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Poultry farming ppt


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Poultry farming

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Poultry farming is the raising of domesticated birds such as chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese, for the purpose of farming meat or eggs for food. Poultry are farmed in great numbers with chickens being the most numerous. More than 50 billion chickens are raised annually as a source of food, for both their meat and their eggs. Chickens raised for eggs are usually called laying hens whilst chickens raised for meat are often called broilers.[1] In total, the UK alone consumes over 29 million eggs per day. In the US, the national organization overseeing poultry production is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In the UK, the national organisation is the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Intensive and alternative poultry farming

According to the Worldwatch Institute, 74 percent of the world's poultry meat, and 68 percent of eggs are produced in ways that are described as 'intensive'.[2] One alternative to intensive poultry farming is free-rangefarming, however, this method of husbandry also uses large flock sizes in high stocking densities. Friction between supporters of these two main methods of poultry farming has led to long-term issues of ethical consumerism. Opponents of intensive farming argue that it harms the environment and creates health risks, as well as abusing the animals. Advocates of intensive farming say that their highly efficient systems save land and food resources due to increased productivity, stating that the animals are looked after in state-of-the-art environmentally controlled facilities.[3] The most intensive poultry farming methods are very efficient and allow meat and eggs to be available to the consumer in all seasons at a lower cost than free-range production. Poultry producers routinely use nationally approved medications, such as antibiotics, in feed or drinking water, to treat disease or to prevent disease outbreaks. Some FDA-approved medications are also approved for improved feed utilization.

Egg-laying chickens - husbandry systems

Commercial hens usually begin laying eggs at 16 20 weeks of age, although production gradually declines soon after from approximately 25 weeks of age.[4] This means that in many countries, by approximately 72 weeks of age, flocks are considered economically unviable and are slaughtered after approximately 12 months of egg production,[5] although chickens will naturally live for 6 or more years. In some countries, hens are force moulted to re-invigorate egg-laying.
Environmental conditions are often automatically controlled in egg-laying systems. For example, the duration of the light phase is initially increased to prompt the beginning of egg-laying at 16 20 weeks of age and then mimics summer daylength which stimulates the hens to continue laying all year round; normally, egg production occurs only in the warmer months. Some commercial breeds of hen can produce over 300 eggs a year. Critics argue that year-round egg production stresses the birds more than normal seasonal production.

Indoor broilers

Meat chickens, commonly called broilers, are floor-raised on litter such as wood shavings or rice hulls, indoors in climate-controlled housing. Under modern farming methods, meat chickens reared indoors reach slaughter weight at 5 to 6 weeks of age. In intensive broiler sheds, the air can become highly polluted with ammonia from the droppings. This can damage the chickens eyes and respiratory systems and can cause painful burns on their legs (called hock burns) and feet. Broilers bred for fast growth have a high rate of leg deformities because the large breast muscles causes distortions of the developing legs and pelvis, and the birds cannot support their increased body weight. Because they cannot move easily, the chickens are not able to adjust their environment to avoid heat, cold or dirt as they would in natural conditions. The added weight and overcrowding also puts a strain on their hearts and lungs and Ascites can develop. In the UK, up to 19 million broilers die in their sheds from heart failure each year.[21]

Indoor with higher welfare

Chickens are kept indoors but with more space (around 12 to 14 birds per square metre). They have a richer environment for example with natural light or straw bales that encourage foraging and perching. The chickens grow more slowly and live for up to two weeks longer than intensively farmed birds.[citation needed] The benefits of higher welfare indoor systems are the reduced growth rate, less crowding and more opportunities for natural behaviour.[10]

Free-range broilers

Free-range broilers are reared under similar conditions to free-range egg laying hens. The breeds are more slower growing than those used for indoor rearing and usually reach slaughter weight at approximately 8 weeks of age. In the EU, each chicken must have one square metre of outdoor space.[10] The benefits of free-range poultry farming include opportunities for natural behaviours such as pecking, scratching, foraging and exercise outdoors. Because they grow slower and have opportunities for exercise, free-range broilers often have better leg and heart health.[10]

Organic broilers

Organic broiler chickens are reared under similar conditions to free-range broilers but with restrictions on the routine use of in-feed or in-water medications, other food additives and synthetic amino acids. The breeds used are slower growing, more traditional breeds and typically reach slaughter weight at around 12 weeks of age.[22] They have a larger space allowance outside (at least 2 square metres and sometimes up to 10 square metres per bird).[5] The Soil Association standards[12] indicate a maximum outdoors stocking density of 2,500 birds per hectare and a maximum of 1,000 broilers per poultry house.
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