8 Benefits Of Raising Chickens in Battery Cage System
For commercial laying hens, the battery cage system is the most common type of housing. The term “battery cage” refers to a system that merely uses iron, steel, or wooden cages that are connected or arranged in a manner similar to miniature batteries connected in series.
The primary purpose of battery cages is to create high density by stacking them on top of one another. A single egg-producing factory farm may imprison thousands of chickens in these stacked cages at any given moment.
What is a Battery Cage?
A battery cage, also known as a conventional cage, is meant to hold laying hens, or female chickens that lay eggs. After being born in hatcheries, debeaking, and maturing (which usually takes about 18 weeks), hens are moved to battery cages where they will spend the rest of their lives, which usually last about two years.
8 Benefits Of Raising Chickens in Battery Cage System
If you intend to raise your birds in battery cages, the advantages or benefits of battery cages are as follows:
1. Increases Egg Production and Feed Conversion
Birds kept in cages frequently have higher feed conversion ratios (FCR). It is widely assumed that because the birds have extremely little or no area to move around and engage in other energy-draining activities, their energies are channeled to other things such as fat, meat, and egg production. This is why the cage system outperforms the deep-litter system regarding growth and egg production. However, most cage-raised birds suffer from cage layer weariness, prolapse, and fatty liver disease.
2. It is Simple To Serve Feed and Water
Feeding and watering caged birds is easier and faster, especially when the operation is automated with an automatic feeding and drinking system. You may simply feed the birds through the feed troughs, which are usually located at the front of the cage, without being surrounded by hungry, impatient birds. This is common when feeding feed to birds in a deep-litter home. While feeding the birds, they may stampede and pile up on the other. Some people are wounded or killed as a result of asphyxia. While attempting to serve feed and water, the attendant may inadvertently step on a bird.
3. Low Disease Transmission
Birds kept in cages are less likely to become unwell or infected than their counterparts raised on the deep litter floor. Diseases are generally passed from one animal to the next via fecal intake. For example, if a healthy chicken consumes feed or water contaminated with the feces of a diseased bird, the chicken may become infected and become ill. Feed and water contamination from droppings or excrement is prevalent in deep-litter-rearing buildings. Unfortunately, the birds would fall ill if they ingested tainted feed or water.
4. Minimal Waste of Feed, Water, or Eggs
In a cage, you can simply avoid waste of feed and water. The trough is placed where the hens’ claws cannot reach. Water leakage on feed is rare because the drinker and feed trough are not in close proximity. Fecal contamination is uncommon.
The battery cage management system records a very low number of cracked eggs. Egg eating by hens is also uncommon because they do not have access to the eggs laid by them. Egg cracks are caused mostly by mechanical and human error. Calcium deficiencies or illnesses can sometimes cause the laying of weak or soft-shelled eggs.
5. Allows For More Birds Per Space
Battery cages can house more birds in a smaller space. For example, if a house can hold 1000 birds on the floor, it can hold as few as 1500 birds if battery cages are employed.
This means that the poultry farmer can save money on infrastructure while also making the best use of the limited space available. A chicken breeder can choose from a variety of cage designs. There are two types of cages: A-shape and H-shape. There are cages of 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 levels. Each of these cages has its own holding capacity. Depending on the cage design or construction, a cage unit could hold 80-250 birds.
6. Long-lasting and Suited for All Chicken Breeds
There are galvanized iron or steel cages with lifespans ranging from 10-15 years depending on the manufacturing material. They are galvanized to avoid rusting and hence survive for a longer period of time.
All breeds or classes of chickens can be housed in a battery cage. Battery cages can be used to breed or retain broilers, cockerels, quails, and layers without affecting production. The usage of battery cages can help to maintain and improve production performance.
7. Rich Poultry Products
Rearing conditions always have an impact on hens and the quality of their offspring. Airflow, sunlight, and temperature are examples of these circumstances. These circumstances can be properly conditioned in battery cages to allowing for quick growth of your birds and reduced exposure to disease germs.
Battery cages allow for automatic feeding and drinking systems. Nipple drinkers can give clean, fresh water to birds, preventing contamination and water waste. Clean eggs can be gathered at any time, resulting in fewer egg cracks and egg eating. A farmer who puts battery cages into his farm and manages them properly should see increased income.
8. Low Labour Costs
The number of people needed to manage birds in a battery cage house is less than in a deep-litter house. Other minor procedures, including as debeaking and intramuscular and subcutaneous vaccines, are simpler and faster. They do not necessitate a large number of people.
The labor required would be very low if you used automated feeding and drinking devices. Maybe only a supervisor or egg picker is needed. Furthermore, we now have equipment that transfers the eggs from the corral to the collection area automatically.
Some Frequently Asked Questions
How many hens are kept in battery cages?
The number of hens kept in battery cages can vary depending on the size of the cage. While space per bird is more strictly enforced, the size of the cage itself is less so. Cages can range from the size of a bathtub to the size of a desk drawer. Usually, each one contains between four and ten birds.
Why is the battery cage system good for controlling diseases?
The battery cage system is good for controlling disease because prevents chickens from engaging in most of their natural behaviors, including perching, roosting, dust-bathing, foraging, and exploring, thereby increasing hygiene and resulting in a much lower incidence of diseases.
Video Of Battery Cage System in Practical
by AIM Agriculture