Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Nesting Behaviour

Mother hen sits over its egg for 21 days and hatch out its chicks. Do you know it reduces its metabolic needs by reducing its feed intake. It reduces its fecal excretion also during this period so as not to contaminate its eggs. Only once or twice in a day it excretes its fecal matter well away from its brood. Before start of laying its egg it starts searching the safe place for laying its eggs. After careful selection of  safe place it starts laying. It prepares its bed by using the straw or sand for placing its eggs. It turns its egg almost 90 times per day from 1 to 18 days of incubation and subsequently it does it only for 8 to 10 times a day. For the first three days it seldom gets up from the eggs as it is the most critical period for growth of chicks. The temperature requirement reduces when the incubation reaches 18 days and hence it sits over the eggs for an hour or two then roams about and again broods over the eggs. 

While Ducks have lost the brooding instinct. The duck eggs are incubated by chicken if included in the brood. Guinea fowls have very good brooding instinct. It selects the safest and secure nest for laying its eggs. It sits over its egg for 28 days and bring out its keets.  

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Dressed Chicken drug Residue

Hindustan Times , July 30, 2014
The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has found antibiotics in 40% of the 70 chicken samples  tested from Delhi and the NCR. Seventeen per cent of the samples tested had more than one drug, found the CSE study, Antibiotics in Chicken. Animals are fed antibiotics to add to growth and bulk, which causes resistance in bacteria in animals, which then gets transferred to humans through food. Cooking chicken at temperatures between 70° and 100°C for at least two minutes at the centre kills most bacteria, says the World Health Organisation. Thirty-six chicken samples from Delhi, 12 from Noida, eight from Gurgaon and seven each from Faridabad and Ghaziabad were tested by the CSE lab for the presence of six commonly-used antibiotics, including tetracycline and ciprofloxacin. Unlike in Europe, use of antibiotics in the meat and poultry in India is totally unregulated as the government has adopted the US model of self-regulation. “Denmark reduced use of antibiotics for chickens by 90%, but it did not impact broiler death and productivity,” said Bhushan.Antibiotics were used as growth promoters. "The samples analysed show antibiotics are fed in low doses over a prolonged period of time, without any disease," says Bhushan.
As Poultry Scientist we teach the poultry farmers to withdraw antibiotic and vitamin supplements in feed at least seven days before sending the birds for slaughter. It is true that we do not have good regulatory methods in India. Fortunately we Indians cook chicken over 100 deg C after thoroughly washing in running water and consume. This removes even the traces of antibiotic if present. We seldom eat par boiled chicken. However caution is required in consuming processed chicken. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Fancy Birds

Fancy Birds
Many people love to have fancy birds at their homes. They keep company with households and a good past time too for them.
Rhode Island Red
Rhode Island Red 
The Rhode Island Red is a striking bird with the contrast between the dark red body color, black tail with a “beetle green” sheen and the bright red comb and wattles. It is docile and has good egg laying capacity and possess tastier meat and hence an ideal backyard bird.
The origin of the breed dates back to a fowl bred in Rhode Island in the mid 1800s; hence the name of the breed. According to most accounts, the breed was developed by crossing Red Malay Game, Leghorn and Asiatic stock. There are two varieties of the breed, single comb and rose comb and to this day there is debate over which was the original variety. The breed was developed, as were most of the American breeds, in response to demand for a general purpose (meat and eggs), yellow skinned, brown egg laying bird. These birds quickly became a favorite of the commercial industry because of their laying capabilities and quick growth. Rhode Island Reds were admitted to the American Poultry Association (APA) Standard of Perfection in 1904.
The Silkie (sometimes alternatively spelled Silky) is a breed of chicken named for its atypically fluffy plumage, which is feels like silk. The breed has several colors such as black skin and bones, blue earlobes, and five toes on each foot, whereas most chickens only have four. They are often exhibited in shows, and appear in various colors.
In addition to their distinctive physical characteristics, Silkies are well known for their calm, friendly temperament. Among the most docile of poultry, Silkies are considered an ideal pet. Hens are also exceptionally broody, and make good mothers. Though they are fair layers themselves, laying about three eggs a week. It is origin is ancient China (hence another occasionally encountered name for the bird, Chinese silk chicken). 
The breed was recognized officially in North America with acceptance into the Standard of Perfectionin 1874. In the 21st century, Silkies are one of the most popular and ornamental breeds of chicken. They are often kept as ornamental fowl or pet chickens by backyard keepers.

Silkies are often mistakenly called a Bantam breed, and although they are considered bantams in some countries, this varies according to region and many breed standards class them officially as large fowl; the bantam Silkie is actually a separate variety most of the time. Almost all North American strains of the breed are bantam sized, but in Europe the standard-sized is the original version. However, even standard Silkies are relatively small chickens, with the males weighing only 1.8 kg, and females weighing 1.36 kg. The American Standard of Perfection calls for males that are 1 kg, and females that are 910 g.
The feathers lack functioning barbicels, and are thus similar to down on other birds and leave Silkies unable to fly. The overall result is a soft, fluffy appearance.Silkies appear in two distinct varieties: Bearded and Non-bearded. Bearded Silkies have an extra muff of feathers under the beak area that covers the earlobes. They also are separated according to color. Colors of Silkie recognized for competitive showing include Black, Blue, Buff, Grey, Partridge, and White. Alternative hues, such as Cuckoo, Lavender, Red, and Splash also exist. The standards of perfection call for all Silkies to have a small Walnut Comb dark wattles, and blue earlobes. In addition to these defining characteristics, Silkies have five toes on each foot. 
Silkies lay a fair number of cream-colored eggs, but production is often interrupted due to their extreme tendency to go broody; a hen will produce 100 eggs in a year.  Silkie birds are good mothers, as they are renowned for their calm, friendly temperament. They do well in confinement, and interact very well with children. This docility can cause Silkies to be bullied by more active or aggressive birds when kept in mixed flocks.

