General Poultry (Improved Kienyeji Chicken) Husbandry Terms you need to know – Part 2poultryadmin
This is the second and final part in our series covering general poultry husbandry terms that you as an improved kienyeji chicken farmer need to know. Click here for part one.
In the final part, we are going to cover some key terms that are used in the chick to adult bird stages.
- Brooder:This is the entire setup used by the farmer to take care of chicks by providing warmth and shelter. It typically includes a heat source like a jiko in the middle.
- Brooding:This is the stage, usually a few weeks in length where chicks require very deliberate and delicate care. Typically, chicks are fed on chick mash and kept quite warm day and night to protect them. Another meaning of the term can refer to the the time when chickens are broody. For more details, refer to part one of this series.
- Capon: This refers to a castrated male chicken. Caponization can be done using chemicals or physically. Capons are generally more docile and gain weight faster than cockerels. Their meats are also tender, supposedly more tender than hens. Fun fact: the world’s most expensive chicken are capons reared in the Bresse region of France.
- Cockerel:A term used to refer to a young male chick that is typically below 6 months of age.
- Cock:A fully matured male that has successfully mated with hens in at least one season. To prevent inbreeding that can negatively affect your flock quality, some breeders advise to bring in 1 new cock per 10 hens after every 2 years.
- Hen:A chicken that has started laying eggs.
- Incubator:A machine that hatches eggs through a series of mechanized operations controlling temperature, humidity etc. The incubation process is designed to produce strong, healthy chicks. The most important thing to note here is that many small-scale farmers have been lured to buy small incubators to hatch their eggs. This is not necessary or economical. Incubators typically have hatch rates of 60-80% while hens hatch 80-100% so if you choose to hatch your own chicks as a small-scale farmer, it is better to let the hens hatch the eggs or buy them from a recognized and licensed hatchery.
- Intensive system:Think of this as zero-grazing but for chicken. This is an increasingly popular way for farmers to rear chicken because you are better able to manage diseases and pests like the deadly, viral Newcastle. Remember, Kenya is prone to outbreaks of the Newcastle disease especially during the dry season but you can spare your flock through timely vaccination. Always ask for an up-to-date vaccination schedule when you order chicks.
- Layer:A term used commercially to refer to female chicken bred for egg production.
- Pullet:A female chicken that is yet to begin laying eggs but already began brooding.
- Spent hen:A layer that has stopped laying eggs.
Do you have any terms you would like to add to these? Comment below and share your knowledge!