By Umar Nsubuga
Rose Sanyu, a resident of Kisaasi in Kampala is one of the chicken farmers in the district.
She advises prospective poultry farmers not to join the enterprise out of excitement, but after adequate preparation.
Chicken, she says, requires constant observation from the first day.
“You cannot practise poultry farming or animal husbandry when you have nobody to take care of them. These birds or piglets are like human beings,” she says.
Sanyu advises members of the working class intending to venture into poultry farming to have reliable attendants ready to work full-time at the farm.
He says poultry farming should be practised as a real business enterprise.
“The mistake most people make is to divert profits from the business to other unplanned projects. Consistency in supplies is crucial in customer satisfaction,” she says.
“As such, if one is keeping layers, they should be kept in phases, such that as one stock matures, another one is brought in to keep the cycle continuous. This also saves the farmer from incurring big losses in case of disease outbreaks,” Sanyu says.
Poultry needs to be kept in an open area near a home, away from the bushes for proper supervision. Since they take a lot of water, the water source mustn’t be very far.
Sanyu says chicken houses should be well-ventilated to allow easy flow of fresh air and proper sanitation. Stagnant water should not be left in the house.
The houses should also have raised wooden platforms for the chicken to exercise or climb on. The laying boxes must be well-cleaned to prevent pests and diseases from attacking the chicken.
The chicken houses should not be accessed by everybody to avoid germs or bringing in infections from elsewhere.
Carcasses of dead chicken should be properly disposed of by burning or burying them.
A farmer should also be alert to snakes, wild animals and dangerous insects that may attack the chicken.
Planting onions or tobacco around the chicken house is a good control measure.
The farmer should also guard against excessive dust and moisture as these conditions are conducive to the breeding of dangerous organisms that may cause respiratory problems for the chicken.
The sick chicken should be isolated and treated.