Basic Husbandry for Commercial Layers


Factsheet - ISSN 1198-712X   -   Copyright Queen's Printer for Ontario
Agdex#: 451
Publication Date: October 2013
Order#: 13-067
Last Reviewed: October 2013
History: (replaces OMAF Factsheet Basic Husbandry for Layers, Order No. 93-031)
Written by:

Al Dam - Poultry Specialist/OMAF and MRA; Kathleen Taylor - Poultry Research Technician/OMAF and MRA


The tables and figure in this Factsheet provide basic husbandry information for commercial layers. Proper care and management of birds and their environment result in fewer mortalities and improved egg production. Additional information on poultry production can be found at ontario.ca/livestock

 

Table 1. Light output of compact flourescent compared to incandescent light bulbs
Incandescent Bulbs

Compact Fluorescent

Bulbs

Watts Lumens Watts Lumens
25
270
5
250
40
510
7
400
52
780
9
600
60
860
15
900
90
1,540
18
1,250
100
1,680
26
1,800

 

Table 2. Fan Dimensions
Fan Diameter (in.)

Range of Airflow

(CFM)

all airflows measured at 0.10 in. static

pressure

Average Airflow

(CFM)

all airflows measured at 0.10 in. static

pressure

12
1,400-1,800
1,600
14
1,900-2,200
2,050
16
2,500-3,000
2,750
18
3,000-4,000
3,500
20-22
3,000-5,000
4,000
24-26
5,000-7,000
6,000
36
8,000-12,000
10,000
48
18,000-22,000
20,000
50
19,000-27,000
23,500

CFM=cubic feet per minute

Source: Agricultural fan performance test results from Bio-Environment Structural Systems (BESS)labs at the University of Illinois.

Lumens/watt of typical light sources on farms

Text Equivalent of Graphic

Figure 1. Lumens/watt of typical light sources on farms

Table 3. Commercial Layer Husbandry Guidelines
Criteria Brooding (0-6 weeks) Pulling Rearing (6-18 weeks) Laying (18+weeks)

Air Temperature

(at bird height

Day-old: 30-32°C

Two days old to 3 weeks:

lowered 3°C per week to 22°C

22°C
22°C
Relative Humidity
Above 50%
Ventilation
0.3-2.1 CFM/bird
0.6-7.7 CFM/bird
0.6-11 CFM/bird
Ammonia

Maximum of 25 ppm (parts per million)

>10 ppm: damage to lung surface

>20 ppm: increased respiratory issues, human eyes affected

>50 ppm: reduced growth rate

 

Lighting

Guidelines may

vary with the strain of layer

selected.

Intensity

0-6 weeks old: 10-30 lux

Duration of photoperiod

0-2 weeks old: 16-22 hours

2-6 weeks old: 16-18 hours

Intensity

6-18 weeks old: 5-10 lux

Duration of photoperiod

6-18 weeks old: 8-10 hours

Intensity

18-80 weeks old: 5-10 lux

Duration of photoperiod

18-80 weeks old: 15 hours

 

Water

Cage

10 birds/nipple or cup

(minimum 2 nipples or cups/cage)

or

2.5 cm of trough/bird

Floor

10 birds/nipple of cup or

2.5 cm of trough/bird or

90 birds/bell drinker

Cage

10 birds/nipple or cup

(minimum 2 nipples or cups/cage)

or

5 cm of trough/bird

Floor

10 birds/nipple or cup or

5 cm of trough/bird or

90 birds/bell drinker

Cage

10 birds/nipple or cup

(minimum 2 nipples or cups/cage) or

10 cm of trough/bird

Floor

10 birds/nipple or cup or

10 cm of trough/bird or

90 birds/bell drinker

 

Feeders

Cage

5 cm of trough/bird

Floor

5 cm of trough/bird or

4 pans/100 birds

Cage

7.5 cm of trough/bird

Floor

7.5 cm of trough/bird or

4 pans/100 birds

Cage

10 cm of trough/bird

Floor

7.5 cm of trough/bird or

4 pans/100 birds

Density*

Cage

160 cm2/bird (white) or

200 cm2/bird (brown)

Floor

18 birds/m2 (white) or

14 birds/m2 (brown)

Cage

350 cm2/bird (white) or

361 cm2/bird (brown)

Floor

10 birds/m2

 

Cage

450 cm2/bird

Floor

6 birds/m2 (litter) or

9 birds/m2 (slats)

CFM = cubic feet per minute

ppm = parts per million

*Adapted from ISA Poultry Products (Shaver, ISA, Bovans).

Values in this Factsheet are in imperial measurements, reflecting common usage in the ventilation industry.

This Factsheet was written by Al Dam, Poultry Specialist, OMAF, Guelph, and Kathleen Taylor, Poultry Research Technician, OMAF, Guelph.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca