Every farmer must grasp the need for weighing scales in order to accurately estimate productivity in chicken farming. This is because scales can be used in a farm’s economic analysis to estimate overall profitability by measuring the input and output of production.
Weighing Ingredients and Feeds
Accurate scales for weighing feed ingredients are critical for feed formulation since scales can make or break the quality of feed products. It is for this reason that a feed mill’s scales must be calibrated on a regular basis. The weight of raw materials used in feed production must match the weight of the feed produced, and ingredient loss during milling should not exceed the typical range of 0.5 per cent.
The feed scale also allows farmers to give the proper amount of feed to the birds, as feed is one of the most expensive commodities on a poultry farm. It is simple to detect indications of diseases associated with changes in bird-eating patterns using this method.
Weighing Poultry Birds
Monitoring the weights of poultry birds from day one is an important management tool in poultry farming, and thus necessitates the purchase of weighing scales by all commercial poultry farmers.
In addition, each poultry farmer that raises broiler or layer breeders must monitor their weight progress. Too high or too low weights always hurt production outcomes and also indicate that the farmer is not fully exploiting the genetic potential of the birds, which has a negative impact on the farm’s profitability.
You can detect any aberrant growth rate fluctuation in your broilers, layers, ducks, and turkeys using weighing scales that offer a high level of precision.
Furthermore, knowing how much your broilers weigh on a daily basis is critical if you want to get them to market age at the lowest possible cost. The following are important parameters to track:
- The daily minimum weight
- Maximum daily weight
- Uniformity of average weight
- Weight gain, for example.
When weighing layers, keep in mind that weekly measurements are not recommended in actively laying birds because they can cause stress, especially on extremely hot days, but they can be done if there is an inexplicable drop in production.
- A sample of roughly 5% to 10% of the flock, randomly selected from different places of the pen, will suffice.
- Remember that the ideal weight range for layer egg production is 1.6kg to 2.0kg. So don’t anticipate birds under 1.5kg to lay, and those over 2.2kg are at risk of obesity, which can lead to problems like prolapse.
- A bird can lose roughly 50g to 100g per week due to disease, stress, changes in the quality and quantity of nutrition, and other factors, leading to a weight loss that prevents it from laying eggs. This has been the case for numerous businesses that have seen significant production declines.
When weighing broilers, keep in mind the following:
- Daily tracking will help you stay on track with your Live Weight Gain (LWG).
- Depending on the age and size of the scales you used to weigh them, young broilers can be weighed in groups of tens or twenties.
- By manually weighing the container full of birds, subtracting the weight of the container empty, and dividing by the number of birds in the container, you may get the average weight of the entire flock. Larger broilers must be weighed separately.
- Automatic weighing allows for large numbers to be weighed, resulting in more accurate daily estimations, easier monitoring, and less stress for the birds.
Although weighing eggs and track variations in egg weight may not appear to be a top priority, it is critical for tracking body weight developments. Egg weight and fluctuations in egg weight are frequently used as early indicators of nutrition consumption that isn’t up to par.
Before there is an influence on production, there will be a shift in egg weight. A decline in a bird’s egg weight indicates poor nutrition, whereas an increase in egg weight indicates overfeeding and excessive nutrient intake.
Using daily egg weight in conjunction with bodyweight trends offers a poultry farmer with data that allows any problems to be identified early, allowing for more precise bird feed allocation decisions during production.
Types of Scales
There are two basic types of Scales;
Scales that work mechanically
They can only be manual and provide the weight of the currently weighed bird. Weighing takes longer, and the accuracy of a moving bird’s weight is never as good as with computerised scales.
Scales, both electronic and digital
Special hooks and platforms on digital scales are created specifically for live bidding, allowing for stress-free, faster, and easier weighing. The exact date and time of weighing, as well as the number of birds weighed, are meticulously recorded. Manual or automatic digital scales are available.
Scales that are operated by hand
Manual scales are battery-powered, portable instruments that you may carry with you everywhere you go. Using a manual scale entails selecting a sample and placing it on the weighing device one by one. Weighing must be done once a week at the very least.
Automatic Weighing Scales
An automatic scale can be set among the birds and can include both the scale and a hanging platform for the birds to jump onto. Each weight gain or loss is automatically registered and recorded by the scale. The automatic scale weighs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Despite the greater acquisition cost, it can save a lot of money on labour expenditures.
Mechanical and Digital Scales can be of the following types:
Bench Scale: This scale is used for high-precision weighing. It weighs one bird at a time and can provide reasonably accurate average weight estimates. Before the next bird weight is recorded, the scale must be empty of birds.
Floor/Platform Scales: These scales combine a basic scale platform and indication to provide an accurate weighing solution. A nonslip tread-plate surface on the scale platform ensures secure footing. The indicator can perform a wide range of weighing activities and offer precise, repeatable results.
Hanging Scale: It consists of a huge round platform hanging from the ceiling by a load cell and electronics for weighing live birds as young as one day old. The platform is stationary in the middle, allowing birds to enter and exit from any direction. When a bird gets off the scale, its weight is recorded. It delivers more accurate recorded weights than floor scales, resulting in a superior estimated average.
To summarise, correct management information is required to execute management control in chicken production. It is possible to detect decreases in body weight and feed consumption, as well as when meat birds have reached uneconomical feed consumption rates, by keeping records of the weight of the birds and the weight of the feed they eat. Without this information, you may not even be aware that there is an issue until it is too late to intervene.