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Poultry Farming in India: Care And Management

poultry farming in india

Poultry farming, in general, we think that raising of chicken and this is broadly used as a synonym of poultry in India because when it comes to poultry farming the most widely raised poultry bird is chicken among all the other birds like guinea fowl, quails, duck, peacock, geese, turkey, Pheasants, Pigeon, Swan, Emu, etc. which are raised in poultry farming. But the poultry farming means raising of domestic birds. The largest population of poultry farm in India are found in Tamil Nadu followed by Maharashtra W.B., UP, Kerala, Karnataka, Bihar, Orissa.

Poultry population

Here’s 19th and 20th poultry census reports of India from 2012 and 2019 respectively

  1. 19th Livestock And Poultry Census 2012
  2. 20th Poultry Census 2019

According to the current census (2019), the poultry population of India is 851.81 Million

Total meat production including poultry meat was 8.89 million tonnes in 2015-16 as compared to 1.9 million tonnes in 2001-02. The Highest chicken egg producer state in India in Andhra Pradesh and the highest duck egg producer state is West Bengal. Globally India is the 3rd most egg-producing country with 95 Billion eggs produced in the year 2018. About 94% of the total egg produced in India is contributed by chickens while the remaining 6% is equally contributed by ducks and other poultry birds

According to 2015-16, the per capita availability of the egg in India was only 66, which was just 18% of the ICMR recommendation which is 365. This means the normal person should consume one egg per day, according to the recommendation.

Also, read: The Secrets of Goat Farming In India | Care & Management

Benefits of poultry farming in India

poultry farming in india

  • There are highly productive both local and foreign breeds are available for the commercial purpose of poultry farming.
  • All poultry products have an established market and strong demand in India, along with this there is no religious taboo for poultry products like eggs or meat.
  • The new poultry farming setup can help many people by giving them a job at the farm, which eventually helps in fighting unemployment throughout the country.
  • This is a type of a unique business opportunity in India that never dries up.
  • The investment is not much higher, even you can start with a small scale and later increase the number of birds.
  • There are bank loans available throughout the country for poultry farming in India.
  • There are already many organized farms running in India, you can visit there and learn more practically about what will be the future issues.

Starting Poultry Farm In India

It’s not too much easy to start an organized poultry farm in India which can generate a handsome income. There are some steps and key points you have to keep in mind before starting poultry farming in India.

Selecting Suitable Location

The most important and most expensive part of poultry farming in India is selecting suitable land. While choosing the land always try to start farming on the land which you own, because the rented land has some drawbacks in farming practices, another thing is that you get trouble while applying for a loan in India. here are some key points
  • Always try to set up the farm in rural areas rather than urban or city, Land and Labor are cheaper.
  • Select a calm and quiet place because poultry birds often like a peaceful place.
  • Select your farming system and the number of birds, because the free-range system doesn’t require more land than an intensive system.
  • The poultry farm area which you have chosen should have a fresh and pollution-free environment.
  • Avoid rented land because the owner can force you anytime to leave.
  • Another important point you keep in mind that there is a sufficient amount of fresh and clean drinking water available near your farm
  • The poultry farming area must be free from all predators or animals.
  • Ensure a suitable transportation system.
  • The presence of a Market near the farm will help you in buying and selling commodities or products for your poultry farm with lesser transportation charges.

Housing System For Poultry Farm

When it comes to housing or cage or farming systems of poultry farm, there are 3 most common systems suitable and followed by the poultry keepers in India to protect the weather inclement, sun rays(direct), rain, reduced effect of dampness, safety from their predators, scientific management practices, and suitable atmosphere for the expression of the full genetic potential.

Types of housing/farming system

  1. Free-range system or Extensive system
  2. Semi-intensive system
  3. Intensive system
  • Battery system
  • Deep Litter system

Free-range system

free range system

  • This is a very old system of poultry housing in India but still used where there is good availability of land for the farm.
  • As the name itself defines ‘free’ means poultry birds are kept in open where they can find an appreciable amount of food (herbage, seed, & insects).
  • They have to be protected from predator animals & infectious diseases & parasitic infestation.
  • Due to the advantage of the intensive system, this method is almost absolute and most of the Poultry farmers don’t go for a free-range system.

Semi-Intensive system

  • This system is adopted where only limited space is available, but it is necessary to allow the poultry farm at least 20-30 yards per bird.
  • This system is still being used in villages by small poultry keepers which keeps few birds in the back yard of their house.

Also, read: 7 Methods of Identifying Farm Animals

Intensive system

In the Intensive system, poultry birds are confined to the house entirely and are usually adopted where land is limited and expensive. In this system, Deep litter and Battery or cage systems are most common.

