Egg Production Ebooks Catalog

How to Build a Backyard Chicken Coop

Making your own chicken coop will probably be the best decision that you have ever made for your home. Why, do you ask? Building your own chicken coop does three things for you. First, it saves you a lot of money. Having someone else build a coop for you can set you back a lot of cash that you shouldn't have to spend. Second, you can build it how YOU want it done. A coop that comes with your house will likely not meet the specific needs of your flock. Third, you will look on what you have built with pride, knowing that you have built something lasting and high quality. This ebook teaches you how to build your own chicken coop from scratch without having to have any previous construction experience or much money at all. Make the coop that your flock deserves! More here...

How to Build a Backyard Chicken Coop Overview


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Author: Bill Keene
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I started using this ebook straight away after buying it. This is a guide like no other; it is friendly, direct and full of proven practical tips to develop your skills.

When compared to other e-books and paper publications I have read, I consider this to be the bible for this topic. Get this and you will never regret the decision.

Reproduction And Genetics

For some species, one sex may grow more rapidly than the other. A prime example is tilapia, which mature at an early age (often within six months of hatching). At maturity, submarketable females divert large amounts of food energy to egg production. Also, since they are mouth brooders (holding the eggs and fry within their mouths for about two weeks) and repeat spawners (spawning about once a month if the water temperature is suitable), the females grow very slowly once they mature. Males, on the other hand, continue to grow rapidly and can become marketable within a few months after reaching maturity. All-male, or predominantly male, populations of tilapia can be produced by feeding androgens to fry, which are undifferentiated sexually. Various forms of testosterone have been used effectively in sex reversing tilapia and other fishes.

Understanding how endometriosis affects your period

Endometriosis can interfere with your menstrual cycle in a number of ways. Starting right from Day 1 of your cycle, endometriosis on or around your ovary can interfere with your egg production. If you're not planning on getting pregnant, you may say, So what But the whole purpose of the menstrual cycle is the maturation, release, and implantation of an egg. Disrupting the process in any way impacts your periods.

What new technological developments in other parts of the food industry or in other industries at the present time

Changes in the structure of the food system are also an important source of ideas for innovation possibilities. There are often changes in the importance of the various parts - production, ingredient processors, food manufacturers, retailers, food service - and the pressure for innovation moves from one section to another. Recently there has been increased new product activity in the ingredients industry, which is being transmitted to both producers and food manufacturers. Both vertical and horizontal integration have occurred in the last 50 years, and caused major innovations. For example vertical integration in the chicken industry led to chicken as major meat, and to the development of many new products horizontal integration led to many new products in the baking industry.

Mendels Scientific Legacy

While neither Mendel nor anyone else in his day knew anything about chromosomes or genes, the laws of inheritance he discovered predicted exactly how genes behave on chromosomes during the reproductive process. Indeed, the factors he discovered are genes, which come in pairs and segregate on separate chromosomes during sperm and egg production, just as he suggested. Gene pairs located on different sets of chromosomes will assort independently during the process. While most genes do not exhibit simple dominance-recessiveness relations, and most traits are governed by more than one gene, it is to Mendel's credit that he began by trying to understand simple systems in order to develop generalizable laws.

The companys place in the food system

Vertical integration has been an important innovation strategy in the past, for example in the chicken industry, and in large multinationals which have combined ingredients processing with food manufacturing. Recently in some companies there has been a breaking of the integration with selling off the ingredients processing section by large food companies and of contracting farmers instead of owning farms in the production, processing and marketing integration. Retailers increasingly have a high degree of integration, although not always ownership, with production, processing and manufacturing, and are more strongly involved in innovation in the food system. Food manufacturers are increasingly directed in innovation by the food ingredients' processors and the retailers. It is interesting to speculate how the food manufacturers will develop innovation strategies in the future it would appear that today's strong influence on their innovations of retailers and ingredients suppliers may...

Development Of The Egg Industry

Eggs have been a human food source since the beginning of human residence on earth. The first usage of eggs was probably the taking of eggs from nests of wild birds. In primitive societies this continues to be significant source of high-quality protein, especially during the egg production season of wild birds. As civilization developed, the birds were domesticated and were kept in pens and shelters. In Western societies the chicken became the primary source of eggs. The growth of the egg industry in selected countries from 1965 to 1995 is shown in Table 1. The egg production in China amounted to almost 50 of total egg production in the world in 1995 and is continuing to increase at a rate greater than world average. Until relatively recent times the keeping of chickens on farms was generally only a sideline to the main business of farm operation. Commercial egg farms became a primary source of farm income only in the last century. Large poultry farm operations for egg production did...

