|Livestock Research for Rural Development 13 (3) 2001||
Citation of this paper
A research study on the status of broiler production was conducted on 62 broiler farms in Swat, Pakistan, with examination and comparison of records maintained during the year 1998.
Marketing of broilers was not practiced on live weight,
and average flock size was lower (1627±125#) than the available
shed capacity (1768±171). Flock size (b=0.002±0.001), age at
marketing (b=-0.88±0.12), and percent mortality (b=-0.378±0.091)
were significantly (P<0.01) associated with net profitability.
Sheds were located at a distance of 317±50 m from the main road.
Duration between two batches was 17.2±0.92 days and the number
of batches per year was 4.51±0.29. Bedding material used was 0.60±0.02
kg/broiler. Age and weight at marketing were 39.0±0.82 days and
1.23±0.03 kg, respectively. Higher (p<0.05) weight at
marketing was found in broilers at a given space of 0.09m2/broiler
(1.34±0.11 kg) than in those given less than 0.09m2
floor space/broiler (1.17±0.38 kg). Similarly, higher (p<0.05)
weight/broiler was found under good hygienic conditions (1.35±0.77
kg) and with a standard immunization schedule (1.37±0.11 kg)
than that found under poor hygienic conditions (1.13±1.2 kg) and
partial immunization schedule (1.15±0.96 kg). Overall mortality
was 13.1±1.16%, representing 7.59±0.46% from day 1 to 14 and 18.5±0.95%
from day 15 till marketing of the broilers. Mortality was
significantly affected by immunization schedule, hygienic
condition of the farm and floor space given/broiler. Interaction
of the aforementioned variables also indicated a significant
effect on mortality in broilers. Mean feed consumption/broiler
was 3.81±3.38 kg. Total feed represented 1.56±0.14 kg starter
and 2.26±0.26 kg finisher ration consumed/broiler. Average
variable cost of production, returns and net profit/broiler were
Rs.53.0±0.90, Rs. 54.9±1.07 and Rs.1.97±1.09, respectively.
Substantially improved performance in Swat was found to be related to better utilization of available floor space (0.09 m2/broiler), with a reduction in mortality, good hygiene, adhering to an approved scheduled immunization and the marketing of broilers on live-weight basis.
Broiler production has increased rapidly during the last two decades in Pakistan. There were 162 million broilers in the country during 1997-98, which increased to 170 million during 1998-99 (Economic Survey 1998-99). Higher demand for broiler meat in Pakistan, earlier market age and rapid returns over the invested capital, have increased the popularity of broiler farming. Numerous factors like flock size, mortality, age, and weight at the time broilers are marketed, hygiene, immunization, floor construction and better utilization of available facilities could affect performance of the broilers (Farooq et al 2001). Asghar et al (2000) reported 6.13±0% mortality and 47.5±0.52 days of age at the time of marketing among broilers in Mardan, Pakistan. These authors reported a negative association of mortality and market age with net profitability of the broilers. Reduction in net profit was observed when mortality level was increased from 2.5 to 10% (Kitsopanidis and Manos 1991). Close observation on such factors is emphasized in order to minimize losses.
In Pakistan, broilers are commonly produced in open-sided houses. Broiler farming in these structures may not be a significant problem in mild climates. However, it would become more complex in open-sided houses when the environmental conditions are unfavorable in winter or summer seasons. Severe economic losses may be indicated if an optimal environment is not ensured within the houses. Swat, being a mountainous area of the NWFP (North West Frontier Province), receives severe winter conditions because of heavy snowfall in and around the area. As broiler farming would become more complex in this environment, maintenance of adequate house temperature would be essential. Thus, wide variability in performance of broilers is expected. The present study was an effort to investigate production performance of broilers produced in Swat.
There is no natural fuel gas facility in Swat area and electricity load shedding often occurs. Although most of the farms are depopulated during the winter season, firewood is used extensively for heating when required. A wide variability is expected in the performance of broilers under such conditions. The purpose of the present study was designed to investigate production performance of those broilers produced in Swat, NWFP, Pakistan, and to suggest effective measures for further development.
