According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Urban and peri-urban farms already supply food to about 700 million city dwellers — one-quarter of the world’s urban population — and nearly all of the world’s population growth between now and 2030 will be concentrated in urban areas in developing countries, expectedly, by then almost 60% of people in developing countries will live in cities. With this rapid growth in our cities, farming in and around urban areas need to play a bigger role in feeding the city populations.
With these facts, it is obvious that domestic farming of chicken and egg (backyard faming) will contribute to a reasonable extent in the production of chicken and eggs to meet daily need of the increasing population.
With this foresight and the growing concern to provide more than enough eggs and chicken, Gartech Poultry Equipment Company has developed Eco-Pro caging system to support profitable and comfortable poultry farming system.
Commenting on the need for backyard farming aided by Eco-Pro caging, Executive Director, Animal Care Consult Services, Dr. Opeyemi Agbato revealed that, most of the eggs we eat come from hens and it is a daily event for chicken to lay eggs. 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.
Dr. Opeyemi added that, ideally, backyard farming should be done in a somewhat contained system, maximizing limited land resources, minimizing supplement or feed wastage and preserving eggs, however 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 in it 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 in the feed into the feed trough and top up the in-built water reserve tank while going about their daily business. The whole process can be observed 56 to 112 (or more) hens at a time depending on family size, appetite and market network. This would also allow the home owner-turned-farmer to see that only feed; water and good shelter are required for the hen to continue its natural process of laying egg daily.
He further explained that, engaging in backyard farming puts the production process directly under the farmer’s control from “farm to fork”, in this case, from “backyard to fork”. It also presents a rare opportunity for young children to intimately learn about the chicken farming giving them better understanding and a good foundation about their sources of food. It is also a form of empowerment as it could help rural dwellers earn extra income on the side without being taken away from their current source of livelihood.
Finally, it limits our environmental footprint. The more this is taken up by households, the less packaging materials (cartons, plastics, labels etc) go into circulation, thereby limiting our environmental foot print. To learn more, follow Animal Care Services Konsult Nigeria ltd on Instagram, facebook & twitter @animalcarenig. Also visit our website at www.animalcare-ng.com.
The huge opportunity available in poultry business underlines the relevance of the Eco-Pro caging system. For owners of running poultry farms who desire the best outcome for their businesses, with respect to high birds’ productivity and efficiency, considering the system is imperative. The only addition is that the poultry farm housing structure should be built at a particular angle that take sunlight and wind directions into serious consideration