Executive Director, Animal Care Consult Services, Dr. Opeyemi Agbato, who spoke on the importance of backyard farming aided by Eco-Pro caging, revealed that: “The hen is born with many tiny yolks in her body. At reproductive maturity (usually 16 -18 weeks), one at a time, the yolk grows into full size going through its oviduct, forming the albumen (egg white), then finally the formation of the eggshell and its external pigmentation (mostly white or brown).
“The process repeats itself every 24.2 hours depending on the quantity and quality of feed consumed. So at best, a hen can lay approximately one egg a day. The process operates in same form for commercial and subsistence system.”
Agbato added that, ideally, backyard farming should be done in a somewhat contained system, maximizing limited land resources, minimizing supplement or feed and preserving eggs. He however, said this is not commonly the case. “Typically, backyard poultry farming is done using the deep litter (floor rearing) system because of the cost associated with having cages that would require complex and costly water supply fixtures and general investment costs.
“With new Eco-Pro innovative cages, the most ideal and convenient backyard small-scale egg farming can be done. The system has an in-built water containing system that house the daily water supply and feeding need for the full capacity of birds housed. In addition, feed wastage and egg soiling would be highly minimized as the cages have feeding troughs and “roll out” egg collection systems in them. Homeowners would simply be required to load the feed into the feed trough and top up the in-built water reserve tank while going about their daily business.”
Agbato said the whole process could take 56 to 112 (or more) hens at a time depending on family size, appetite and market network.
He further explained that, engaging in backyard farming puts the production process directly under the farmer’s control. It also presents a rare opportunity for young children to intimately learn about chicken farming giving them better understanding and a good foundation. It is also a form of empowerment as it could help rural dwellers earn extra income on the side.
“Finally, it limits our environmental footprint. The more this is taken up by households, the less packaging materials (cartons, plastics, labels and others) go into circulation, thereby limiting our environmental footprint. The huge opportunity available in poultry business underlines the relevance of the Eco-Pro caging system.“
Source: The Guardian