Animal Husbandry - Poultry
01. Poultry breeding
02. Systems of breeding in poultry breeding
03. Selection and improvement of Poultry
04. Choice of birds in Poultry breeding
05. Different factors - choosing birds in Poultry breeding
06. Culling of Poultry in poultry breeding
07. Effect of culling on eggs production
08. Incubation and hatching of eggs - poultry breeding
09. Selection of broody hen for hatching eggs
10. Selection and hatching of eggs in detail
11. Setting nests, hen and eggs for hatching
12. Care of sitting hen, hatching eggs, candling
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You are reading Animal husbandry article on Poultry Breeding
Poultry Breeding articles.
II. Principles of Breeding
III. Types of Mating
IV. Systems of Breeding
V. Selection and Improvement
VI. Culling of Poultry
VII. Incubation and Hatching
Poultry production which was once a small scale backyard: venture has now grown into an industry. This has been largely made possible by developing superior breeds, both for egg as well meat production, by employing modem techniques of breeding and election. This booklet discusses all the important aspects of poultry breeding in a simple and easy language.
The modem fowl is much superior with regard to its productive capacity, in terms of number and size of eggs and quality and quantity of meat, as compared to its ancestors. This has been made possible through the environment and the improved breeding methods.
Poultry breeding is, thus, a scientific practice which aims at genetic improvement of the birds through successive generations by virtue of planned reproduction. A successful breeder should have adequate knowledge of the various qualities and capabilities of different breeds of poultry in order to select the right type of birds and to combine all the desirable qualities to a fairly high degree.
Highly scientific breeding of poultry may not be possible in our villages. But an average farmer may follow the fundamental principles of scientific breeding that are practicable in the villages where they are properly instructed and guided. An effort is made here to discuss the various aspects of poultry breeding relevant to the village conditions, in a simple and systematic way.
II. Principles of Breeding
The fundamental principles of scientific breeding are as follows:
1. Breeding should be purposive and the breeder should know the purpose of the breeding and the standard to which the birds are to be bred. It may be for size, weight, egg production, meat quality or combination of these factors. For example, poorly bred or desi hens are often voracious feeders, but because they are not bred for egg production, they do not lay correspondingly large number of eggs. The efficiency of conversion of feed into the eggs is an inherited trait and can only be reproduced in the succeeding generations by careful selection and breeding.
2. Breeding should be done from parents which conform as closely as possible to the required standard.
3. In selection and mating, all the birds which fail to possess the desired standards should be discarded.
4. The parents selected for breeding should also be pure breeds.
5. For a successful breeding, selection must be practiced continuously and carefully, from the hatching to maturity.
6. Environment plays an important part in breeding. So a favourable condition should be created in respect of housing, feeding, sanitation and general care.
7. Pedigree breeding is an important practice wherein efficiency of matings can be measured and the selection and mating operations modified to ensure improvement But this is possible only in well-established farms, requiring lot of technical expertise, and accurate mating and breeding rewards.
III. Types of Mating
Mating is an act of joining cock with hen so that the hens may produce fertile eggs for hatching and multiplication. The number of female birds allowed to be served by a male bird depends upon the factors like breed, body weight, virility, season, age and physical condition of the male. For example, more females may be allowed for each male in the Leghorns (light breeds) than in the heavier breeds such as the Rhode Island Reds. Similarly a young cockerel (young male} can be given more pullets than an old cock. More females can be allowed in the mating pen during spring than during winter (where the winters are very cold). In summer, mating should be suspended as fertility will be very poor and the birds get exhausted.
Matings are of several kinds viz. (1) pen mating, (2) flock mating, (3) stud mating, (4) alternating males, (5) artificial insemination. Artificial insemination may not be a feasible proposal for the village level poultry, as the villagers may not have the necessary infrastructure or expertise in this field.
1. Pen matingIn this type of mating, ten hens are kept in a breeding pen and one cock is permitted to mate and live with them freely. Eggs collected, a week after letting in the cock, will normally be fertile.
2. Flock matingHere a large flock of hens is kept with a num ber of cocks in the proportion of one cock for every ten hens. But under confined conditions, the males develop a tendency to fight each other and generally one male becomes the aggressor preventing the others from mating. This may affect the fertility seriously. The eggs also cannot be traced to the cock concerned and so pedigree breeding is not possible. On the other hand, on a free range, there will not be much scope for fighting and the birds are free to run about. Flock mating is preferred where ordinary farm conditions are prevalent and no pedigree breeding is undertaken. It also permits housing for a large number of fowls as one unit and thereby reduces the overhead costs.
3. Stud matingStud mating consists of keeping the cocks and hen in separate pens or confining the males in separate coops in the pen of the females. The hens are let into the male's pen one by one at intervals, and after mating they are removed to their own pen.
4. Alternate malesIn this method two males are used for mating, but only one is allowed to serve the hens at a time for one full day, while the other is confined to the coop. The following day the male that had been employed is removed to the coop, and the second one is let in with the flock. In this method, too, the paternity of the off-spring cannot be determined.
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