As every chicken producer can attest, keeping the birds in optimal health is a finicky task, and failure can lead to serious losses. This means that a meticulous biosecurity plan is a top priority. Lindi Botha spoke to broiler producer Ben-Chris Bronkhorst about putting the right systems in place and ensuring that they run efficiently.
Marek’s disease in poultry can cause farmers huge economic losses. This is why Boehringer Ingelheim has invested in the development of a vaccine for Marek’s disease, which has proven effective against various strains of the pathogen.
Jo-andra Cloete, who farms in Joostenberg Vlakte near Cape Town, started producing broilers only a few years ago. She is now mentoring over a hundred farmers, whom she supplies with day-old chicks. She spoke to Glenneis Kriel about the growth of her highly successful operation.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and Emmanuel Gumede has taken this proverb to heart in his dream to one day own andoperate a large-scale broiler farming operation. He shared his experiences as a fledgling broiler grower with Lloyd Phillips.
The benefits of using chicken litter as fertiliser are well known. As the poultry industry grows, however, other uses for it must be found. Dr Idan Chiyanzu and Primrose Magama of the Agricultural Research Council’s Institute for Agricultural Engineering explain how energy can be generated from litter.
Without economies of scale, Lynne Griesel found it increasingly difficult to compete in the broiler chicken market. Switching to free-range chickens not only allowed her to tap into a more lucrative niche market, but opened further avenues for value adding.
Chickens are often targeted by mites, external parasites that can harm the birds and cause a farmer substantial financial loss. The problem occurs in summer, and is made worse when the rain triggers the hatching of parasite eggs.
High environmental temperature is the most common stressor of chickens in South Africa.
Free-range chickens take longer to raise than birds kept in a poultry house and given factory-made feed. On the other hand, they cost very little to produce and customers are never far away.
Bhefika Matshenja of Inhlakanipho Projects and Farms, winner of the Star of Buhle Award for 2019, says that by implementing sound management principles, such as reinvesting profits, he has been able to see his business grow.
Consumers have become more informed and concerned about what goes into their food. One of the areas of concern has been the use of antibiotics in intensive farming systems such as poultry.
Jeanne Groenewald, the CEO of Elgin Free Range Chickens, has established herself as a leading free-range poultry producer in South Africa.