Housing and production co-relationship in layer farms in Namakkal area
S. SUBA, R.THIRUVENGADAM, G. VENKATESH AND D. NARAHARI
Department of Poultry Science, Madras Veterinary College , Chennai - 600 007
Tamil Nadu holds about 20 million hybrid hens and ranks second in egg production among the Indian states next to Andhra Pradesh. Nearly 80% of the layers are concentrated in Namakkal district and so contribution of this locality is very high. Hence a survey was conducted with a main focus on the current poultry layer package system in Namakkal belt. Poultry farms of different flock sizes ranging from 10,000 to 2-lakh populations were randomly selected .The main objective of this survey was to draw an outline sketch of the prevailing system of housing, cage patterns and equipment practices for layers. The deep litter system of rearing of layers has become almost outdated because of more space, more labor, less sanitation and poor production performance, resulting in heavy economic loss to the farmers. Until few years back conventional caged houses were the most widely existing system, but this is now entirely replaced by the elevated or raised platform house with trolley feeders (manual/automatic). The height of the platform ranged between 5-10 feet depending upon the topography and wind velocity in that area. Production performance is highly satisfactory with good managemental practices.
Semi Environmentally Controlled house showed poor economic returns and needs much attention to establish it in a profitable manner. Similarly, Environmentally Controlled House (ECH) is also found to be uneconomical due to high electricity cost.13 m wide, 4-M, 3 tier elevated platform cage layer house with automatic trolley feeding and manual egg collection system has gained much popularity in Namakkal area due to better egg production, lesser labor cost and operational efficiency. Hence places like Namakkal might not need ECH, because elevated housing system with good managemental practice can be the best package system to upgrade Tamil Nadu’s egg production to Number 1 position among the Indian states.