The Physiological Effects Of Feed Restriction On Reproduction In Female Breeders

A well-described effect of feed restriction in broiler breeder females is the reduction of ovary weight, the number of yellow follicles during lay, and the incidence of erratic ovipositions, defective eggs, and multiple ovula-tions. 4-6 Unrestricted access to feed leads to a low egg production rate and fewer settable eggs for incubation. 6 There is evidence that the observed disturbances in follicular growth, differentiation, and ovulation in animals fed ad libitum could be attributed to changes in the steroid-producing capacity and in the sensitivity of the follicles to locally produced growth factors (e.g., insulinlike growth factors, bone morphogenic proteins, transforming growth factor, etc.) in interaction with each other and with gonadotrophins. Moreover, selection for growth rate or body leanness may have changed ovarian gene expression for growth factors and their receptors. 7

Environment Management

The environment to which birds are exposed light intensity, dust, atmospheric ammonia, high temperature, low temperature, feed availability, water availability, space allotments, etc. significantly affects layer health and productivity. Poor productivity due to environmental problems is often mistakenly believed to be infectious disease-related. Detailed record keeping of environment-related inputs is essential for troubleshooting in these cases. For example, a very commonly seen situation in chain feeder-fed houses is the difference in feed availability and quality near the source of the feed and at the end of the feeder. This difference results in marked mortality increases and egg production losses in the cages near the end of the feeder line. Microclimates in small areas of a house are often responsible for poor egg production or an increase in mortality. For example, air inlets that are not open sufficiently result in warmer, poorly ventilated zones. Light coming in from fans...

Energy Requirements Differ For Layer And Broiler Breeders

The commercial egg layer has been selected to efficiently produce eggs. Therefore, it eats feed to meet its daily energy requirement. Factors such as temperature, energy content of the feed, breed as strain of the hen, and rate of egg production affect this requirement. The energy-to-amino acid (methionine) ratio in the Harms-Faria formula 3 makes corrections for these differences. The hen adjusts her feed intake to compensate for differences in energy content of the diet. There is a 1 increase in feed intake for each 14 kCal per pound decrease in ME content of the diet. 7 The broiler breeder does not have the ability to control feed intake for efficient egg production. Therefore, her feed intake (energy) must be controlled to control body weight. She must be weighed at regular intervals to attain this goal.

The Role of Eggs in the Diet

There are no substantive nutritional differences between white eggs, brown eggs, fertile eggs, and free-range eggs nutritional content is determined by the hen's diet Hens are not given hormones to produce eggs in the absence of a rooster hens lay eggs with or without a rooster there are no harmful hormones in eggs Antibiotics have no effect on egg production and there is no value in using them unless needed for therapeutic reasons Commercial eggs are not fertile (can be included in a lactoovo- or ovo-vegetarian diet) that stringy stuff (chalaza) is an egg protein that anchors the yolk in the centre of the egg No study has ever shown that

Potential For Increased Efficiency

The potential for improving conversion rates of feed to food is an important issue affecting future food supply and particularly the ability to meet the projected increased demand for animal source foods. 2 Large improvements have occurred in recent decades due to science-based technologies. Between 1957 and 1991, growth rate of broiler chickens is estimated to have increased more than threefold, while feed required per unit of gain decreased by an estimated 35 . 7 In the United States, average milk yield per cow has more than doubled in the past 50 years, resulting in a marked increase in system efficiency. Global data on feed grain use and meat, milk, and egg production indicate an improvement of about 15 in conversion rates in the decade from the 1980s to 1990s, in both developed and developing countries. 5 The gap in conversion rates for total feed inputs between developed and developing countries, shown in Table 1, indicates a large potential for further increases in conversion...

Retailing Institutional And Breaker Marketing

Eggs for the breaker market (used for further processed products) are estimated to be about 30 of the total (2000). Much of the production of broken-out eggs is located in the Midwest region of the United States where egg production costs are the lowest. Specialized farms break 100 of their production for this use.

