Layer Farming

The layer production business is only for passionate growers. At FeedMix we often call laying hens “mobile egg-making machines” because of their nature of dropping fresh eggs every day for at least 6 days a week. Likewise one gains more profit with large numbers for the business. 

An ideal layer poultry house should have an East to West orientation. The house for the commercial layer should be constructed with open long sided. The standard length should be 100 metres  and 10 metres wide. A recommended height of 2.8m under strong roofing sheets, eaves with 30 to 45 cm is ideal.  The height of the lengths should be supported by strong bird mesh. A storeroom for stock feeds is important. The foundation should be strong with 50cm wall height on the lengthy sides. The floor should be concrete as opposed to earth floors.

Stocking density should be 30 to 33 chicks per square metre during the rearing period. The stocking density should be reduced to 5 to 6 mature laying birds per square metre.

There are two main production models for layer production. 

  1. Battery cage – highly capital intensive but very suitable for business people with small spaces who wants to venture into commercial layer production. The birds spend the entire production period enclosed in the battery cages.  The system allows 4 to 5 hens per cage. Layer birds stay longer in production at peak levels. The system is highly efficient as one can identify laying from non- laying hens.  
  2. Deep litter – This system simulates
    the natural habitat of birds. The business should have vast areas to construct more houses to accommodate large numbers of layer birds. The system allows all birds to “sand bath” in the deep litter 15cm.  

The FeedMix Layer Feed Specifications and Feeding Rates from day 1 to end of production cycle.

Feed type

Crude protein (%)

Metabolizable Energy (MJ/Kg)

Feeding period

Feed /bird /phase or (day)

Chick Pullet Starter Crumbles 

        20.0

        12.0

        0 to 8   weeks

2.0 kg /chick /phase

Pullet Grower Mash

        15.0

        11.6

        9  to 16  weeks

4.5 kg /chick /phase

Pre-Lay Mash

        16.0

        11.6

        17  to 18 weeks

0.110 to 0.115 kg /hen /day

Early Lay Mash

        15.1

        11.3

from 19 weeks up to ± 65weeks of age or end of peak production

0.12 to 0.125 kg /hen/day

Late Lay Mash

        14.1

        11.5

from ±65 weeks to end of production cycle

0.120 kg /hen /day

Standard Layer Mash

14.8

11..0

from 19 weeks to end of production

0.12 to 0.125 kg /hen /day

  • Choosing quality layer feed from Feedmix
  • Correct daily feeding rates
    Feeding ad libitum basis at each stage of growth
  • Good brooding management (temperature, ventilation, litter, water management)
  • Records for the daily/cumulative mortality rate, average daily/ weekly gain, PEF, FCR, slaughter weights, batch number, number of feed bags used
  • Manage feed spillages to improve FCR.

Use your God given five senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste)
Pay particular attention to details – weights, age, spillages, mortality, sensitivity of the birds,

Follow the hatchery broiler vaccination program to prevent disease outbreaks.
  • Practice good biosecurity management 
  • Shower room
  • Boundary fence
  • Wheel bath and foot baths on all entry points 
  • Hand sanitizers 
  • Log book
  • Protective clothing 
  • Houses put under lock and key 
  • Manure disposal management 
  • Biosecurity standard operating procedures
  • Farm gate sales for live birds at 16 weeks as point of lay

The commercial layer can achieve 1 cycle per year but 3 cycles when producing point of lay pullets (POL)

Removal of manure from the poultry houses and disposal after a batch should be carried out immediately to allow the houses to be cleaned, washed and disinfected. This process should not take more than 5 days. Rest the houses for a minimum of 14 days before the next batch.

Order chicks from renowned suppliers like Charles Stewart Day Old Chicks

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