Production of equipment for poultry farms
Evaluation of in-cage broilers cultivation technology considering new realities

Evaluation of in-cage broilers cultivation technology considering new realities

The evidence of broilers cage cultivation technology efficiency is revealed by recent data from implementation TEXHA's cage equipment

Evaluation of in-cage broilers cultivation technology considering new realities


Evaluation of in-cage broilers cultivation technology considering new realities

Fisinin V., Doctor of Agricultural Sciences, Professor, Academician, Director

Kavtarashvili A., Doctor of Agricultural Sciences, Professor, Chief Researcher

All-Russian Poultry Scientific Research and Technology Institute (ARPSRTI)

Poultry farming, as the most knowledge-based and dynamically developing branch of agro-industrial complex, has the best chance to make a contribution in the next decade in the world's population with food. The special role is given to the poultry meat farming. However, it is necessary to remember, that in the conditions of competition exacerbation, further increasing of these products production is impossible without broad resource-saving technologies and equipment implementation, which allow to realize poultry productivity genetic potential and reduce the cost of broiler meat.

Currently in Western countries chickens-broilers are grown mainly in the deep-litter bedding, in-cage technology is not widespread there. In Russia during the period of the planned economy up to 60% of the broiler meat was produced in the cages, while the remaining 40% on the litter. However, the ratio has levelled off in recent years, mainly due to the high level of initial in-cage technology investment and, consequently, the lack of funds to replace old, physically and morally worn cage equipment on expensive new. In addition, in Western Europe, it is widely believed that in-cage technology of cultivation can not satisfy physiological and behavioral needs of birds, and therefore it is unacceptable from the ethical positions and associated with this forced compliance with foreign suppliers of breeding material, also led to a loss of interest in this technology.

Duncan I. (2002) notes that the behavior of birds is the most important indicator of well-being, however, does not deny that production results also reflect the level of well-being. Many scientists (Tielen m., 2002; SanotraG. et. al., 2001; Kolacz r. Bodak and E., 2002) also considered the health and productivity as the main indicators of birds well-being. In our view the main sign of comfort environment of any animal lies in good health, high safety, achieving the genetic potential of productivity and good feed conversion. When the content of meat birds in cages, one should speak about adaptive changes in behavior but not about the absence of the conditions of its biology (a similar example is disappearance of brooding eggs by present hens and meat crosses).

Other arguments of cage broiler-chickens growing technology opponents -breast and leg blisters, legs weakness, and for this reason reduced bird’s motor activity, wings and legs damage in the process of catching and retrieving birds from the cages, increased fear reaction, not suitable for regions with a hot climate, high feed, labor and energy resources costs, low production efficiency, etc.

As far as this is the case, consider the following.

When examining the causes and nature of broilers blisters Hoffman E. and Gwin J. (1957) have researched, that there are lines and breeds of birds exposed to very little of this malady. A similar opinion had Trys I. and Albert W. (1963), who have found that the blisters exposure degree of individual lines of birds varies from 8 to 30%, depending on chicken feathering speed. This opinion is supported by Patrick I., Riza-Zade N. and Makayev M. (1969), who have concluded that blisters appear in slowly feathering broiler chickens aged 43-45 days, and they become more pronounced at the age of 60-70 days.

Polish researchers (Sosnowka-Czajka (E). and Muchacka r., 2005), have found with a comparative study of in-cage and floor technologies influence (in density area of 15 heads/m2 of both versions) on the behavior and productivity of broiler-chickens cross "Ross 308", that broilers in cages had significantly higher body weight (2694.7 g vs 2368.7) and better feed conversion (1.78 kg against 1.82 kg) than on deep litter with the same (1.11%) bird mortality in both groups. In addition, broilers motor activity in the cages was higher and they approached feeders more often (95%) and drinking bowls (90%), whereas birds on deep-litter bedding were laying, and spent on the rest 75 % of all time against 64% in the cages. Signs of legs weakness or diseases were not marked. In the early works of Murphy L. and Preston A.  (1988) it was showed that chickens-broilers aged 39-49 days when growing on deep litter spend on the rest 89% of all time, whereas in cages only 43%.

