Saturday December 9 2017

Dimensions for constructing an ideal poultry house.

Dimensions for constructing an ideal poultry house. The width of the house should not be more than 25ft. IMAGE | COURTESY 

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Best design of poultry house

I wish to start a poultry farm for indigenous breeds. My question is, how many birds should I keep in a room? Supply measurements of the room too.

M, Nzai, Kilifi County

Each bird requires 2 square feet and with plenty of ventilation especially considering your location in Kilifi where temperatures are high.

See above the measurements of a poultry house that can house up to 500 birds. The short sides of the house should face East and West to control the amount of light in the poultry house.

The width of the house should not be more than 25ft to allow for expulsion of waste gases from the house.


Search for yellow-yolked eggs

I keep Kienyeji hens and until recently, they were hatching yellow-yolked eggs. Right now they are hatching white yolks and weak shells. Please advise me on what to give them so that they can have a yellow yoke and hard shell.


Kienyeji chickens tend to have more yellow-yolked eggs than layers especially when they are scavenging. However, when they are confined, yellow-yolk becomes a factor of feeds.

Commercial feeds have ingredients that make the yolk yellow. Different feed millers tend to have different amounts of the ingredient and so yolk colour could vary depending on feeds you buy and even between batches of the same feeds.

Weak shells could be as a result of an infection but in the absence of disease signs, it is most likely a calcium deficiency.

You need to supplement with Dicalcium Phosphate (DCP) fortified with Stressmix, a special nutritional product rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids.


Importance of yeast in cow feeds

Of what use is yeast in cow feeds? My cows have frequent indigestion and somebody told me that yeast can help, please assist.


If your cows indeed have indigestion, you must first have a qualified vet examine them and help establish the cause of the frequent indigestion in the herd and have it managed once and for all.

Yeast helps improve feed digestion thereby boosts the overall performance in dairy, beef and even poultry.

In calves, it hastens the development of the rumen, making it possible for the animal to digest grass at an earlier age and mature faster.

In a dairy cow, it increases milk production. You can use Stimosol oral which is a balanced combination of yeast, vitamins, organic acids and minerals all of which are essential for optimal performance.


Incubator technology

Please share information on incubator technology, especially on humidity and temperature best for hatching eggs.

Temperature and relative humidity are very important factors affecting embryo development in an egg, hatchability, and post-hatch performance of the chicks.

A good incubator will maintain temperatures between 37-38°C and relative humidity between 40-70 per cent with maximum hatchability at 50 per cent.

There are many suppliers of incubators locally and you could contact any of them for more details.


Dr John Muchibi is a Veterinary Surgeon and the Animal Health Manager at Elgon Kenya Ltd. Reach him through +254733715102 or e-mail him through [email protected]