Records were taken from all 62 broiler farms in Swat during the year 1998. The data collected were: flock size, shed capacity, age, and weight of broilers at the time of marketing, associated market problems, mortality, vaccination practice, duration between two batches, number of batches per year, feed consumed (starter + finisher ration)/broiler, amount of bedding material used/broiler/flock, total variable cost of production, returns and net profit. Determination of shed capacity was completed taking length, and width of the shed, and distance of the farm from the main road was estimated. The hygienic status of the farm was based on details of house and floor construction, distance between sheds or other dwellings, house conditions, all in all out system of broilers, cleanliness, and disinfection procedures. Measures taken for keeping broilers healthy, and cleanliness of equipment was considered. On the basis of aforementioned criteria and their application at the farm, the hygienic status was categorized as poor, average and good. Density of the broilers in a shed was assessed on the basis of number of broiler/m2 floor area. The sheds were then categorized as utilized optimally (0.09m2 space/broiler), under-utilized (more than 0.09m2 space/broiler) or overcrowded (less than 0.09m2 space/broiler). Similarly, broilers vaccinated at day 7 and 24 for Newcastle Disease (ND), and at day 12 and 28 for Gumboro or Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD) were declared as those produced under standard vaccination schedule. Broilers either vaccinated for Hydro-Pericardium Syndrome (HPS) along with the standard vaccination procedure and / or using the aforementioned vaccines in an irregular manner were regarded as broilers produced at a substandard vaccination schedule. Those broilers vaccinated twice (each one for ND and IBD) during the whole rearing period were termed as broilers produced under partial vaccination schedule.
The data were analyzed using univariate procedures, General Linear Model (GLM) procedures (Steel and Torrie 1981) and multiple regression models (Wonnacott and Wonnacott 1985). The effect of floor space/broiler, hygienic condition of the farm and vaccination schedule on weight of the broilers at the time of marketing was studied by constructing the following statistical model;
Yijkl = µ + ai + bj + ck + (axb)ij + (axc)ik + (bxc)jk + eijkl (Steel and Torrie 1981)
Yijkl = l-th observation on weight of the broilers at the time of marketing produced under i-th hygienic conditions of the farm, j-th vaccination schedule and given k-th floor space/broiler
µ = Population constant common to all observations,
ai = the effect of i-th hygienic condition of the farm; i= poor, average and good,
bj = the effect of j-th vaccination schedule; j = standard vaccination schedule, partial vaccination schedule and substandard vaccination schedule,
ck = the effect of k-th floor space/broiler; k= shed optimally utilized (0.09m2 floor space/broiler), under utilized (more than 0.09m2 floor space/broiler) or overcrowded (less than 0.09m2 floor space/broiler),
(axb)ij = interactions between i-th floor space/broiler and j-th hygienic conditions
(axc)ik = interactions between i-th floor space/broiler and k-th vaccination schedule
(bxc)jk = interactions between j-th hygienic conditions and k-th vaccination schedule
eijkl= the residual term associated with each Yijkl, normally, independently and identically distributed with mean zero and variance 1.
A similar, model was used to study the effect of hygienic condition of the farm, vaccination schedule and floor space given per broiler on feed consumption and age of the broiler at the time of marketing. The association of various parameters namely overall percent mortality, mortality from day 1 to 14 and onward mortality till marketing of broilers, age, and weight of the broilers at marketing and flock size with net profit per broiler was investigated using the following regression model.
Y = b0 + b1X1 + ei
Y = response variable,
bi = partial regression coefficients,
Xi = the regressors,
ei = the residual term.
The coefficient of multiple determinations "R2" was computed as follows;
R2 = (ry^y)2
Where R2 is the coefficient of multiple determination and ry^y was the correlation between predicted and actual values. The R2 was adjusted using the following definition:
R2 (adjusted) = [(n-1)R2 - k]/[n-k-1]
Where n is number of observations and k the number of regressors in the model. (Wonnacott and Wonnacott 1985).