Sidorova A. (2008), in sanitary evaluation of air environment at poultry houses, has found that microbial contamination (TMC, salmonella, staphylococcus, escherichia coli) of the air during all periods of the year with in-cage broilers growing  does not exceed the acceptable standards, with the floor method - only first 10 days, and in the second ten days before the end of cultivation in all seasons all indicators in many times exceed the maximum allowable concentration. In addition, with the floor cultivation there is higher ammonia and hydrogen sulfide concentration in the air of a hen house. Detention conditions made an appropriate impact on the productivity and viability of broilers and consequently on the production economy. European efficiency rate, when growing broiler chickens in cages was on 34 units higher than with deep-litter bedding.

Some authors consider that under high environment temperature and well organized hen-house ventilation, better heat dissipation from the body by convection occurs in cages than on the floor. This is because air movement in cages runs with certain speed (usually up to 2.5 m/s) and surrounds all the body and removes heat more efficiently, while on the floor chicken longer rests on the litter where the heat dissipation of the  lower body surface is practically not running, in addition the litter distinguishes bio-heat from decaying components (Mailyan E., 2007).

Important achievements of science and practice in recent years, contributing the elimination of deficiencies and improving in-cage technology of growing broiler-chickens, are:

-creation of new, high-yielding autosex crosses with compact physique of a broad chest and shorted rib bone in the form of a ball, shorter thighs and well muscled calves better suited to the cage and floor cultivation technology. These crosses broilers injuries never have blisters in the sternum keel area. (Tuchemski L and Gladkova G., 2006);

- reducing broilers growing period up to 35-40 days before the formation of blisters;

- deep meat processing technology implementation, allowing to use of non-standard carcases at this purpose, and, that is the most important - to improve production profitability up to 20-25%.

- creation (taking into account the advantages of in-cage and floor technologies) and development of serial production of modern multi-tiered cage batteries with plastic or metal (special coating) desks with automatic pultry unloading for slaughter, where hand trapping and removing birds from the cages and birds injuries, therefore, for that reason, are excluded. Automatic poultry unloading is carried out with the use of a special system (automatic or manual) of  sliding pasture grids that allow you to easily move broilers on the litter removal conveyor, from where the bird with the feeder is moved to the download location in the shipping container. This significantly reduces labor costs;

- development of the led local illumination technology, including warm white led ceiling light with a colour temperature of 2700-3000 K, lighting control systems based on pulse-width modulation, providing automatic and manual controls, on/off light control with "Sunrise" and "Sunset" and the light intensity imitation. Light coverage locality assumes the installation of luminaires directly above the feeder inside each cage, wherein the passages between cage batteries are not covered (fig. 1).

With the local led lighting in all tiers and battery cages, is created an uniform illumination, "effect of flat illuminated at night" occurs, when through the window there is nothing to see and is seen from the street. The bird practically does not react on the staff movement (even extraneous) at the aisles and when coming closer to the cages, i. e. birds scariness decreases and, therefore, the homogeneity of the flock to live weight is increased at 5-7%, livestock safety at 3-6%, broilers live weight at 2-2, 5%; feed costs per output unit are decreased on 3-5% and electricity for lighting in 3-10 times compared to the traditional method of lighting.

The results of extensive cage chickens cultivation technology tests over the past 10 years clearly prove the viability of this technology.

So, in studies carried out on the Lindov poultry farm (Nizhny Novgorod region) (Tab. 1) there was found that when using chickens-broilers in-cage growing technology (219 thousand heads), in comparison to the floor technology (24.8 thousand heads) is increased poultry live weight on 0.5-5.2%, slaughter yield - 1.2-2.0%, meat output from 1 m2 of useful area of hen house in 3 times, profit from 1 m2 of hen house in 3.8-4.1 times, profitability of meta production on 8.3-10.8% by reducing the consumption of feed for 1 kg of live weight at 10.7%-7.3, the period poultry growing on 2.5 days and prime cost of 1 kg of meat on 12.5-16.2%.

The results of numerous studies carried out by the "Valli" company specialists (2009-2010) in tests of cage equipment for growing broilers revealed that over 35 days of cultivation the live weight of broilers cross "Cobb 500" was within 2127-2357 g and exceeded the standard weight on 3.9-15.1%, while the number of non-standard carcases was only 1.5%.