Battery system
battery system
  • The battery system is the most intensive system and very useful. In this method, each hen is confined to a cage.
  • The usual floor space for poultry cage is 14 ₓ 16 inches with a 17-inch height.
  • The cage is made up of galvanized wire with the floor at a slope from back to front.
  • Under the floor, there is a tray for dropping.
  • Feeder & waterer are outside the cage.
  • Many cages may be joined & maybe multi-storied.
Deep litter system

floor space requirement

  • In a deep litter system, the poultry birds are kept in large pens up to 250 birds each or even more on a floor covered with litter material like rice husk, wheat straw, sawdust, or dry leaves up to the depth of 8-12 inches.
  • Litter should always be kept dry.
  • Stir the litter regularly.

Important Points For Good Poultry House In India

  • The proper ventilation system and sunlight or artificial light entry are required for good housing which ensures good health and proper growth of the poultry birds.
  • For the entrance of clean and fresh air, the south faced house is perfect.
  • In large scale production, multiple houses are built then the distance between house to house will be at least 40 feet.
  • Always keep the farm clean and also clean it before bringing the new batch of chicks on the farm.

Feeder space requirement

  • Make sure the house is protected from predators or wild animals.
  • Ensure that the house can sustain different environmental conditions and the rainwater can’t enter the house.
  • The house should be in a quiet and peaceful place.
  • There should be a good drainage system in the house which helps in maintaining the cleanliness.
  • Keep the Equipment like waterer and feeder at a proper distance and clean them properly.

Watering-space requirement


For better poultry production in India, good quality and highly nutritious food are necessary. They need around 38 essential nutrients in their daily diet, there are different forms like pellets, mash, and crumbles. But if you want to prepare the feed in your farm then ensure that you add all the essential elements to the feed mix in a proper ratio.

Major Poultry Feed Ingredients

  1. Energy sources
  2. Mill by-products
  3. Protein sources  (a) Animal protein sources  (b) Plant protein sources
  4. Green leafy products
  5. Feed supplements
  6. Feed additives

Energy Sources

  • Maize – Most commonly used energy source in poultry farms in India. Crude Protein (CP) 8 to 11%, Metabolic Energy (ME) 3309 kcal/kg, very low fiber (2%), rich in carotenoid pigments called xanthophylls which is responsible for yellow pigmentation of yolk in poultry eggs, fair source of vitamin A. White maize does not contain vitamin A and xanthophylls. High lysine corn has been developed.
  • Barley –  Not very palatable due to high fiber content and should not constitute more than 15% of the ration. CP- 12%, ME- 2600 Kcal/Kg
  • Oat – low palatability due to high fiber content and should not constitute more than 20% of the adult ration. The manganese content in it helps in preventing hock disorder and cannibalism in poultry birds. CP – 14.7%, ME 2850 Kcal/Kg.

Mill by-products

  • Wheat Bran – It is bulky and quite laxative for poultry birds due to its high fiber, manganese, and phosphorus content. CP – 14.7%, ME 1070 Kcal/Kg.
  • Rice Bran – A very good substitute for cereal grains. It is an excellent source of vitamin B-complex. It can be used up to 50% of the ration. Deoiled- CP – 14.1%, ME – 2240 Kcal/Kg. Non-deoiled- CP – 12%, ME 2940 Kcal/Kg.

Plant Protein Sources

  • Groundnut cake – Widely used protein source. Contains 45-52% CP, of ME 2300 kcal/Kg
  • Mustered cake – Superior to GNC in protein quality and lysine content but its use in poultry ration is limited due to glycosides and goitrogens. CP – 35-38%, ME 2373 kcal/Kg
  • Sesame cake – Deficient in lysine. CP – 47%

Animal protein sources

  • Fish meal – is one of the best sources of animal protein sources for poultry birds. Good source of Vitamin B12, Ca, P, Methionine, and lysine. Most Indian fish contains 45 to 55% protein. It can be used up to 10 to 12% in chick and 5 to 6% in layer ration.
  • Blood meal – Blood collected at slaughterhouses is coagulated and dried to produce blood meal. It contains 80% CP and can be included up to 2-3% in poultry ration.

Green leafy products

These are excellent sources of xanthophylls, carotene, and unknown growth factors in green leafy products and some are high in Vit. K.
Alfalfa meal (Medicago sativa) – Contains 13-20% protein and 20-30% fiber. Usually used as a pigment source at a 4% level.

Subabul meal (Leucaena Leucocephala) – Contain a toxic amino acid called mimosine. Can be used up to 10% level in poultry feed.

