-Opinion- Importance of record-keeping in egg production

Record-keeping is systematically collecting, recording, preserving, utilising and disposing of better data. It is of prominent importance in the poultry industry for several reasons.

Whether running a small backyard flock or a large commercial operation, one of the first steps in having a successful poultry farm is keeping well-maintained and accurate records, and establishing a sound record-keeping system.

It will help farmers plan and complete realistic forecasting for every cycle, and aid in producing high-quality poultry products.

The essential types of records in poultry farming are financial
records, which deal with all your incomes and expenses. Production records focus on yield and animal health records, which deal with sickness, mortalities, vaccinations and treatment. Furthermore, animal movement records include dates of receipt of new flocks, culling hens and slaughter dates. Financial record-keeping is important, as it will help you track your income and expenses, determine your profitability and price setting, and aid in making informed decisions.

It is also necessary to note that farmers must write the number of birds on hand, their productivity, and their age, which will help plan flock replacement and size. Record-keeping allows the farmer to
monitor their growth rate, egg production and hatchability.

Farmers must always pay attention to the aspects of egg quality, like egg size, in proportion to the size of the hen and shell condition. This information can help farmers identify under-performing birds and make calculated decisions like culling or changing management protocols to improve production and have a constant supply of high-quality eggs.

Detections can be done much quicker before the losses are high; for example, higher water consumption is seen in many diseases before production drops or mortalities rise.

Another important aspect of record- keeping is helping with traceability. In a disease outbreak, you can track back your records on vaccinations. A farmer should also keep records of medication given, considering the withdrawal period.

You can also trace back a product, for example Feedmaster’s products have bag tickets with batch numbers and production dates. There should be accurate records of feed and
water consumption.

Within its profitable production stage, a Layer Hen takes 110g of Feedmaster Layer Mash and 230-300 ml of water daily. This can yield improved growth rate productivity, and help with budgeting.

Farmers should keep records of their flock’s movement, paying attention to the dates they received new flocks that can aid them in knowing when the hens will reach the end of their production cycle (culling).

Summing up, keeping records can be done either by using pen and paper, or through a digital system. It will help not only in the efficient management, but also in the long-term success and sustainability of poultry farming.

It will enable you to make informed decisions, manage risks and ensure your flock’s productivity, health and profitability.

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