Agrimentors Chandigarh

Poultry Farming

This term is defined as rearing and keeping of birds such as fowl, duck, hen, for egg and meat production.
In case of chicken, several practices are followed depending on the type of the bird reared, for eg. Broiler farming (for meat production), layer farming (for table egg production), breeder farming (for hatching/ fertile egg production)etc.

Poultry birds and their eggs are a rich source of nutrients.

Breeds of Poultry

Chicken breeds classified on four major classes:

Exotic breeds:

Class America Asiatic English Mediterranean
Shank Clean Feathered Clean Clean
Skin colour Yellow Yellow White Yellow or white
Earlobe colour Red Red Red White
Purpose Dual Meat Dual Egg
Size Medium Massive Medium Small
Shell colour Brown Brown Brown White
Examples Rhode Island Red, Plymouth rock, New Hampshire Brahma, cochin, Langshan Cornish, Sussex, Australorp White leghorn Minorca, Ancona


S. No Name Native Features
1 Rhode Island Red New England Dual purpose breed, produce 100 egg/yr, rectangular body
2 White leghorn Italy Light body weight, highest egg producing breed in the world
3 Red Cornish England Famous in America for meat, hardest breed
4 Plymouth rock America Broiler produce best quality meat
5 New Hampshire America Popular for rapid growth, fertility, large sized eggs and good quality meat
6 Minorca Italy Largest and heaviest of Mediterranean breeds called red faced black Spanish
7 Aseel Andhra Pradesh, UP, Rajasthan Famous for fighting sports
8 Kadaknath GI Tag (MP) Black colored meat

Poultry Housing

Different types of poultry house

Space requirements:
Type of bird Sq ft/bird inside Sq ft/bird outside
Chickens 1 4
Laying hens 1.5 8
Large chickens 2 10
Ducks 3 15

Floor and perch space: (for chickens)

Type Floor space (bird/m2) Floor space (ft2/bird) Perch space (per bird)
Layer 3 3.6 25cm
Dual purpose 4 2.7 20cm
Meat 4-5 2.1-2.7 15-20cm

System of poultry housing

Poultry housing system are classified into three systems:

  1. Free range or extensive system: oldest method of poultry housing
  2. Semi- intensive system
  3. Intensive system

For layers:

TypeAge (in weeks)Deep litter (ft2)Deep litter (ft2)
Egg type chicken0-8
Meat type chicken0-4

For broiler:

Type Age (in weeks)
Up to 18 days 450 cm2 (0.5 sq. ft)
From 19 days to 42 days 1000cm2 (1.1 sq. ft)

POULTRY RATION: (Quantity of ration)

Principle of ration determination:

Method of feeding:

Water consumption

Age of birds Water amount per 100 birds
0-2 weeks 4.5 to 6.5 litre/day
10-15 weeks 18-22.5 litre/day
Laying hens 27-36 litre/day

Poultry diseases:

BacterialFowl cholera, fowl coryza pullorum, salmonellosis
Viral Infectious bronchitis, Ranikhet (new castle), Marek’s disease (fowl paralysis), fowl pox, gumbroa
FungalAspergillosis (brooder pneumonia) & aflatoxicosis
Parasiticlice, mites, tick and fleas(external) and roundworm, tapeworm and hexamitasis (internal)

Nutritional diseases:

Diseases & disordersDeficiency
Nutritional roupVit A
Curled toe paralysisVit b1
PolyneuritisVit b2
Crazy chick disease/encephalomalaciaVit E
Perosis/slipped tendonMn
Swollen hock syndromeZn
Femoral head necrosisMo
Pica                                                                        P

Composition of egg:

componentsWhole eggWhite Yolk

Egg shell






Grading of egg: (By weight)

Hatching and incubation:

Hatching : process of breaking out of an egg shell after completion of incubation

A. keep 1 male for each 10-12 females. 
B. should be kept with females at least 1 week to insure high egg fertility.


1-18 days

19-21 days




60% up to 18 days

70% thereafter


Once every 4 hrs up to 18 days


1-18 days

19-21 days

8 changes/hr

12 changes/hr

A. Providing temperature and humidity for normal development of embryo in egg. It may be natural or artificial. 
B. An apparatus by which eggs are hatched artificially.
C. Incubation period in chicken is 21 days.

Incubation requirement:






To provide 21% O2 in the air.

Terms related to Poultry:

Oviposition:  Act or process of egg laying in birds.

Ornithology: Study of birds which are not classes as poultry.

Molting:  Natural physiological process for the birds to renew old feathers at the end of the first year of laying.

Dubbing:  Removal of comb may be restricted to in day old chicks belonging to breeds, which have larger/lopped comb.

Debeaking: Cutting off part of the upper beak. Helps in preventing peaking injuries and cannibalism among chicks. Removal of 1/4th upper side and 1/8th part lower side beak at 14–15-week-old chicks.

Brooding: Rearing of one week old chicks to the age of 4 weeks age in a brooder.

One brooding unit: 250 chicks, four 60-watt bulbs hanging at 6-inch ht, a brooder guard of 5 ft radius, 3 feeders (egg tray) & 4 waterers.

Rearing:  rearing of 4-week-old chick to 8 weeks age.

Broiler:  8-10 weeks of age wt 1.5-2.0 kg with a tender soft meat.

Roaster: 12-16 week and heavier than broiler.

Grower: 9–20-week-old (fully grown) hen or productive hen.

layer: 18-20 weeks age for egg production.

Canonizations:  Removal of the testes in the male chicks at the below 8 months age and those birds are known as capon (Castrated male fowl)

Pullet:  Female chicken lay 1st time.

Loafer:  Unproductive layer

Candling of eggs:  process of holding a strong light above or below the egg to observe the embryo. It is done twice by electric Candler in a dark room

1. First candling: on the 7th day of incubation to discard infertile eggs.
2. Second candling: on 18th day of incubation to discard dead-in-shell.

Cannibalism: eating of own species & feather picking in poultry.
A. Cause: occurs in flocks fed fiber –free diet
B. Deficiency of arginine and methionine are more responsible for development of cannibalistic activity. Deficiency of Na (Sodium) may also be responsible for this condition.
C. At initial stage of chicks to prevent cannibalism by providing light in brooder house 24 hrs. with 60-watt bulb for each 200 sq. ft space.