Grading And Size Regulations

''Grading aids orderly marketing by reducing waste, confusion, and uncertainty with respect to quality values. The egg production pattern and the marketing system in the United States are such that interstate trading and shipment occur constantly and in large volume. This situation creates a need for uniform standards throughout the country so that marketing may be facilitated and the efficiency of distribution increased.'' 7

Promotion Advertising And Research

The American Egg Board (AEB) 8 is the egg industry's broad linkage to the consumer in promoting egg consumption through media advertisements. Funding of its activities is from a nationally legislated checkoff of all egg producers with more than 75,000 hens. In 2002, AEB spent 18 million in various promotional activities. Almost 10 million was spent on advertising, 3.3 million on nutrition programs, 1.7 million for industry and market development, and 1 million for food service programs. In addition, AEB funds and operates the Egg Nutrition Center, which promotes research on eggs.

Egg Products From Breaking Operations

Egg-breaking operations were established in order to open an outlet for surplus eggs, small eggs, cracked eggs, and dirty eggs and to provide relatively long shelf life products for bakers and confectioners who were the main users until World War II (WWII). Today, the entire production of some farms is fully directed to egg breaking. In other egg farms, most of the medium eggs are also directed to breaking, and larger eggs are sent to the fresh egg market. Prior to 1940, breaking operations accounted for 5 6 of U.S. egg production. They were more common in the Midwest where mainly frozen products were produced. During and after WWII, large quantities of dry products were needed to feed the troops and for emergency feeding programs for European populations. Twelve large drying facilities were erected in the Midwest and operated around the clock. Fast egg-breaking machines were developed to meet the volumes of production needed. Egg-breaking production jumped to 9.0 in 1960, 24.4 in...

Shell Eggs Produced by Different Processing Methods

In the United States, eggs are moved directly from the hen houses on conveyors into the processing equipment (inline) or by crates (off-line) from older houses or from other farms. The eggs are then washed and dried. External defects (cracks, dirt, weak or abnormal shell) or internal defects (meat or blood spots) are removed by candling equipment, which is now almost fully automated. The eggs are then weighed, separated according to weight groups, packaged, and sent to cold storage. Later, refrigerated vehicles distribute them. In the EU and their followers, shell eggs are not washed. Eggs that have any contact with water are sent to a breaking operation. Furthermore, the EU does not refrigerate their eggs. As a result, products from one processing system cannot be sold legally in a country using the other system.

Enrichment and Research

Other attempts to improve the well-being of caged animals may have similar paradoxical effects, not because of the nature of the animals, but because of the economics of animal maintenance. Most people seem to believe that the larger the enclosure in which an animal is kept, the better off the animal will be. However, rats in nature spend most of their lives in burrows consisting of small nest chambers connected by even smaller tunnels. Perhaps rats like to be kept in closely confined spaces. In fact, when given a choice between tall cages and short ones, rats are nonresponsive. Similarly, researchers at Oxford University in England have found that domesticated hens raised in the cramped ''battery cages'' (see CHICKENS) used for commercial egg production show no preference when given the choice between a large pen and a battery cage.

External Effectors Photoperiod

External effectors of reproduction include photoperiod (day length), pheromones, temperature, nutrition, and stress. Responses to these effectors are communicated to the hypothalamus, where the secretion of releasing and inhibiting hormones, specifically GnRH and dopamine, is controlled. Photoperiod affects reproduction in all mammals and birds. However, some animals (e.g., sheep, goats, and poultry) are extremely sensitive to changes in day length. The annual initiation of the estrous cycle in sheep and goats is dependent on decreasing day length so that sheep and goats are called short-day breeders. Poultry need 14 17 hours of daylight for maximum egg production.

Breeding And Genetics

Genetic differences between and within breeds and strains are the basis for artificial selection in geese. 5 In commercial crossing, dam strains are selected for reproductive efficiency and sire strains for meat traits. Geese species are less variable compared to other poultry species. Long-term selection strategies including family selection and progeny testing systems are used. Heterosis (vigor induced by crossbreeding) for most traits was found to head in an undesirable direction therefore it is necessary to test for heterosis effects in crossbreeding geese strains. However, one can take advantage of other crossbreeding effects such as maternal or sex-linked gene traits. An average annual increase in egg production of almost one egg, average annual improvements of 1 in fertility, and an increase of one-day-old gosling per year were reported as the result of 15-year selection in Hungarian Upgraded and Gray Landaise geese. 6

Agricultural Production And Export

By far the majority of dairy produce is fresh milk, followed by ice cream, condensed milk, cheese, butter, and fermented products such as yogurt and fruit-based drinks. Dairy produce has lost share of the market (Table 2) since 1980, whereas egg production and ostrich products have shown a steady increase.

