WATER IN POULTRY PRODUCTION

Water is a very critical component for Poultry farming success. It influences birds’ performance and growth. While Shortage of water can have a negative impact on feed conversion; wasted water also might become a breeding ground for harmful pathogens and fungus therefore water management also plays a big role in bio-security.

Water is one of the most important components of nutrition in poultry production. The fact is Animals can live longer without food than without water. If you have been overlooking the importance of water in your farm; SHAME ON YOU!

As the old Akan saying goes:Dea ɔma nsuo no, ɔma nkwa (he who gives water, gives life).
The benefit of water cannot be underrated. Eg. In a layer production , shortage of water for just some few hours can result in reduced eggs production,. whiles it can cause stunt growth in Broiler farming. It is proven that chickens would normally drink water twice as much as feed therefore clean water should be available at all times.

A good watering system should :

1. Ensure adequate supply
2. Be Efficient
3. Manage water quality and temperature
4. Be easily Monitored and controlled
5. Have Easy access to cleaning and disinfecting

Always think outside the box when choosing a drinking system for your farm. Choose a filter system that would purify your water for consumption.
You Could achieve good water management status by investing in automatic waterers for your farm. This system ensure constant supply of water to your birds thereby reducing the risk of getting your flock locked up in any dehydration mess.

If you have manual drinkers; BE VIGILANT! Check up on the bird drinker at least trice a day or as many as possible to make sure that they have access to water always. Get enough drinkers that would sustain them the whole day.
A 10 litre manual drinker on the Ghanaian market can hydrate upto about 20 grow out layers or 18 broilers while an automatic drinker can do 50 layers and 45 broilers. For nipple drinking system use 10 birds to each nipple.

Yes not all birds will drink at the same time therefore you could give some allowance when buying your drinkers but never use more than 35 birds per drinker.

Importance of water in Poultry production.

For Digestion

• Water softens feed and carries it through the digestive tract.
• As a component of blood (90% of blood content), water carries nutrients from the digestive tract to cells and carries away waste products.
• Eliminates body waste- Chickens discharges urine and faeces at the same. Water help make it easily for this to be released.

For metabolism

• Water also helps cool the bird through evaporation. (Birds do not have sweat glands, so their heat loss occurs in the air sacs and lungs through rapid respiration.)

Contains Essential nutrients

• Water is by far the single most essential nutrient. A chick is composed of about 80% water. Though this percentage decreases as a bird gets older, the need for water remains.

The quantity requirement of water is estimated at 1.5 – 2 x as much as feed because there are several factors that affect the amount of water a bird needs. Poultry water consumption is dependent on factors including:

• Age

• Food consumption (i.e. reduced food intake may lead to reduced water intake and vice versa)

• Temperature of water

• Water Quality

• Humidity

• Type of drinkers used

• Drinker height

• Water pressure etc.

As i said earlier, rule of thumb : – Poultry consume twice as much water as feed… So don’t underestimate the power of WATER.

ARE YOUR BIRDS WELL HYDRATED TODAY ?

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