The average flock size in Swat was lower than the available capacity for broilers (Table 1). Asghar et al (2000) and Naveed et al (1999) reported a higher flock size (2577±23.9 and 2887±228 birds) than the present findings (1627±126). Naveed et al (1999) also reported poor utilization of floor space/broiler than the available capacity for 3250±254 broilers in Chakwal, Pakistan. The findings of the present study revealed poor utilization of the available space/broiler. Thus, optimal utilization of the available space will result in a decrease in the overhead expenses.
|Table 1: General statistics of broilers produced in Swat|
|Shed capacity (space available in no of birds)||
|Distance of shed from main road (m)||
|Duration between two batches (days)||
|No. of flocks per year||
|Average age at marketing (days)||
|Average weight of a broiler at marketing (kg)||
|From day 1 to 14||
|From day 15 to marketing||
|Overall mortality (%)||
|Amount of bedding material used (kg/broiler)||
|Starter ration consumed (kg/broiler)||
|Finisher ration consumed (kg/broiler)||
|Total feed consumed (kg/broiler)||
|FCR (feed conversion)||
|Total variable cost of production (Rs /broiler)||
|Total returns (Rs./broiler)||
|Net profit (Rs /broiler)||
|1 US$ = Rs.45.03/ during the year 1998.|
Flock size was associated (b=0.002±0.001; P<0.01) with net profit per broiler, suggesting that an increase in flock size will result in an increase in net profit. Asghar et al (2000) also reported positive association of flock size with net profit/broiler in Mardan, Pakistan. The distance of the shed from the main road was considered reasonable and according to the hygienic principles put forward by several researchers (North 1984). The greater the distance between two sheds and other buildings, the less is the chance of spread of disease from one flock to another.
Duration between two batches was defined as the number of days during which a shed was maintained empty. Naveed et al (1999) reported a higher duration (25.9±0.05 days) between two batches and greater number of flocks per year (5.15±0.78 number) in Chakwal, Pakistan than was found in the present study. Duration between two batches in the present study was found to be somewhat similar with the recommended duration for good hygiene (15 days according to North 1984); however, the number of batches per year was smaller than that reported by Naveed et al (1999). The findings suggested a longer period during which the sheds were empty. This is possibly due to extreme climatic conditions during the winter season in Swat. Thus, broiler production activity is temporarily terminated in extreme conditions of winter season in Swat.
The amount of bedding material used/broiler in Swat (0.60±0.02 kg) was slightly higher than that usually used in other parts of Pakistan (0.5 kg/broiler). Naveed et al (1999) reported use of a smaller amount of bedding material/broiler in Chakwal. Humidity variation and the abundant availability of sawdust (used as bedding material) in the Swat area are possible causes for the larger amounts utilized. Increased amounts of bedding helps to avoid excessive moisture build up within the houses.
Average age, and weight at marketing of broilers was Agar et al (2000) and Naveed et al (1999) reported higher age at marketing (47.5±0.52 and 46.11±0.32 days, respectively) than the present findings which were 39.0±0.82 days and 1.23±0.03 kg, respectively (Table 1). The findings suggested a reasonably good age at marketing as compared to what is commonly practiced in NWFP (35-42 days) and what was reported by Arid et al (2001) as a way of improving meat:bone yield (36-42 days age of the broiler at slaughter). The smaller age at marketing could be attributed to a need to avoid a prolonged fattening period, which is of little value to farmers due to poor market infrastructure. In Swat, marketing of broilers was not practiced on live-weight basis and an almost similar price was offered for a broiler having a body weight within the range of 1.25 to 1.5 kg at the time of marketing. Broilers having a body weight of more than 1.5 kg brought a smaller price in the market than those weighing between 1.25 and 1.5 kg.
Age of the broilers at marketing was negatively associated (b=-0.88±0.12; P<0.01) with net profit/broiler, indicating that an increase in age at marketing will decrease net profit. Asghar et al (2000) reported similar findings. Floor space utilization/broiler had a significant effect on weight of the broilers at the time of marketing. Higher (p<0.05) weight at marketing was found in broilers at a given space of 0.09m2/broiler (1.34±0.11 kg) than in those produced in less than 0.09m2 floor space/broiler (1.17±0.38 kg; Table 2). Similarly, higher (p<0.05) weight/broiler was found under good hygienic conditions (1.35±0.77 kg) and standard immunization schedule (1.37±0.11 kg) than that under poor hygienic condition (1.13±1.2 kg) and partial immunization schedule (1.15±0.96 kg; Table 2). Overcrowding, with poor health coverage, dirty environment and stressful conditions lead to a deterioration of production performance and a decreased body weight at the time of marketing. Naveed et al (1999) reported smaller body weight of broilers associated with poor hygienic conditions and overcrowded housing.
|Table 2. Influence of hygiene, vaccination schedule and floor space utilization on age and weight of the broilers at marketing and feed consumption per broiler|
Weight at the time of marketing±SE
Age at the time
of marketing ±SE
|Floor space utilization||
|Means within the same column, bearing different superscripts are different at P = 0.05|
Age of the broilers at the time of marketing was not affected by floor space utilization/broiler, hygienic conditions of the farm and immunization schedule. Thus, no conclusive evidence could be determined from these findings.
