This article is continued from the previous post, “Farming Advice Digest Interview with Dr Makinde (Part one)”
FAD: What do you consider to be your best advice for poultry farmer now, in terms of poultry health?
Dr. Makinde: Poultry health is very significant and we should not play ignorance when it comes to this aspect. When birds are not healthy, definitely we are not likely to get the best from them. So when we are talking about poultry health, it starts from the environment, the housing, and all the inputs that you are using.
Farmers should be looking away from the unnecessary application of antibiotics. Farmers should be looking at how they can prevent many of these disease conditions, by ensuring that even the water they give to the birds is clean. In fact, the water we cannot afford to take, we should not give it to the birds. At the moment, there are quite a number of things that farmers can put in the water that can make the water safe for the birds and the same time make the water to be free of any causative agents. Farmers should start imbibing this. We have a list of those things that they can use even right from day one and through their rearing period. And this will lessen the quantities of antibiotics they will be using, it will reduce the amount spend on drugs. So they should take it very important.
And when it comes to poultry health, we always talk about biosecurity but I tell you, biosecurity to some farmers is just a thing of the lips. They only talk about it they don’t practice it, so farmers should try and ensure that whatever it is that biosecurity means, they should imbibe it and do it from A to Z and they will get an excellent result from their activities.
FAD: What do you consider to be your best advice for poultry farmer now, in terms of poultry management?
Dr. Makinde: Management is key because when we don’t manage whatever we have well, we are not likely to get the best result. When you talk about management, there are different aspects of management. Our daily upkeep on the farm operation is part of management. Our record-keeping is part of management. Our projection of what we want the farm to be in two months, a year or two, is part of management.
I want to start from record keeping. When it comes to the management of farms, most farmers seem to be lazy. Hardly will you get to a farm and get adequate record especially in terms of expenses. Farmers find it difficult to keep a record of expenses and some farmers don’t know if they are making a profit or not. And all these things are very important.
The daily activities of running the farm, the water given to the birds, the feed given to the birds are also very important. Many farmers are losing a lot. You get to a farm and you see a feed that is supposed to be taken by birds on the floor. Water might not even be available for the birds, so many of the birds might be dying of dehydration and many more. These are management practices that farmers should ensure that the farm attendants are well trained on, in other to keep the business running very well. When we have attendants on the farm, we should make them know that they are meant to stay with the birds, they are meant to observe the birds and ensure that the birds are getting what they are supposed to take. And I am sure with this, we will begin to talk about profits.
This interview will be continued in the next post.