How to Select the Best Quality Egg Laying Chickens at Point of Lay (P.O.L)

Are you an existing or intending poultry farmer who wishes to purchase his / her egg laying chickens at point of lay instead of raising them from day old chicks? if so then below are the measures to ensure the selection of the best quality layers at point of lay to enhance maximum production and profitability.

In order to steer clear of problems, it is advisable to procure the point of lay birds from reputable and trusted producers whose quality control is beyond question.

I however am cognisant of our situation here in Nigeria and other major parts of the world whereby one might fail to acquire the pullets from the reputable sources due to one reason or another.

In such cases one can surely scout for an alternative suppliers, but to hedge in your investment please do check out for parameters discussed earlier.

Point-of-Lay is the phrase we use to describe pullets that are approaching the age when they will start laying eggs. How soon they start laying depends on their parent stock as well as the condition of brooding and rearing.

Expected laying ranges between 18 to 22 weeks of age. Thus an early purchase enables the hens to adapt to farm conditions and management practices.

  • The 12 weeks old Point of Lay hens has completed all the required vaccinations for their age (you will need to get a veterinarian to complete the remaining vaccinations).
  • They are raised under very conducive conditions and properly managed to ensure they deliver well on your farm.
  • Most professionals advise new farmers to start chicken egg production with point-of-lay hens. That’s why we have really worked hard to ensure you have peace of mind as a new or old poultry farmer.
  • At point-of-lay (16 weeks of age), the hens have scaled through the most difficult parts of raising chickens, after being raised by experienced professionals.
  • Depending on how well you manage the chickens on your farm, we expect our point-of-lay hens to cross 50% egg production within 2 to 3 months and reach over 80% egg production or more within 4 to 5 months of the collection from us.
  • Kindly ‘Request a Quote’ above to get the current price from us and make your booking.

Read Also: Brooder Guards and It’s Uses in Poultry Farming

Here are ways to to Select the Best Quality Egg Laying Chickens at Point of Lay for optimum performance below:

(1) Check their Body weight

Upon settling to purchase some point of lay pullets from your chosen source, make sure that you know the strain or breed of bird that you are buying.

This is important because the recommended weights at which you stimulate the birds into production varies according to breed or strain. For instance Lohmann Brown Classic layers attain reproductive maturity at 1.6 -1.7kg whilst the Hy-line Brown layer’s target weight at commencement of production is 1.4-1.6 kg live-weight.

How to Select the Best Quality Egg Laying Chickens at Point of Lay (P.O.L)
Egg laying chickens

Armed with that information a farmer should check if the point of lay birds on offer have reached the recommended body weights, if not avoid such hens because research as well as experience has shown that forcing underweight birds into production does not yield good results.

The fact that the birds will have reached maturity age yet underweight is indicative of poor feeding practices experienced during the rearing phase that subjected the birds to serious growth retardation.

Underweight birds could also result from birds that were poorly introduced to feed during the first few weeks of their lives resulting in a flock characterized by poor appetite.

(2) Ensure their Vaccinations are completed

There are a number of diseases which every pullet should have been vaccinated against by the time it reaches 18 weeks of age.

Some of the major diseases to watch out for in layers are Mareck’ s disease, New Castle Disease, Infectious Bronchitis, Infectious Bursal Disease Egg drop syndrome and fowl pox. These diseases have been identified as the most important in as far as egg production is concerned.

They however vary widely in their impacts on the egg production enterprise, from those that can cause wide spread mortalities, some cause sudden cessation of egg production and other cause the surfacing of inexplicable phenomena like soft shelled eggs, flat sided eggs or worse still shell-less eggs.

It is therefore expected that someone selling off point of lay birds should have vaccinated against these disease. Nevertheless what we have observed is that a good number of point of lay growers cheat when it comes to vaccination against the aforementioned diseases in a bid to minimize costs.

It is therefore expected that someone selling off point of lay birds should have vaccinated against these disease. Nevertheless what we have observed is that a good number of point of lay growers cheat when it comes to vaccination against the aforementioned diseases in a bid to minimize costs.

Read Also: Comprehensive Guide on How to start Cockerel Farming Business

How to Identify Good Layers and Bad Layers

The egg production average of a farm can be obtained on “hen day” basis. Hen day for a particular period can be calculated by multiplying the number of hens by the number of days involved.

For example, if there are 10 birds in a flock, the number of hen day during 30 days will be 10 x 30 = 300 days (provided all the birds survive during that full period). The number of hen days will decrease accordingly if some of the birds are destroyed during that period.

So the average egg production can be obtained by dividing the number of eggs laid during a given period by the average number of the birds on hand during the same period.

(1) Good Egg Laying Chickens 

Below are the characteristics of good egg laying chickens:

1. Head small, lean and well proportionate
2. Beak strong, shining and well curved
3. Comb and wattles warm; brightly red and full
4. Eyes bright, well opened and alert
5. Neck short and strong
6. Body long, deep and proportionate
7. Back broad and straight
8. Skin thin, smooth and oily
9. Abdomen large and soft
10. Ventral oval, soft and moist
11. Feathers moult late
12. Shank thin and soft on back
13. Good appetite
14. Friendly temperament

(2) Bad Egg Laying Chickens

Below are the characteristics of bad egg laying chickens:

1. Head large and thick
2. Beak long, thin and dull coloured
3. Comb cold, shrunken and dull coloured
4. Eyes dull and sleepy
5. Neck long and thin
6. Body short, weak and thin
7. Back long and curved
8. Skin coarse and thick
9. Abdomen small and hard
10. Ventral small, dry and narrow
11. Feathers moult early
12. Shank hard on back
13. Poor appetite
14. Shy and nervous temperament.

Average number of eggs per hen = Total number of eggs / Average number of birds.
The average number of egg-producing hens can be calculated by dividing hen day with the number of days.
Average number of egg-producing hen = Hen Day / Number of Days.

Read Also: Introduction and Establishment of a Poultry Feed Mill Production

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