Quantitative Gene Action

The previously described types of gene action were all controlling characteristics that were qualitative (able to be classified). Many economically important traits in livestock are quantitative (able to be measured), such as weaning weight, egg production, milk production, or litter size. Quantitative traits are normally controlled by many pairs of genes, each with relatively small effect. They are also affected by the environment. This can be described with a simple model

Applications Of Mendelian Genetics In Livestock

It must be remembered that these basic principles also apply to the genetic background for performance traits such as growth rate, egg production, racing speed, or backfat thickness. Such traits may be influenced by hundreds of gene pairs but these genes are also discrete and come in pairs, one from each parent. Even though the effect of any one gene pair may not be clearly observed, the gene pairs do exist and behave according to Mendel's principles.

Feeding Systems Used In Livestock Production Poultry

Fed either for meat (broilers) or eggs (laying hens). Breeds and strains of chickens differ for these two purposes. Turkeys are also produced primarily in houses, although some range or pasture is still used. The poultry industry is very different from that of 40 years ago (23). Many broiler production units are vertically integrated (24) from hatching, production, and feed preparation through shipment of processed broilers to grocery stores (Fig. 3). Nearly all (98 ) of the broiler feed is fed to the manufacturer's own chickens (11). The eight largest companies produce 55 of the total U.S. broiler production. Modern poultry production firms are well capitalized, take advantage of the economies of large-scale operations, and rapidly adopt new biological and technological advances. As a result, the relative price of poultry products has steadily decreased, which has greatly increased the demand and therefore the production of broilers and turkeys.

How The Egg Donation Procedure Works

Your fertility doctor will explain the exact medications, their timing, and the necessary protocol requirements. The goal is to hormonally prepare the donor for egg production and retrieval and to prepare your uterus to receive the embryos that will be transferred. Ultrasound and blood tests may be performed to ensure that both the donor and recipient are properly prepared and ready to proceed.

Packaging Part Iilabeling

Regulation of food labeling in the United States falls mainly under the jurisdiction of two federal agencies the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) oversees food labeling of products containing meat or poultry. All other food products, including certain products containing only small amounts of meat or poultry and certain products (eg, traditional sandwiches) not associated by consumers with the meat and poultry industry, fall under the jurisdiction of FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). Although the two regulatory agencies approach many aspects of food labeling in a similar manner, occasionally they differ.

Poultry Meat From Avian Species

In 1998 there were almost 9 billion meat-producing farm animals commercially raised on U.S. farms (Table 1). Many other animals were grown as specialty items for food, sport, and pleasure, mostly in low volume. Surprisingly, about 98 of all farm animals are birds. However, by amount of meat produced (in tons) and by revenue (in dollars), beef is still king, not only in the United States but also worldwide. Yet more people eat lamb, mutton, and sheep than any other animal flesh. The change of consumer preferences in meat consumption started slowly in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century and accelerated rapidly toward its end. The doubling of the American population since World War II from 132.1 million in 1940 to 269 million in 1998 strongly fueled the demand for poultry, resulting in the explosive growth in poultry production, meat consumption, and the emergence of a highly efficient vertically integrated poultry industry. Dramatic changes in lifestyle further...

Production Practices

A variety of management systems are used for geese, depending on the country and the product of interest. It was once believed that the birds had to be at least partially maintained outdoors. A growing number of operations are raising their geese intensively, with no access to pasture. In Europe 10 to 20 of all the meat geese are being produced intensively. The birds may be kept on deep litter or slatted floors. A much smaller percentage of the geese kept for egg production are housed intensively with supplemental lighting. That figure is 5 or less in Europe (Metzer, personal communication, 1999). The birds kept for foie gras production are kept in a more restricted housing system during the period of intense feeding.

Contamination Of Pou1try

The microflora of commercially processed raw poultry cannot be easily defined. Hundreds of different species of microorganisms have been isolated from live poultry and from fully processed, ready-to-eat carcasses and poultry parts. Nonpathogenic spoilage organisms and potential human pathogens are the two general categories of organisms that are of greatest concern to the poultry industry and the ultimate consumer. The following genera have been isolated from fully processed, raw poultry (1-4) Pseudomonas, Achromobacter, Micrococcus, Flavobacterium, Alcaligenes, Proteus, Bacillus, Sarcina, Streptomyces, P nicillium, Oasora, Cryptococcus, andRhodotorula. These organisms originate from unlimited sources including the hatchery, the production environment, the feed or water, wild birds or animals, rodents, insects, domesticated farm animals, equipment, and even humans. In the United States and many other countries, almost all commercial broilers and turkeys are reared on the ground in...

