Eggs present an reasonably priced supply of high-quality protein and nutritional vitamins. You possibly can present loads of eggs for your loved ones by conserving simply 9 hens, and it’s possible you’ll even be capable of make a bit of cash on the facet.
Every hen will lay as much as six eggs per week, so 9 hens will lay a complete of eight or 9 eggs a day. You will have to promote about 4 eggs a day to pay for the feed of the hens. The remaining eggs can be utilized for family consumption.
Utilizing a cage
It saves effort and time to maintain layer hens in a cage. You possibly can both purchase a cage or make one your self (see illustrations). The benefits of a cage are:
- The small house makes administration simpler.
- The eggs keep clear and are much less prone to break. They will also be collected simply.
- It’s straightforward to maintain the cage clear, because the manure falls via the mesh ground.
- There’s little or no wastage of feed, and you may simply see when the consuming water is completed.
- It is possible for you to to maintain correct information.
- The cage must be suspended above the bottom to make sure that the manure falls via. To do that, place the cage on poles or bricks, connect it to the wall of your own home, hut or shed, or cling it from ropes tied to poles.
- Defend it from the solar and rain by putting it beneath an overhang or roof (reminiscent of thatch).
Purchase the proper hens
The most effective hens to purchase are point-of-lay pullets (18 to 19 weeks previous). Purchase the birds from a dependable producer, and guarantee they’re totally vaccinated in opposition to all main poultry ailments.
The primary (pullet) eggs will probably be small, however after about two months the eggs steadily enhance in measurement. The variety of eggs laid peaks midway via the yr, then begins dropping.
Maintain the hens for one yr, then promote them as cull hens. If the feed may be very low-cost, you may maintain the hens for as much as two years. Hens which are saved for longer steadily lay fewer eggs till they cease altogether. Nevertheless, the birds will devour the identical quantity of meals, so your earnings will lower till your enterprise turns into uneconomical.
Order new pullets a minimum of 4 months earlier than promoting the hens for slaughter. The cash produced from the previous hens pays for the brand new ones.
The most effective feed
To put good eggs, hens should be given the absolute best feed. This could comprise loads of calcium in order that the eggs have laborious shells. Purchase an excellent industrial feed reminiscent of laying mash/pellets; that is formulated to supply all of the vitamins the hens want within the appropriate portions. Make it possible for feed is accessible within the trough always, and that there’s loads of cool, contemporary water within the bottles. To forestall wastage, don’t overfill the trough.
Every hen will devour 120g to 150g of feed a day (inevitably, some will land on the ground and be wasted). One 50kg-bag of feed ought to final about one month, so purchase sufficient feed (two months’ provide) earlier than the hens arrive.
To verify the hens adapt rapidly to their new house, give them Stresspac of their consuming water once they arrive.
If there’s a sudden critical outbreak of a poultry illness, reminiscent of Newcastle illness, in your space, vaccinate all of your hens in opposition to the illness instantly.
If the hens change into infested with lice, deal with them with Karbadust powder.
Maintain wild birds away from the hens and their feed to forestall the unfold of any illness to the hens.
For the hens to put as many eggs as attainable, they will need to have 16 hours of sunshine each day. When you have electrical energy, change the lights on earlier than dawn and allow them to keep on for some hours after sundown. To maximise egg manufacturing with out electrical energy, place your cage exterior in order that the hens could make use of pure mild. Don’t put the cage in direct daylight; the birds will get too scorching and die.
With 16 hours of sunshine a day, every hen will lay about 280 eggs in a yr. With out further mild, they are going to lay about 200 eggs.
Make your individual cage
A cage appropriate for 9 hens should be at least 120cm lengthy by 70cm broad and 45cm excessive. This can give the birds sufficient house for restricted motion, and allow them to all use the feed trough on the similar time.
To make your individual cage just like the one proven above, you will have galvanised welded mesh (25mm x 50mm sample); a brief body of wooden, cane or steel; three 2ℓ plastic mushy drink bottles; a hosepipe (previous or broken is ok, so long as it’s clean); three consuming nipples; and a chunk of plastic guttering.
Start by making a easy body of the scale talked about above. This can make it simpler so that you can bend the wire mesh into the right form as proven within the diagrams.
1: Reduce a piece of mesh 180cm x 120cm in measurement and bend it till flat.
2: Connect the mesh to the body with items of wire and safe tightly.
3: Bend the mesh across the body. Use a hammer to flatten the mesh and maintain the perimeters and corners flat and sharp.
4: Separate the mesh from the body after reducing the binding wires.
5: Measure and minimize 4 sections of mesh, every of 55cm x 45cm. (Two are for the end-panels, and two for the within.) Reduce each second wire tip off all 4 panels.
6: Reduce three corners off every of the 2 inside panels.
7: Use a pair of pliers to lock the 2 inside panels to type three equal compartments.
8: Fasten the 2 exterior panels.
Neaten, minimize off or bend all sharp factors or edges.
9: For the feeders, use a hacksaw to chop a 140cm part of guttering. Mark off 10cm at every finish and minimize alongside the bends. Fold each bit inwards. Flatten with a hammer and a pair of pliers and take away/bend in sharp edges. Make a small gap on every finish for securing the feeder to the cage with wire.
10: For the drinkers, punch holes in every bottle cap utilizing a nail and hammer; don’t take away the plastic interior lining. Use a hand drill to enlarge the holes so the nipple suits tightly. Screw within the nipple. Punch a small gap within the backside of the bottle to permit the air to circulation in. Screw the cap, flip the bottle the other way up and connect the bottles to the cage within the centre of every compartment. Utilizing a pair of pliers, bend the mesh barely in order that the the bottle high suits in snugly. To fill, unscrew the cap of the bottle and fill with water, utilizing your finger to dam the small air gap.
The hosepipe can provide the birds some safety (see diagram above). Reduce two 120cm lengths of hosepipe.
Slit them open alongside their size. Match one over the again fringe of the gutter and the opposite excessive of the cage opening.
Safe them with wire or cable ties. Reduce off the sharp ends of the ties or wire and bend them away from the hens’ necks.
Your cage is now prepared. When placing it into place, slant it barely ahead in order that the eggs can roll down the slope gently into the egg tray. Check this earlier than securing the cage.
Supply: ‘Small-scale egg manufacturing’.