houses; poultry; Zimbabwe; rodents; broilers; feathering; broiler

Poultry production: Rodents and your chicken houses

Question: What damage can rodents cause in chicken houses?

It’s been calculated that the average feed consumption by rodents over a period of 6 months on a poultry farm having 8 chicken houses, could work out to as much as 3 292 tons.

  • Rodents eat a lot of feed – rats consume up to 10% of their body weight per day.
  • This means that a 300 g rat will consume 30 g feed daily.
  • Mice and rats chew through drinker pipes to get to water and not only damage the pipes but can also flood the house.
  • They can also damage the insulation or ceiling boards.
  • Rodents sometimes carry salmonella into chicken houses, as well as viral diseases such as infectious bursal disease (Gumboro).

Also read:
Poultry production: What causes poor body weight in broilers?
Poultry production: Up broiler performance with these simple steps

  • This article was written by Dr. Mick Versfeld and first appeared in Farming SA.

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