Contamination Of Poultry

The microflora of commercially processed raw poultry cannot be easily defined. Hundreds of different species of microorganisms have been isolated from live poultry and from fully processed, ready-to-eat carcasses and poultry parts. Nonpathogenic spoilage organisms and potential human pathogens are the two general categories of organisms that are of greatest concern to the poultry industry and the ultimate consumer. The following genera have been isolated from fully processed, raw poultry (1-4) Pseudomonas, Achromobacter, Micrococcus, Flavobacterium, Alcaligenes, Proteus, Bacillus, Sarcina, Streptomyces, P nicillium,, Oasora, Cryptococcus, andRhodotorula. These organisms originate from unlimited sources including the hatchery, the production environment, the feed or water, wild birds or animals, rodents, insects, domesticated farm animals, equipment, and even humans. In the United States and many other countries, almost all commercial broilers and turkeys are reared on the ground in...

Future Development

In light of the material presented in the preceding sections and especially the continuous increase in poultry meat consumption (Table 1), it would seem that poultry meat is going to remain popular and might even gain a greater market share. Some predict that consumption level(s) will stabilize in this decade, and some forecast a further increase. One thing is certain, however the poultry industry must be competitive to maintain its current market share. Poultry meat is also becoming more popular in many countries because of the ability of poultry to adapt to most areas of the world, the low economic value per unit and rapid growth rate (1,5). Therefore, it can be expected that on a worldwide basis, poultry consumption will increase. Improvement in disease control will play an even more important role in the production of poultry as the trend toward larger growing units continues to increase. In addition, improvement in vaccination and feeding programs will further affect the...

Marketing Definedin The Broader Sense

Two examples are given here to illustrate the broad definition of marketing. In the first example, the first transfer of ownership is from the pure producer to a processor in another location. Eggs are sold unprocessed directly from the chicken house or farm cooler and transferred on plastic or pulp fiber filler flats (30 eggs per flat). In most cases, payment is based on the egg weight distribution determined in the processor plant, with different prices for each weight grade category. The payment received, therefore, represents a blend of sizes and is termed a nest run or farm selling price.

Physiological Effects

Dietary tannin decreases the growth rate of many mammals and the net energy available to domestic grazers (22). For ruminants there is a compensating effect since com-plexation of dietary protein diminishes its microbial degradation in the rumen. Egg production by hens is decreased. The antinutritional effects probably result from the formation of less digestible complexes.

Farm Animal Welfare Economic Policies

Animal scientists, especially in earlier years, have argued that high animal production levels are indicative of good welfare. At an individual animal level this contention has merit. In assessing the animal care program of a farm unit, reviewing the records of calving interval, pigs per sow, etc., can identify poor welfare. However, high productivity may have negative effects on animal welfare. 2 For example, high productivity can result in a metabolic challenge to the animal system as in high egg production causing calcium depletion of the hen's bones. Also, profit is typically determined at the group level not at the level of the individual. 2 Because profit is based on group performance, greater profits are not always directly related to better welfare for individual animals. Because of the high capital investment costs for housing and the relatively low monetary value of the animal, as in laying hens, for example, it is sometimes possible for profits to increase in association...

Probiotics For Poultry

Which probiotic preparations are able to inhibit intestinal pathogens in poultry and in other animals has not been clearly defined. With regard to nutrition and growth, feeding a selected culture of L. acidophilus to laying hens increased egg production and feed conversion, and reduced the cholesterol level in the egg yolks. 6

Vertical integration of agricultural production

The poultry industry led the trend towards industrialization of livestock production. Technology developed since the 1950s enabled the automation of chicken and turkey production. Nearly all broilers and egg layers and more than half of all turkeys are produced under contracts to large integrators, with most poultry operations located within 32.19 km (20 miles) of the integrator (Ollinger et al., 2000). This limits the amount of land available for spreading and hence the ease and cost of disposal of the waste.