The evidence of broilers cage cultivation technology high efficiency is revealed by recent data from large-scale implementation (more than 3.8 million heads) of TBBAB "Ukrainian Industrial Union TEXNA" cage equipment at such poultry farms as "Austin" (Chinese People's Republic), "Rassvet" and "Kamarov" (Republic of Belarus), «Tbilisi» (Russian Federation) and at poultry complex "Dneprovsky" (Ukraine).

Broiler chickens growing results at the "Austin" poultry farm in Chinese People's Republic (Tab. 2) show that on average by 4 aviaries with total population of more than 380 thousand heads in 37.5 days of cultivation, livestock safety was 95.5%, the live weight of one head - 2205 g, daily live weight gain - 57.6 g, with feed costs for 1 kg of live weight gain 1.84 kg and effectiveness index - 305.2 units.


2. Results of broiler-chickens cultivation in cellular batteries at the poultry farm "Austin"
(Chinese People's Republic, 2013)

Indicator

Aviary No.

(96 x 18 m, livestock-96360)

01

02

03

04

Average stocksafety,%

Stock safety, %

96.1

95.5

95.4

95.0

95.5

Cultivation period, days

38

37

38

37

37.5

Live weight of 1 head at the end of cultivation, g

2270

2200

2240

2110

2205

Daily body weight gain, g

58.6

58.3

57.7

55.8

57.6

Feed costs for 1 kg of live weight gain, kg

1.82

1.84

1.87

1.84

1.84

European effectiveness index

315.4

308.6

300.7

294.4

305.2

 

At "Tbilisi" poultry farm of Russian Federation (Tab. 3) for the population of more than 2.8 million heads with in-cage technology, the average period of broilers growing was 37.7 days, live weight of one head - 2343 g, daily body weight gain 61.1 g, livestock safety - 97.8%, feed conversion - 1.68 kg, effectiveness index -362.6 units. 

3. Broiler-chickens production results in cellular batteries at poultry farm "Tbilisi" (Russian Federation, 2013)

Aviary No.

(101.7 x 17.7 m, livestock-74058)

Indicator

Stock safety,%

Cultivation period, days

Live weight of 1 head at the end of cultivation, g

Daily body weight gain, g

Feed costs for 1 kg of live weight gain, kg

European effectiveness index

1th tour

01

98.4

36.6

2.406

64.2

1.66

389.5

04

97.5

36.7

2.344

62.8

1.67

372.9

03

97.0

36.8

2.377

63.7

1.68

373.1

05

97.5

36.7

2.283

61.1

1.68

360.8

06

98.1

37.3

2.363

62.2

1.66

374.4

Average,

97.7

36.8

2355

62.8

1.67

374.1

2th tour

01

98.3

37.0

2.301

61.2

1.69

361.9

04

97.6

36.4

2.353

63.6

1.66

380.3

03

97.7

36.7

2.380

63.8

1.68

376.8

05

98.2

38.2

2.287

59.0

1.67

352.0

06

98.0

38.8

2.268

57.6

1.68

341.0

Average

98.0

37.4

2.318

61.0

1.68

362.4

3th tour

01

97.6

38.0

2.495

64.7

1.67

383.5

04

98.6

38.1

2.304

59.5

1.60

372.5

09

97.6

38.5

2.405

61.6

1.69

360.5

03

97.9

37.8

2.417

63.3

1.70

368.0

08

96.8

37.5

2.242

58.9

1.76

328.8

05

97.5

38.0

2.484

64.4

1.66

383.8

06

97.6

38.0

2.493

64.7

1.66

385.6

Average

97.7

38.0

2407

62.4

1.68

369.0

4th tour

01

98.8

37.0

2.208

58.6

1.64

359.5

04

98.7

37.8

2.261

58.8

1.64

360.0

09

98.9

37.9

2.117

54.8

1.72

321.2

03

97.5

37.0

2.452

65.2

1.59

406.6

08

97.5

37.0

2.381

63.2

1.66

378.0

05

98.4

37.0

2.313

61.5

1.63

377.4

06

98.7

37.0

2.314

61.5

1.64

376.3

Average

98.4

37.2

2292

60.5

1.65

368.4

5th tour

01

98.4

40.0

2.501

61.6

1.72

357.7

04

97.8

39.0

2.495

63.0

1.69

370.3

09

98.1

37.7

2.239

58.4

1.76

330.7

03

97.4

39.1

2.453

61.8

1.70

359.3

08

98.4

39.1

2.390

60.1

1.68

358.0

05

97.2

38.0

2.287

59.2

1.66

352.3

06

97.6

38.0

2.346

60.7

1.64

367.6

Average

97.8

38.7

2387

60.7

1.69

356.6

6th tour

01

97.6

38.0

2.376

61.5

1.68

363.5

04

97.0

38.5

2.402

61.3

1.67

362.4

09

96.8

38.0

2.375

61.4

1.66

364.3

03

96.8

38.0

2.104

54.5

1.70

315.3

08

97.8

38.2

2.170

55.9

1.70

327.0

05

97.6

38.0

2.203

56.9

1.75

323.3

06

97.4

38.7

2.472

62.8

1.72

361.6

Average

97.4

38.2

2300

59.2

1.70

345.3

Average for 6 tours

97.8

37.7

2343

61.1

1.68

362.6

 

The results of broiler-chickens growing at the  "Dneprovsky" poultry complex (Ukraine) (Tab. 6) show that in 4 total turnovers with more than 385 thousand heads with the in-cage technology livestock safety, live weight of broilers, daily live weight gain, feed conversion and effectiveness index for 38.2 days of cultivation were respectively 96.3%; 2576 g; 62.9 g; 1.777 kg and 366.0 units against 96.7%; 2891 g; 63.5; 1.833 kg and 351.2 units for 43.5 days of growing with deep-litter bedding.
Comparative data from the "Rassvet" poultry farm of the Republic of Belarus (Tab. 4) showed that when growing broiler chickens in cages with the total number of 245 thousand heads, the average achieved for 38.5 days live weight was 2339 g against 2387 g for 42.3 days with broilers growing on the floor. Safety, daily live weight gain, feed conversion and effectiveness index with in-cage technology were respectively 96.8%; 59.5 g; 1.79 kg and 314.9 units against 97.5 %; 54.8 g; 1.94 kg and 284.4 units with deep-litter bedding. Similar results were obtained at the poultry farm "Kamarov" (Tab. 5).

 4. Results of broiler-chickens cultivation in cellular batteries at the poultry farm "Rassvet" (Republic of Belarus, 2013) 

Aviary No.

Indicator

Stock safety,%

Cultivation period, days

Live weight of 1 head at the end of cultivation, g

Daily body weight gain, g

Feed costs for 1 kg of live weight gain, kg

European effectiveness index

Cell batteries (poultry house 18 x 96 m, livestock-55400)

01

97.4

39.5

2424

60.4

1.78

335.8

With deep-litter bedding

1st tour

02

97.1

42.5

2369

54.8

2.07

261.4

03

97.0

42.5

2170

50.1

1.98

249.4

Average

97.05

42.5

2270

52.5

2.03

255.4



5. Results of broiler-chickens cultivation in cellular batteries at the poultry farm "Kamarovsk" (Republic of Belarus, 2013)

Aviary No.

Indicator

Stock safety,%

Cultivation period, days

Live weight of 1 head at the end of cultivation, g

Daily body weight gain, g

Feed costs for 1 kg of live weight gain, kg

European effectiveness index

Cell batteries (poultry house 18 x 96 m, livestock-55400)

01

97.4

39.5

2424

60.4

1.78

335.8

With deep-litter bedding

1st tour

02

97.1

42.5

2369

54.8

2.07

261.4

03

97.0

42.5

2170

50.1

1.98

249.4

Average

97.05

42.5

2270

52.5

2.03

255.4



6. Results of broiler-chickens cultivation at the poultry complex "Dnepropetrovsk"(Ukraine, 2012)

Aviary No.

Indicator

Stock safety,%

Cultivation period, days

Live weight of 1 head at the end of cultivation, g

Daily body weight gain, g

Feed costs for 1 kg of live weight gain, kg

European effectiveness index

Cell batteries (poultry house 21 x 72 m, livestock-61215)

1st tour

38

95.4

38

2665

63.1

1.808

370.0

2nd tour

38

93.8

38.7

2619

63.7

1.790

354.5

3rd tour

38

98.4

36.5

2409

59.4

1.760

369.2

4th tour

38

97.5

39.4

2612

65.2

1.747

370.2

Average for 4 tours

96.3

38.2

2576

62.9

1.777

366.0

With deep-litter bedding

1st tour

23

96.6

44.4

3.036

63.7

1.827

361.5

24

97.0

44.4

2.964

63.4

1.888

343.0

25

96.9

42.7

2.795

62.4

1.891

335.4

26

96.3

43.7

2.886

63.0

1.830

347.5

27

96.2

44.2

2.926

63.1

1.884

338.0

28

94.7

44.0

2.960

63.8

1.845

345.3

29

97.4

43.2

2.824

62.9

1.878

339.0

30

97.4

43.8

2.889

63.1

1.851

347.1

31

96.0

43.9

2.847

61.4

1.839

338.5

32

96.7

43.8

2.885

62.8

1.883

338.3

33

97.7

43.0

2.715

60.9

1.834

336.4

39

97.4

43.8

2.825

61.5

1.817

345.7

Average

96.7

43.7

2880

62.7

1.856

343.0

2nd tour

23

96.3

43.7

3.042

66.0

1.813

369.7

24

96.4

43.7

2.991

64.9

1.838

359.0

25

96.0

43.1

2.847

64.0

1.851

342.6

26

97.5

43.0

2.925

64.1

1.845

359.5

27

97.5

44.0

2.927

64.1

1.820

356.4

28

97.4

43.9

2.831

64.3

1.829

343.4

29

97.5

43.1

2.869

64.4

1.822

356.2

30

96.8

43.8

3.001

64.9

1.744

380.3

31

96.3

43.8

2.961

63.6

1.784

364.9

32

96.1

42.1

2.777

63.0

1.755

361.2

33

95.2

42.1

2.811

63.6

1.786

355.9

39

97.1

41.6

2.839

64.4

1.820

364.1

Average

96.7

43.2

2902

64.3

1.809

359.4

Average for 2 tours

96.7

43.5

2891

63.5

1.833

351.2

 

Recent studies led by us at the poultry farm "Staratel" (Yaroslavl region) in the field of meat quality assessment of broiler-chickens cross "Ross 308" grown in cage batteries with automatic unloading of birds, have shown that in the 39 days age chickens-broilers had live weight 2380 g, average daily live weight gain 60 g, feed cost for 1 kg of live weight gain -1.65 kg, livestock safety - 98%. When slaughtering poultry there was found that there were practically no blisters and mechanical injuries, and the number of non-standard carcases was only 1.5%. Broilers had high meat qualities. Output of edible parts, breast fillets and all muscles from the cockerels and hens amounted to 81.8; 28.2. 69.5 and 80.6; 26.0; 67.6%, respectively, of the whole carcass. Fat content in broiler chest muscles was within 1.58-2.25%, in leg muscles-3.99-4.69%. The amount of non-essential and essential amino acids in the pectoral muscle of cocks and chickens was 21.037 and 21.366 g per 100 g of the edible part of the product, and the leg 18.372 and 19.169 g respectively. Levels of essential amino acids in meat of broilers was within 6.852-8.042 g. Meat juiciness was fairly high and ranged from 60.55 to 62.08%. Broiler meat had a delicate texture at 3.82-4.04 mm. Taste and aromatic properties of the broth made from the meat of chickens and cockerels were evaluated at 4.90-4.95 and 4.80-4.85 points respectively.

Comparative evaluation of cage and floor technologies effectiveness they mainly consider the cost of cage equipment, price of which is in several times higher than floor equipment and, unfortunately, often do not take into account the cost of land, buildings construction costs and carrying out external and internal engineering networks etc. Calculation of the costs show that this costs are in three times higher at floor-level growing and in total amount of the costs for are far greater than the costs of in-cage technology. Thus, the data of the Tab. 7 shows that the capacity of the poultry house with sizes of 18 x 96 m and 4 stage cage equipment TBBAB of "Ukrainian Industrial Union TEXNA" is 96360 heads, and for about the same number of birds growing with outdoor technologies you need to build a 3 poultry houses, the price of each of them, taking into account the construction costs, communications, equipment, microclimate, lighting and installation supervision, is $ 524424, and in total $ 1573272 that has on $ 579575 or 58.3% higher cost than poultry house with cage equipment. As a result, the cost of floor technology per 1 bird place is 16.86 dollars that is 63.7% higher compared to in-cage technology.Recent studies led by us at the poultry farm "Staratel" (Yaroslavl region) in the field of meat quality assessment of broiler-chickens cross "Ross 308" grown in cage batteries with automatic unloading of birds, have shown that in the 39 days age chickens-broilers had live weight 2380 g, average daily live weight gain 60 g, feed cost for 1 kg of live weight gain -1.65 kg, livestock safety - 98%. When slaughtering poultry there was found that there were practically no blisters and mechanical injuries, and the number of non-standard carcases was only 1.5%. Broilers had high meat qualities. Output of edible parts, breast fillets and all muscles from the cockerels and hens amounted to 81.8; 28.2. 69.5 and 80.6; 26.0; 67.6%, respectively, of the whole carcass. Fat content in broiler chest muscles was within 1.58-2.25%, in leg muscles-3.99-4.69%. The amount of non-essential and essential amino acids in the pectoral muscle of cocks and chickens was 21.037 and 21.366 g per 100 g of the edible part of the product, and the leg 18.372 and 19.169 g respectively. Levels of essential amino acids in meat of broilers was within 6.852-8.042 g. Meat juiciness was fairly high and ranged from 60.55 to 62.08%. Broiler meat had a delicate texture at 3.82-4.04 mm. Taste and aromatic properties of the broth made from the meat of chickens and cockerels were evaluated at 4.90-4.95 and 4.80-4.85 points respectively.

7. Investments (excluding VAT) into different technologies for broiler-chickens growing per poultry house with sizes of 18x96 m in United States dollar 

Article

Technology

floor

cell

(4 stage TBBAB)

1 poultry house

3 poultry houses

1 poultry house

Number of bird places

31104

93312

96360

House

379410

1138230

379410

communications

68294

204882

68294

Equipment

17430

52290

405989

Microclimate, including materials for electrical installations

50406

151218

95327

Lighting system

3884

11652

14656

(intracellular)

Turnkey installation

5000

15000

30021

Total

per 1 bird place

524424

16.86

1573272

16.86

993697

10.3

Note: calculation does not include the cost of land area.

Thus, we can conclude that in-cage technology of growing broilers is a significant reserve of rapid and substantial increase of the meat production. It allows you to significantly increase the capacity of battery farms and reduce logistical and financial costs. This technology in 2-3 times increase the number of birds in the poultry house (3 and 4 stage cages), and thus the output of the meat per floor area of the poultry house without reducing the safety and quality of livestock carcasses. Reduced costs in lighting, heating the building in winter and cooling in summer season. Other advantages of in-cage technology of growing broiler-chickens are the absence of direct and prolonged contact with bird droppings, reduced risk of poultry diseases such as salmonellosis, coccidiosis, aspergillez, infection of helminths and, consequently, the mortality rate of birds, as well as the costs for the purchase of vaccines and therapeutic drugs. Regular removal of manure from the chicken houses contributes to the improvement of sanitary conditions and the microclimate of poultry house, in particular the reduction of microbial contamination, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and dust. In the cages it is easier to organize broilers growing, taking into account the biological characteristics of growth resulting from sexual dimorphism of birds (intensity of cockerels growth is higher and they reach slaughtering standards earlier), i.e. to optimize technological parameters, duration of cultivation, the final live weight, density and meat output per unit area of floor space with separate growing hens and cockerels. Only in the cages there is a possibility to grow chickens (derived from different types of eggs) in equal weight groups. The advantage of this technology, as compared to the floor technology, is the high level of mechanization and automation of production processes, reduction of costs for the construction of houses, engineering communications. When growing in the cages you do not need the litter, is provided better surveillance of poultry, chickens-broilers grow up much better, use less feed per unit of growth, reach slaughter conditions earlier, facilitates the work of the staff in maintaining and sending poultry for slaughter, cleaning the house.

 



Broilers Growing

Broilers Growing
Growing Broilers

Broilers Growing
Layers Housing

Broilers Growing
Pullets

Broilers Growing
Breeders Housing

Broilers Growing
Alternative system