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Natural Incubation and Broody Hen Management Practices in Barishal District, Bangladesh

Natural Incubation and Broody Hen Management Practices in Barishal District, Bangladesh

Farhana Binte Zalal, Prodip Kumar Sarkar*, Mahbuba Sultana, M H Kawsar, Swapon Kumar Fouzder 

Department of Poultry Science, Faculty of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Patuakhali Science and Technology University, Khanpura, Babuganj, Barishal-8210, Bangladesh.

*Correspondence | Prodip Kumar Sarkar, Department of Poultry Science, Faculty of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Patuakhali Science and Technology University, Khanpura, Babuganj, Barishal-8210, Bangladesh; Email: prodip_bau@pstu.ac.bd 

ABSTRACT

Family poultry production greatly depends on clutch size, the number of eggs per clutch, and the incubation success. After laying a clutch of eggs, the broody hen sits on the eggs and incubates them to get chicks. The study was carried out to know the natural incubation and broody hen management practices in the selected areas of Barishal district, Bangladesh. We randomly selected 150 farmers (50 broody hens/Upazila) practicing natural incubation from three Upazilas in the Barishal district. The results show that mainly females (93.3%) were engaged in family poultry production and they used indigenous hens to incubate eggs. An average egg number per clutch was 12.6 and farmers set 12.3 eggs per broody hen for incubation purposes. The hatching egg weight was 37.3 g with egg hatchability of 87.9%. We found a significantly low body weight of broody hens after egg incubation. A high percentage of farmers (42%) preferred the spring season compared to the summer and rainy seasons to incubate eggs. For the selection of broody hens, 66.7% of farmers preferred hens aged 1-2 years. We did not find noticeable significant differences in parameters among the three Upazilas. Although egg hatchability by broody hens was high, major farmers (82.7%) did not practice creep feeding which is important for a high chick growth rate and quick return of hens to start egg-laying again after the incubation period. The chick viability rate after one month was also low (63.7%) which might be due to faulty management practices. In these circumstances, proper training of farmers, management of poultry accordingly with a balanced diet, and creep feeding to chicks may improve overall poultry production in rural areas.

Keywords | Broodiness, Chick rearing, Egg incubation, Hatching eggs, Management 

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Advances in Animal and Veterinary Sciences

June

Vol. 12, Iss. 6, pp. 994-1205

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