Summary And Future Prospects

Forms of algae have been used from time immemorial as an alternative source of food. Several civilizations have adopted this efficiently, and developed recipes, which helped human beings in meeting the nutritional needs for their wellbeing. Algae were often used as a famine food by virtue of its availability under drought conditions. Persistent consumption from generation to generation established the safety of such algal food materials. The need for ensuring nutritional security has lead to the evaluation, from the point of view of essential micro- and macronutrients, of algal resources, both from fresh water and marine forms. The uniqueness of algae as a source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids and health promoting substances, as well as the advancement of food science and nutrition, have thrown light on the versatility of algal forms in meeting nutritional and nutraceutical requirements of the human beings. The food chain in the ecosystem involves...

Poultry Meat Processing And Product Technology

Poultry meat is consumed all around the world. In the last few decades poultry meat has increased in popularity in many countries. Among the reasons for this increase are the relatively low growing costs, the rapid growth rate of poultry, the high nutritional value of the meat, and the introduction of many new further processed products. Overall, the poultry industry has drastically changed since the beginning of the century. In the early 1920s most poultry was produced in small flocks mainly to support small farm units, and the poultry was sold live in the local area markets. Most birds were used both as a source of meat and eggs. This is still the situation in some countries however, in most countries the poultry industry has grown and specializes in meat production breeds and egg production breeds. Over the years the number of small flocks has decreased dramatically as large operations specializing in raising poultry have emerged. Today it is not uncommon to find farmers...

Decoupling in Time

The discussion of space as a major player in food webs dynamics suggests that other ways to decouple interactions and sub-systems can be equally as important and deserve attention. Another such area that is not well explored, but is likely to play a pivotal role in food web dynamics is the ability for consumers to decouple or couple interactions in time. McCauley et al. (1999) gave a very nice top-down example of temporal decoupling in their work on daphn a-phytoplankton dynamics. Here, ephippial egg production (as opposed to parthenogenic reproduction) allowed for zooplankton to decouple from phytoplankton when

Laying Hens

Another controversial practice is induced molting. Birds in the wild normally molt their feathers periodically. The function of a natural molt is to improve feather condition, but the molt is also associated with changes in the hen's reproductive system. The industry uses this link between molting and reproduction to control egg production rates. By inducing the molt artificially when egg production starts to decline, all hens molt simultaneously and subsequently return to a higher rate of egg production. Although in the wild the trigger for a molt is declining daylength, the most common method to induce the molt is to withdraw feed from the hens for periods ranging from 4 21 days. This causes hunger, and since fowl normally spend a considerable portion of their day in activities associated with foraging, it can also lead to boredom, frustration, and the development of abnormal behaviors like stereotyped pecking and pacing. 4 Molt programs that do not involve feed withdrawal are being...


Numerous resources are available to the egg producer today for assistance in managing layer health. The primary breeder is a good resource for management guides, and their staff of veterinarians for health advice. 1,2 Vaccine supplier companies not only supply high-quality biologics but also supply technical expertise in applying the biologics. Many large egg-producing companies retain consulting veterinarians or hire a staff veterinarian. A qualified nutritionist is an essential player on the team. Finally, a good relationship with your diagnostic laboratory is required to be able to aid in monitoring flock health, and it can be a valuable asset in disease prevention programs.


Growth, feathering, egg production, shell quality, egg size, immune response, etc. A deficiency of phosphorus at any stage of life or excess calcium prior to sexual maturity leads directly to urolithiasis visceral gout caused by high urine pH. A deficiency of calcium during lay leads directly to mortality caused by calcium depletion. Poor protein nutrition over time will lead to layers with inadequate feather cover at the end of lay, resulting in nervousness and excessive mortality resulting from peckout prolapse and bacterial infections.

Free Range

The term free range is generally understood by consumers to mean that hens have access to pasture. This is mandatory in the EU (Table 1), but not elsewhere. Problems associated with such access are damage to the ground and buildup of disease. In early forms of free range, these problems were avoided by using small, movable houses. Highly labor-intensive, that approach was adapted by incorporating fixed housing big enough for birds to be fed inside. They also obtain some nutrition from the outdoor area, particularly on pasture. However, a similar arrangement without vegetation is adopted in some conditions that cannot provide it, for example in organic egg production in some parts of the United States. In any case, consumption of provided feed is actually higher on range than in housing, at least in temperate countries, because of increased activity and lower temperature.

Light Management

A good light-management program is important for maximization of laying hen productivity, since it is a means of controlling the hen's behavior, metabolism, physical activity, productivity, and egg size by advancing or retarding the onset of egg production.1-1-1 Lighting program recommendations vary slightly depending on house type, season, latitude of the farm, and layer breed, but there are components that are common to all. These components will determine the lighting program components of the rearing and laying periods, including the pattern of light and dark periods, intensity, and bird age at stimulation. Regardless of the house type, the light duration should not increase during the first 14 weeks of the pullet flock's life. In fact, pullets should be grown on decreasing day lengths (Fig. 1). Three components of a lighting program can influence the light threshold, which is the intensity or duration of light perceived by the pullet. The first component is the light intensity....

Egg Types

The commercial hen used in today's egg production has been selected for optimal feed conversion and egg production along with overall health, disease resistance, livability, and temperament. The majority of egg production is carried out using a battery cage system, which offers a high degree of control over environment, feed, water, hygiene, bio-security, and egg collection. This system also facilitates mechanization. Other production systems include barn and free-range, which offer more freedom to the birds but often lead to higher disease and mortality rates and potentially to increased susceptibility to bacterial contamination of the eggs. Shifting dietary patterns in the population have resulted in compensatory changes in the egg industry. A major change has been the increased use of eggs in egg products for the pre-prepared packaged-food industry. In the USA over 30 of the total egg production is used to make egg products, and


The poultry industry is the largest (in terms of animal numbers) and most highly automated of all of the animal-production industries. In the United States alone, nearly 8 billion poultry, mainly chickens and turkeys but also waterfowl, game birds, ostriches, and emus, are raised each year. Chickens have undergone intense genetic selection, and two distinct types of chickens are now used, one for egg production and a faster-growing bird (a broiler) for meat production. Chickens and turkeys are produced by an increasingly smaller number of companies that oversee all phases of production, from hatching to slaughter. Turkeys, broilers, and breeder flocks are typically housed in large groups on the floor in enclosed or semienclosed buildings, while almost all chicken hens used for egg production are housed in ''battery'' cages. Another controversial practice is induced molting, which is used to extend the period of egg production in a flock. Birds in the wild normally molt their feathers...

Management Systems

Because geese have relatively few offspring per dam, caused by low laying intensity and short laying persistency, they can be exploited for more than one laying period. Geese cling to photorefractivity in the summer months, so it is difficult to induce summer egg production. Limitation of daylight to about 10 hours prolongs

The Interpreter

Would only know why the left hemisphere had picked the shovel it would not know why the disconnected right brain had picked the shovel.) His left hemisphere replied, Oh, that's simple. The chicken claw goes with the chicken, and you need a shovel to clean out the chicken shed. In other words, the left brain, observing the left hand's response, interprets the response in a context consistent with its own sphere of knowledge one that does not include information about the snow scene presented to the other side of the brain.


Tagetes erecta L. (Aztec marigold) is an annual herb that grows from 3 to 4 tall in temperate climates. Colorants are available in three forms dried ground flower petals, oleoresin extracts, and purified oleoresin extracts. The first two are used primarily in the poultry industry and the third in the food industry. The principal producers are Mexico, Peru, the United States, Spain, and India (5).

Beef Cattle

Are integrated feedlot and meat-processing companies, and a few are integrated feed, feedlot, and meat-processing companies. Many feedlots custom-feed cattle on contract for absentee owners and investors. A third, less important, segment backgrounds cattle between weaning and a yearling age on pasture, crop stubble, and aftermath (eg, corn and sorghum stalks) and on various by-product feeds. Because of the diversified nature of the beef cattle industry and because many cow-calf producers derive a significant portion of their income from other farming enterprises or off-farm income, genetic and other new technologies are slow in becoming established. On the other hand, nutrition, health, and other technologies are rapidly applied by the feedlot industry, similar to the poultry industry (Fig. 6).


Feeds can be analyzed for many constituents. It is convenient to divide these into chemical and biological constituents (37). Chemical analyses for nutrients, antinutri-tional factors, toxicants, contaminants, and residues can be performed, but these results do not necessarily indicate the bioavailability of these constituents when consumed by animals. Thus, biological constituents are measured using a biological response such as digestibility, absorption, metabolic efficiency, or some biochemical response. Gross energy (GE or heat of combustion) indicates the total energy value of a feed but only a portion is digestible (digestible energy, DE), less is available for metabolism (ME), and the net energy (NE) value of a feed is the energy available for maintenance of body tissues and growth (meat), wool, milk, and egg production. Similar bioavailability considerations apply to protein, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and other constituents. Feeds are commonly analyzed for moisture,...


