By Vision Reporter
The environment in which the layers are bred should be conducive if one is to achieve the anticipated eggs.
It involves the physical, chemical, parasitic and social conditions in which the birds are living. The physical environment is; mechanical, climatic, acoustic and optical.
The mechanical situation involves; spacing the birds in the poultry house, especially around the drinkers and feeders provided.
Overcrowding the birds and inadequate space around the feeder or drinker can be stressful and will lead to low egg production. The temperature in which the flock is raised is equally influential on egg laying.
Temperature affects comfort, feeding and water intake. Feeding is lower at high temperature, while water consumption increases.
High humidity increases dampness in the chicken house and elicits growth of germs while low humidity evokes dryness of the litter leading to excessive dust in the house and birds cannot have fresh air.
Likewise, lighting is important in egg laying. Layers need about 16 hours of light per day to enable them lay eggs properly.
This means besides the usual 12 hours of daylight accessible to the birds, four more hours of artificial light must be provided.
Sound too affects egg laying. Excessive and sudden loud sounds stress the birds. Chemical substances like toxic gases and dusty particles usually disturb the respiratory system, making breathing and utilisation of the feeds in the body difficult.
Parasites like bacteria, viruses, coccidia and worms too affect the chicken, which leads to disease, low egg production and mortality.
These agents, however, cannot do the damage on their own. They are often assisted by feed contamination, stress in the bird, humidity, temperature, spacing, the level of hygiene in the house and biosecurity.
Farmers should provide proper housing, hygiene, biosecurity, vaccination and treatment with drugs.