Backyard Poultry Farming- a Livelihood পিচ চোতালৰ কুকুৰাপালন এটা জীৱিকা

~Shahnur Rahman

Backyard poultry production has been practising since old age in rural India. In backyard system, farmers rears indigenous birds which have poor production performance viz 70 – 80 eggs/birds/year and low body weight at marketable age. However, the productive performances can be optimized by rearing improved variety or breed of poultry to get more economic return to uplift the socio-economic conditions of traditional farmers of North East India. Backyard farming system can start with low initial investment by the farmers but it has a tremendous prospect in terms of economic return as well as to meet the deficient animal protein source for consumption.
Benefits of backyard poultry farming:
 Initial investment is low.
 Farming can be started with few chicken.
 Left over kitchen and agricultural by-products are used for housing and feeding the birds.
 Eggs and chickens can be sold in local market.
 Chicken are sold at high prices as demand for local poultry is more in market.
 Low labour cost since family members mainly unemployed women are involve in backyard farming system.
 Eggs and birds can be termed as organic since birds are grown through feeding with kitchen and agricultural by-products.
Better strain of poultry birds for backyard farming:
Desi or indigenous birds are generally poor performers in terms of egg and meat production. To obtain maximum profit from backyard poultry farming there is an urgent need in the country to improve the status of backyard poultry farming with improved strain of poultry having better genetic merits and should have following character:-
• Well adaptation capacity to the prevailing climatic condition,
• Self propagation
• Better brooding capacity
• Good body conformation
• Hardy in nature
• Good and better scavengers
• Attractive and coloured plumage
• Capacity to escape from predator
• Resistance to the prevailing diseases in the region of rearing/farming.
Varietie like Rainbow Rooster, Kroiler (public sector) Rajashree, Kamrupa, swarnadhara, Grahamapriya, Vanaraja- etc. have all the above characteristics and can be recommended for backyard poultry farming in the North Easter part of India. The annual egg production capacity of Gramapriya and Vanaraja birds are 150 to 170 and 160 to 180 egg/bird/year, respectively. First egg lays at 200 to 230 days depending on plane of nutrition and other managemental parameters. Egg weight varies from 55 to 60 gram. Mature body weight 2. 5 to 3.5 kg.
Health care management:
From time to time the birds should be vaccinated against various diseases. The diseases that mostly affect the birds are Ranikhet disease, Marek’s Disease, Fowl pox, Gumbroo disease etc. Out of these diseases, birds are commonly infected from Ranikhet and Fowl pox. Regular vaccination schedule shouldbe followed in a poultry farm. For internal and external parasites deworming also should be done. Other diseases that may affect the poultry birds are Coccidiosis, infectious coryza, Salmonellosis and deficiency diseases etc. should be taken better care.
Finger tips suggestion for backyard poultry farming:
1. Healthy disease free, improved strain, dual purpose poultry birds should be used for back yard poultry farming.
2. Periodical vaccination and deworming.
3. Birds should fed with clean drinking water and fungus free feed.
4. The poultry shed should be free from moisture and humid condition and should be regularly cleaned.
5. If possible different age group birds should cage separately.
6. Sick/diseased bird should be immediately separated/ culled from healthy flock.
7. Equipments like waterer and feeder should be regularly cleaned and disinfected.
8. There should be restriction for outsider into the poultry shed or farm and there should have footbath in front of poultry shed.
9. The birds should be free from predators.
10. Before procuring new flocks the shed should be cleaned properly and disinfected.
11. Shelter management should be taken in consideration before starting the farm and in extreme summer datswater can also be sprinkled.
12. Eggs should be collected regularly from the shed.

(References are available on request)
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~Shahnur Rahman, 2nd Year, B.V.Sc. & A.H.,
Lakhimpur College of Veterinary Science,   Assam Agricultural University, Joyhing,       North Lakhimpur, Assam-787051, India.
Email ID: shahnurrahman557@gmail.com,
Cell: +91-9957625850.

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