Feed supplements

  • Vitamin supplements – Several commercial preparations are available. Most commonly used is Vitabland A B2 D3 at a rate of 25 g per quintal (each g contains 40,000 IU of Vit. A. 6000 IU of Vit D and 25 mg of Vit B2).
  • Mineral supplement – Ground limestone, dicalcium phosphate, oyster meal (shell grit), and bone meal are generally used as calcium and phosphorus supplement in poultry ration. There are several commercial mineral mixtures also available in the market.
  • Salt is highly essential for the normal absorption of nutrients (especially amino acids) and normal electrolyte balance and for good performance of poultry farms.

Feed additives

Feed additives are certain substances that are deliberately added in the poultry ration so that the dietary nutrients are properly ingested, digested, to prevent the rancidity of the fat in the diet or to protect nutrients from being destroyed by oxidation, although they are nutrient. Some of the feed additives are used to stimulate the growth rate in chickens or to increase carcass fat deposition.

Also, read: NBAGR Registered cattle and Poultry Breeds of 2020 | India

Care and management In Poultry Farm

To produce a healthy (a female young chicken under one year age) “pullet” which will come to lay around 20 weeks of age with an average body weight of 1.2 to 1.4 Kg (in layers). At the same age, male and female broiler parents should weigh around 2.5 and 2.0 Kg, respectively.

care and management in poultry

  • Culling and selection – Underdeveloped, diseased, off-bred pullets should be culled out as early as possible during the growing period to save the labor, feed cost, space, and to avoid contamination of certain diseases associated with undesirable pullets.
  • Feeding – Ration containing 2700 Kcal/kg (ME) Metabolic Energy and 16% CP should be fed during the growing period. Any change in the feed ingredient should be gradual.
  • Restricted feeding – In recent years emphasis has been placed on the merits of restricted feeding of poultry during the growing period, particularly in broilers.
  • Feeding of grit – It is advisable to feed a limited amount of grit if there are large particles of maize and other feed ingredients. About ½ kg grit for 100 “growers”(Growing bird of layer type chicken between the age group of 9 to 20 weeks) is enough for a week.
  • Avoid overcrowding – Optimum floor, water, and feeder space as required to keep pace with the size of the bird should be provided.
  • Avoid food wastage – feed wastage may occur in a variety of ways- through culled hens, spoilage, trough too full, holes in feeders, poorly adjusted & design of feeders, etc. actual trouble point should be located and removed immediately to avoid feed wastage.
  • Water – Clean, soft water should be made available to growers every time. Water consumption is influenced by temperature, humidity, age, dietary constitution, activity, and air movement.
  • Prevention and control of disease – Grower house should be clean and dry. Spray house regularly. Follow a regular vaccination program.
  • Deworming – should be done once bimonthly to keep the birds free from parasitic diseases.
  • Debeaking – is recommended between 12 and 16 weeks although it can be done at an earlier stage depending on convenience.
  • A decreasing lighting schedule should be followed in the growers until 20 weeks of age.

Layer poultry management

layer management

  • The flock – should be transferred from grower to layer house at 18-20 weeks of age. Males should be transferred 1-2 days before females if they have been grown separately.
  • Nest – one laying nest for every 4 poultry birds must be provided in a deep litter system of housing.
  • Floor space – of 1900-2800 cm2, feeder space of 14cm and water space of 2.5 cm per bird are recommended for egg-type poultry birds (chicken) in floor house.
  • Light management – Light affects the growth & reproduction of Poultry birds by different physiological actions. Both the intensity and duration of light affect egg production, even distribution of light is important.
  • Egg line – poultry bird requires 16 hrs light day
  • Meat line – poultry bird requires 15-16 hrs light day
  • Culling – Sick, non-layers, and poor layers should be culled after proper examination. Culling should be a constant or regular job.
  • Litter management – Suitable litter material in proper quantity should be used. It should always be kept dry. It should be stirred regularly.
  • Prevention and control of diseases – To avoid any diseases and a higher risk of mortality it is necessary to follow the vaccination schedule timely as given below.

Vaccination Schedule For Poultry

Vaccination schedule for chicken


Debeaking is a process of partial removal of the beak which is performed in many poultry birds but mostly in chicken and turkey. Debeaking is a preventive measure that reduces damage caused by injurious peckings like feather pecking, cannibalism, and vent pecking. It reduces mortality and improves feed consumption and reduces feed losses.
  • Debeaking has mostly performed in the layers of poultry birds(chicken strains).
  • At the age of 2-3 weeks, the bird should be debeaked.
  • 1/3 of the upper beak should be cut of poultry bird.

Methods of Debeaking

Electrical Method:-

The Bio-beaker, which uses an electric current to burn a small cut in the upper beak of the bird. It is the preferred method for trimming the beak.

electrical method of debeaking

Infrared Method:-

The infrared method directs a strong source of heat into the inner tissue of the beak and after a few weeks, the tip of the upper and lower beak automatically dies and drops off which results in the shorter beak with blunt tips.

infrared method of debeaking

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