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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Broiler Chicken Farming

Broiler Chicken Farming

Birds from day old chick to slaughter should be well managed and provided with good environment in order to get maximum farm output. The factors that affect farm output are chick quality, feeding management, feed quality, health management and farm environment. Stress should be avoided to prevent low productivity and diseases. Quality chicks grow well. Feed and drinking water given should be of high quality. Each bird should be provided with enough floors, feeding and drinking space. Feeder and drinker height should be suitable to bird's age. This will avoid stress, wastage and ensure uniformity of bird's size.

Waste Management

Farm waste includes rubbish, carcasses, chicken dung and litter. These waste materials attract flies, pests and cause bad smell. Improper management of waste material can cause environmental pollution and become disease agent to the birds.

Factors that affect farm output are
chick quality
feeding management
feed quality
health management
farm environment

Waste Management

Farm waste
attract flies
attract pests
brings disease
cause odours

Farm Location
Selection of farm location is important. The following are the criterions used to determine farm location.
Farm should be far away from town and housing area
Farm should have access to transportation and be able to operate all the time
Farm should be far away from other farms
Land should be flat and have good drainage
The area should be well ventilated
Poultry houses should provide conducive environment to birds and economic.
Materials used have to be of high quality, lasting, easy to clean and do not absorb excessive heat
Trees and buildings should not hinder house ventilation
House design should provide good ventilation
House design should facilitate workers to manage birds and cleaning activities

Criteria used to determine farm location -
Farm should be far away from town and housing area
Farm should have access to transportation and be able to operate all the time
Farm should be far away from other farms
Land should be flat and have good drainage
The area should be well ventilated
Poultry houses should provide conducive environment to birds and economical to build.

There are 47 feedmills operating in Malaysia. 38 feedmills are located in Peninsular Malaysia and 9 are located in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan ( Appendix 2 ). Raw materials such as corn and soy bean are imported from China, United States and Argentina.

Disease Management
Disease reduces farm productivity. Operational cost would increase due to the use of medication, death, slow growth and downgrading of carcasses. Disease prevention measures such as biosecurity and vaccination has to be taken. The use of drugs/medication has to follow instructions to avoid residues and drug resistant.

Vaccines and Medication
There are a few companies which supply medication and vaccines to farmers. Most of the items are imported.

Good Animal Husbandry Practice
Good animal husbandry practice covers various aspects of chicken farming. It covers farm planning, disease control and daily farm management / activities. Good animal husbandry practice could increase farm productivity, minimize production cost, maximize farm outputs and provides clean environment and quality products. This will give confidence to consumers, increase market opportunity and provide a competitive and sustainable farming.

New technologies have already been introduced in broiler chicken industry. These technologies are able to minimize manpower, increase farm outputs and increase the efficiency of disease control.
Close housing system with controlled ventilation provides cool and conducive environment to birds. These facilities involve high overhead and operational cost (e.g. electric). However less floor space is needed and more chicken is could be reared. Close housing system is able to help in pest-born diseases. Evaporative cooling system and tunnel ventilation are the most common method used and farmers need to have some knowledge to operate and maintain the equipments.
Automation is also used for feeder, drinker, vaccination etc.

Farm Equipments
Farm equipments such as feeder, drinker and cages are produced by local manufacturer. However certain modern and sophisticated equipments such as incubator and hatcher are imported by local distributors.

Chickens are marketed in the form of live bird, slaughtered and frozen, chicken parts or ready to eat products. More than 80 percent of broiler chicken is sold live in the wet market.15-20% of broiler chicken are slaughtered and processed in the slaughterhouse.

Local Market
Approximately 85 percent of poultry meat are marketed locally. Most of the meat is sold as fresh meat in the wet market and supermarket or to hotel and restaurant. For big companies the poultry meat from slaughterhouses is sent to their own service centre before being distributed to retailers all over the country.

It is important to minimise heat stress during transportation of chicken. Chicks exposed to heat stress can cause high mortality, slow growth rate and high susceptibility to diseases. Closed ventilated truck is used for transportation of chicks. Long distance transportation of chicks is normally done at night.

Poultry meat is highly perishable when exposed to high temperature. It has to be transported using refrigerated truck.

a. For chick transportation, some companies provide their own transport and some companies buy services from other companies which follows certain specifications.
a. For adult chicken, transportation is usually provided by farmers, wholesalers or other companies which have contract with transport services. Fee charges depend on number of chicken and distance.

Chicken Price
Broiler chicken is a controlled item. Poultry meat price is influenced by ex-farm price, wholesale live bird price, wholesale processed bird, retail live bird price, retail processed bird price with legs, head, liver and gizzard and without legs, head, liver and gizzard. Ceiling prices for ex-farm and retail prices are fixed. Reference price is fixed by broiler chicken producer association. The actual price is influenced by market factors but not exceeding ceiling price. The actual price might be different from reference price depending on location, distance, marketing system and supplier. Broiler chicken price fluctuates below production cost due to market influence. Profit-loss in this industry could not be measured by using one production cycle only but measured by the yearly average production.

Broiler chicken Farm Price and Production Costs
Farm Price(RM/Kg)
Production cost(RM/Kg)
1.45 - 3.05 ( 2.61 )
2.50 - 3.06
2.05 - 3.05 ( 2.69 )
2.70 - 3.32
2.40 - 3.50 (3.14 )
2.79 - 3.40
2.10 - 3.50 ( 3.00 )
2.60 - 3.05

Export Market
Approximately 12-15% of total broiler chicken produced is exported (table 7). 85% are exported live and the remainder is in the form of chicken parts and value added products. Most of the broiler chickens are exported to Singapore. In order to penetrate the export market, broiler chicken producer have to meet the requirements of importing country such as veterinary sanitary, quality and disease status. Besides that, they should produce competitive products, quality and price.
Broiler Chicken Exports ('000 metric tons)

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