light can reduce pecking. Never
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Broody Hen: How to Break It

Although commercial egg layers hardly go broody, it happens sometimes. When a hen is broody, it stops laying eggs and try to hatch some eggs. Sometimes a broody hen will sit on no eggs at all.

Why you should Break Broody Hens

If you don’t want to hatch any eggs, it is important that you break a broody hen whenever you find one. This applies especially if you raise them for profit or family eggs. This is because a broody hen will eventually loose weight and stop laying eggs. Another disadvantage is fighting in the next box. A broody hen will try to defend her spot in the nest and this can cause fights that will lead to broken eggs and subsequently egg eating.

How to Break Broodiness

Hens go broody due to warm vent and increased hormone secretion. To break
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