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The availability of poor quality feed in the market is a challenge that most poultry farmers grapple with.
Unlike other livestock animals such as dairy cows that rely on different sources of feed for their dietary requirement, poultry especially commercially reared chicken solely depend on formulated feed which account for 100% of their nutritional needs. – Dr Tony Kiragu speaks.
For this mere reason, negative effects of poor quality feeds are more pronounced and inescapable in chicken than in any other livestock species.
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Unhygienically prepared FEEDS are the greatest source of your farm contaminants & poor farm results.
Farmers have also been exposed to unscrupulous millers who produce poor quality feeds for purposes of maximizing their profit margins.
Farmers will ask;1. I’ve spent alot on quality chicks.2. I’m following all biosecurity measures.3. I have the best farm managers/I’ve been a farmer for a long time.What I’m i not doing right?
Dear farmers,Don’t invest massively on poultry structures and chicks only to loose your chicken and the investment you might have secured through loan from a chama, bank or sacco due to a few sacks of feeds & poor quality chicks.One of the greatest loses in poultry farming is time wasted restarting again.
On the other hand1. How well do you know your feed manufacturers?2. What happens behind the closed doors?3. How many have taken an initiative in knowing how their feeds are prepared?4. How many have sent a feeds sample to KEBS for a quantitative analysis?
Feed formulation is more than just mixing of raw materials- certain standards and procedures should be followed to ensure the final product meets required specifications and is homogeneously mixed.
Most feed millers in the country do not adhere to globally set feed manufacturing standards.
Very few companies are able to meet the set standards. Feed millers should ensure they use feed analysis laboratory services every time they produce a new batch of feeds.
Ideally all raw materials should be tested before mixing commences.
This is to make certain that the raw materials are of good quality and would provide the nutrients they are intended to and at the right proportion.
Other parameters e.g harmful elements such as aflatoxins found in cereals especially maize are also analysed- different harvests from the same maize farm would record different levels of aflatoxins, hence the need to analyse each and every raw material before formulating feeds. Dr Tony Kiragu adds.FARMERS BEWARE OF FEEDS:Maize that you cant consume is bad for your animals.FEEDS are killing animals silently.Your perfectly healthy birds will be dropping dead day by day, you will give all types of medication, go from one vet to another with no improvement.
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