Aseel cock

Pet Birds

Love Birds:
Budgerigars are called Love birds and often finds a good company of aged people. They come out in many beautiful  and attractive plumage colors. Usual colors are white, Yellow, Blue and combinations of these colors. They are fed with fox millet (Thinai in Tamil). Fresh millet are relished by these birds.
Metal cages are more suitable for Budgies. It is easier to clean and safer for pet. It should be preferably rectangular in shape so that it will be have more flying space. The bottom dropping tray should be so designed to have a pull out for daily cleaning. There should not be more space for the pets to escape when the trays are pulled out for cleaning.
The metal bars on the sides can be 12 mm apart. The space between the bars should not be too wide. A budgie should not be able to wiggle its head through it. It should be no wider than 12 mm and it should not be too flexible. The bars need to be strong enough to withstand a human hand trying to squeeze through it. The door should be large enough to put your hand in to handle, remove and replace the birds or to place the feed in feeder and water in pails. The door has to be closed either using a clip or a padlock to secure your birds in cages.
Most standard perches  are made out of wood  as they are slightly more rough, will help the bird in keeping its nails shorter and provide a better grip. A perch should also be stable and strong. If it doesn't follow a perfectly straight line, or has smaller or thicker parts, this is better too, as it will help the budgie train the muscles in its toes.
Fixing a Mirror inside the cage will keep your budgie engaged. Some budgies actually grow strongly addicted to their mirror to a point where it's really unhealthy and very sad to watch. Of course, you can give your budgie a mirror, but just keep an eye on how it reacts to it, and if it seems to only sit in front of the mirror always take the mirror out.
Feed for Budgies
Budgies are omnivores. This means they can digest both vegetables and insects. In their natural habitat they get a varied diet of grass seeds, leafs, insects and so on.It's up to  the owner, to offer the little bird a healthy and balanced meal. Commonly the preferred feed is Fox millet and tender green grass, Coriander leaves. Each bird may require fox millet of about 10 g in the morning and 10 g in the evening. Feeding them twice a day with fox millet and once a day with greens such as coriander leaves or green grass is often sufficient for each bird.
Budgies eat insects and so qualify as omnivores, but do not offer them raw or cooked meat or fish. They cannot digest this. Limit the access to the food to set hours in the morning and evening. In the beginning, this will take some adjusting for your budgie, but soon they'll learn to adapt and eat as much of the food as possible.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Desi Vs Hybrid Broiler

Variety of desi chicken are being reared for meat purpose in South India. It is because of ignorance and for few old people for its taste and unique flavor. Hybrid broiler chicken with soft tender and juicy meat was developed after spending several million dollars to suit the taste of local people over the more tough  fibrous desi chicken. Many orthodox consumers think that the desi chicken are reared in the backyards of the villagers households with feeding of earthworms, beetles, insects, scattered grains in the post harvested fields, kitchen left overs, vegetable waste etc. They may also have a false imagination that these type of chicken are embedded with highly packed nutrition You may find many small restaurants selling desi chicken gravy as well as dry chicken for a higher price to cheat the ignorant customers.  The desi chicken that we find in the market are the ones which are grown in organised farms with feeding of concentrated mash and protected against diseases by different vaccines and antibiotics like the commercial broilers. They are incubated in hatcheries and reared under brooders and later in cages till 16 weeks of age and marketed. A small flock is retained as breeders to get eggs for incubation and take the next flock for rearing. Present day desi chicken in the market is camouflaged with multicolored plumage only with the additional character of fibrous and less juicy meat with the same nutrition as that of any commercial chicken. If the birds are really reared in backyard the the consumer should be very careful against salmonellae bacteria and food poisoning.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Group of Animals

Group of animals called as:
Rabbits - Warren
Cattle  - Herd
Sheep  - Flock
Which bird can suck water while drinking?
Ans: Doves and Pigeons
Which is the least sociable primate?
Ans: Orangutan

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Stray Dogs menace

We are tolerating the stray dog menace on roads for quite a long time. Carrying out animal birth control program has not yielded the desired result as its  continuance is cost intensive. Are we having problem with stray cattle in cities? No.  Because the municipalities and corporations take precautions by impounding the stray cattle. We can effectively control this menace by not throwing the left over food in garbage  and not feeding the animals on road to show off love towards animals. If they want they can take these stray dogs to their houses and feed them. In western countries similar problems are not noticed as they fear of heavy fine and cleans the road when their pets dirty them. Now controlling the stray dogs is in your hands!
Corporation authorities can issue license for those who want to keep the stray dogs under their control and if we find them on roads can immediately make a complaint to the corporation authorities to impound the animal and levy heavy fine to the custodian. Streets are meant for safe use by human beings and not to be scared of stray dogs.