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close this bookBetter Farming Series 13 - Keeping Chickens (FAO - INADES, 1977, 48 p.)
close this folderHow to choose poultry
close this folderTo improve poultry
View the documentGood cocks must be selected
View the documentGood hens must be selected
View the documentGood chicks must be selected

Good cocks must be selected

25. In several areas animal husbandry centres and services are carrying out what is called cock distribution. The village cocks are taken away and replaced by cocks of good breeds.
As you know, the qualities of an animal's father and mother are passed on to their young.

The qualities of a cock of good breed and the quality oat a hen of local breed are passed on to their chicks.

Thus the chicks born of a cock of good breed and a hen of local breed are Improved poultry.

The male chickens must be sold or eaten.

Then another cock has to be bought next year and mated again to hens of the first cross.

After that the new breed can reproduce itself without further introduction of cocks.

26. Cock distribution is a quick way to get a better product for eating and selling.

It costs the farmer little - the price of the male, the cost of the vaccination and some improvement in the poultry shed, better feeders and drinkers, which he can make from scrap material.

Good hens must be selected

27. The hens of Improved breeds

Those that come from foreign countries make better use of their feed than the local hens do.

They grow quickly, become fat, yield a lot of meat and produce many big eggs.

28. If a farmer decides to feed his local hens well he will not earn much money and will not get much meat.

A local hen grows fat very slowly, uses a lot of feed and uses it badly.

On the other hand, a chicken of improved breed needs only 3 to 5 kilogrammes of feed from its birth to the day when it can be sold or eaten.

29. You get more meat and you earn more money by feeding well a hen of Improved breed than a local breed of hen.

30. The animal husbandry centres and services have selected the improved breeds of hen with good resistance to diseases, and well adapted to the climate.

It is best to buy these hens from the animal husbandry centres and services.

Good chicks must be selected

31. You can buy either day- old chicks, or three- month- old pullets.

Day- old chicks Cost less than three- month- old pullets. But you have to know how to raise them. You have to be able to house them well, for they are very delicate and can die easily.

Three- month- old pullets Cost much more. But they require less looking after. They have been vaccinated and they are more resistant to diseases.

32. When you begin modern poultry keeping it is better to buy three- month- old pullets.

They are easier to raise than the day- old chicks. They need less looking after. They do not die so easily. They are vaccinated.

33. It Is no use selecting cocks, hens and chicks of a modem breed - unless you feed them well

The cocks, hens and chicks bought from the animal husbandry centres have been well fed.

You must go on feeding them well. If you do not, they will not get fat. They will catch diseases and they may die. In a well- run poultry farm with 100 laying birds, not more than 5 or 10 birds should die in the course of one year.

· unless they are vaccinated

All poultry should be vaccinated.

If the birds have not been vaccinated at the animal husbandry centre, you must vaccinate them at once.

· unless you look after them well

If you buy cocks and hens and then do not take good care of them, of their food, their housing and their health, you are wasting all your money.

Traditional poultry raising means little work, costs nothing, but yields little.

Modem poultry raising means work, costs a little money, but can yield a lot.