Mortality among broiler flocks in Swat
Mortality plays a major role in determining the rate of income generated from broilers. Mortality is a function of number of dead birds in a flock. Overall mortality in broiler flocks was representing of the broilers. Overall mortality in the present study (13.1±1.16%) was higher than that reported by Asghar et al (2000) in Mardan (6.13%), and by Naveed et al (1999) in Chakwal, Pakistan (6.93±0.28%). The higher mortality in the present study could be attributed to poor management, ineffective health coverage programs and severe outbreaks of Hydro-pericardium Syndrome in the study area. Thorough scrutiny of the causes of mortality revealed higher prevalence of Hydro-pericardium syndrome (HPS) among the broilers. An alarming situation as that HPS was higher in those flocks immunized with vaccines supposed to control HPS. This is a startling situation, in that most practitioners in the area were preparing auto vaccines for HPS outside laboratory facilities or without conventional technical skills. The high variability (69%) in overall percentage mortality among various flocks suggested good chances for reducing it.
Mortality was significantly affected by immunization schedule, hygienic condition of the farm and floor space given/broiler. Interaction of the aforementioned variables also indicated a significant effect on mortality. Lower death rates resulted with better hygiene, standard vaccination schedule and provision of 0.09 m2 floor space/broiler. This could be attributed to better rearing environment and effective health measures. Effective vaccination against diseases, antibiotic therapy and cleanliness could reduce incidence of mortality (Mukherjee and Khamapurkar 1994). Anjum (1990) also reported effective vaccination for controlling severe death losses in broilers.
Net profit per broiler was negatively related (p<0.01) with overall percent mortality (b= -0.38±0.091) and with mortality from day 15 to marketing (b= -0.58±0.120), but not with mortality from day 1 to 14 (b= -0.30±0.09). Asghar et al (2000) also reported a negative association of mortality with net profit/broiler. The significant association of net profit with mortality from day 15 to marketing, but not with mortality from day 1 to 14, indicates that it is the mortality in the final stage of the production cycle which is most critical.
There appeared to be no effect of management factors on feed consumption. Naveed et al (1999) in Chakwal reported smaller feed consumption than the present findings. Poor utilization of dietary energy and higher feed wastage may have been contributory factors in the present study.
Asghar et al (2000) reported a smaller cost of production (Rs51.4±1.08) in Mardan, NWFP than the present findings (Rs53.0±0.90). The higher cost of production per broiler in Swat could be attributed to a higher cost of feedbags and other accessories. In addition, poor management practices, higher mortality, poor utilization of the available space and higher medicinal cost could be other probable reasons for higher cost of production. Thorough scrutiny of the cost of production also revealed a much higher percentage proportion of the medicinal cost/broiler than that reported by Asghar et al (2000) and Naveed et al (1999).
et al (1999) in Chakwal, Punjab and Asghar et al (2000) in Mardan
division reported higher net profit per broiler (Rs 14.7±2.30
and 7.92±0.85, respectively) than the present findings (1.97±1.09).
Net profit per broiler in the present study represented a16.3%
return over the invested capital which was much lower than the 80%
reported by Asghar et al (2000). The lower net profit in the
present study could be attributed to higher medicinal cost,
increased mortality, inefficient utilization of the available
facilities and a poor marketing system for the disposal of
broilers in Swat. Marketing of broilers was not practiced on a
live weight basis, which could have influenced negatively the
profit margin. Kitsopanidis and Manes (1991) in Greece also
reported a reduction in profitability of broilers when mortality
level was increased from 2.5 to 10% and market age was increased
from 53 to 62 days.
· Most sheds were underutilized, the number of batches/year was low and mortality rate was greater than for accepted standards.
· Net profit per broiler was lower than in other parts of NWFP. Higher death rates diversely affected net profit.
· Due to existence of a poor market infrastructure, broilers were not marketed on live-weight basis.
· Feed consumption/broiler was slightly higher than accepted standards
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Received 5 April 2001
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