There are many detailed reviews of the toxicology of aflatoxin, including that of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) (17). Aflatoxin Bl, the most toxic of the aflatoxins, causes a variety of adverse effects in different animal species, especially chickens. In poultry, these include liver damage, impaired productivity and reproductive efficiency, decreased egg production in hens, inferior eggshell quality, inferior carcass quality, and increased susceptibility to disease (78). Swine are somewhat less sensitive than poultry species, with the LD50 being perhaps half of that of chickens. Aflatoxin is hepatotoxic, and its acute and chronic effects in swine are largely attributable to liver damage (79). In cattle, the primary symptom is reduced weight gain as well as liver and kidney damage. Milk production is reduced (80). Aflatoxin is also immu-notoxic in domestic and laboratory animals with oral exposures in the ppm range. Cell-mediated immunity (lymphocytes,...


The standard broiler is raised for about 6 to 7 weeks. Therefore 22-25 million broilers at different ages must be raised at the same time to provide a steady supply of 3.5 million birds per week to the processing plant (projected broiler mortality is included). About 275,000 grandparent chickens and 750,000 parent breeder chickens are needed to maintain the steady stream of broiler chicks needed. The grandparents and parent birds are replaced at around 15 months of age when egg production decreases. A standard production house (growing barn) maintains 20,000 to 25,000 broilers (Fig. 1). Fewer birds are housed in summer Figure 1. Mother breeder chicken production barn (laying nests are on the right and left sides). Figure 1. Mother breeder chicken production barn (laying nests are on the right and left sides).

Major Breeds

And Muscovy duck have all been selectively bred to provide a large carcass. Pekin duck is the most commonly marketed meat duck today. The Pekin is a large, pure white duck. It is typically marketed at 7 to 8 weeks of age. At this age, it generally weighs between 6.25 and 7.5 lb. The Muscovy duck has become more popular in recent years. Although it grows more slowly and therefore takes several weeks longer to reach optimum weight, it yields a much leaner carcass. The Muscovy also maintains a more efficient feed conversion ratio. The appearance of the Muscovy is quite unlike that of any other breed of duck. It is easily recognized by the large caruncles or fleshy red growths on its face. The Muscovy can be seen in a number of colors or varieties however, the white Muscovy is most typically used for market purposes. Mule ducks, a sterile hybrid of the Muscovy and the Pekin (or occasionally another meat breed), are also becoming increasingly popular in the meat duck industry. The primary...


Japanese quail is used for the production of eggs and meat throughout the world. Imports into the United States were made in the 1950s, but these birds are thought to have been raised in captivity in eastern Asia for as long as domestic chickens. The stock imported into North America soon led to the development of several color mutations and strains selected for meat type or egg production. The body weight of imported Japanese quail was about 100 g, but the meat strains have been increased by genetic selection to a range of 200 to 400 g or more. The rapid reproduction of Japanese quail (fertile eggs are often obtained at 6 weeks of age incubation requires 17 days) makes this species popular for egg and meat production and for use as an experimental bird by laboratories. Except for the small chick size, which requires special feeding and watering equipment, they can be raised much like chickens. These quail are often raised to maturity in chicken starting batteries,...

Poultry Products

Within the last 20 to 30 years many new processed poultry products have been introduced on the market. The poultry industry has taken the initiative to develop new products and also adopted some red meat recipes to increase consumption and to move away from seasonal demand. In the past whole turkeys were sold in the North American market mainly prior to Thanksgiving and Christmas. This kind of marketing significantly limited the increase in sales of poultry. Realizing these limitations (sale of whole birds and demand concentrated within 1-3 months) the poultry industry started to move methodically into further processing. At the beginning, red meat recipes were modified in order to manufacture poultry products (frankfurters), and later new technologies were developed exclusively for poultry (chicken nuggets). Chicken frankfurters were unheard of 25 years ago however, after their introduction, they gained a significant market share, currently about 20 of the North American market....

Shell Egg Processing

In a modern egg production unit hens are housed in cages with sloping floors so that eggs will roll from the cage onto an egg gathering belt. The eggs are transported by conveyor belts to a separate unit of the facility where they are washed, inspected for defects by passing them over an intense light source (candling), sized, and packed into cartons for retail or onto trays for bulk packaging. Throughout the operation individual eggs are not touched by any workers. The cartons or trays are packed into master containers by hand.

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