Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Disease Management - Leaf Miner Control

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we are going to see the ways to control Leaf Miner.

Leaf Miner can be controlled by different methods.

Pre Control Method:

Solution 1:
  • Yellow or Blue Sticky Traps need to be placed.  This will catch the egg laying adults.
Post Control Method:

Solution 1:
  • If the Leaf Miner issue is seen in few leaves, those leaves can be plucked away by hand and destroyed properly by burning them or crushing them.
  • If the Leaf Miner issue is seen throughout the plant but heavy damage is seen in few leaves, only those leaves need to be plucked away by hand and destroyed properly by burning them or crushing them and also apply the solutions given below.
Solution 2:
  • Take 30 ml of Neem Oil and mix it with water.
  • Add a little bit of dish washer soap or Khadi Soap in the water and stir well.
  • This solution should be sprayed both on top and bottom of the leaves.
Solution 3:
  • 2 Teaspoons of Vegetable Oil with 1 Teaspoon of liquid dish washer is required for 500 ml of water.
  • The contents should be stirred well before use.
  • This solution should be sprayed both on top and bottom of the leaves.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

An Introduction to Country Chicken Farming

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we are going to see Country Chicken Farming.

In this blog, we will see the important aspects of Country Chicken Farming (Poultry).  The entire focus of this blog is towards the traditional or indigenous or desi or local or country chicken breeds.  The information provided here is suited for Free Range type of rearing and can be combined in an Integrated Farming method.

The entire blog will be presented in a Question & Answer format.  While it will be beneficial for the first time user to read the entire blog, the frequent users of this blog can just focus on their specific needs.
  1. What are the feeds that chickens eat?
    • Chickens eat a lot of different things but a few are given below
      • Agathi Leaves
      • Azolla
      • Amaranthus Leaves (Greens)
      • Dried Fish (Finely grinded)
      • Kudirai Masal Leaves
      • Leaves (Tender Ones)
      • Maize
      • Millets (Cumbu etc)
      • Oil Cakes (Groundnut etc)
      • Paddy
      • Passi (in Tamil)
      • Rice (Broken Ones)
      • Sea Shell (Finely grinded)
      • Seeds (any)
      • Sorghum
      • Subabul Leaves
      • Termites
      • Wheat Flour
      • Worms
      • Vegetable Wastes etc
  2. How many times to feed in a day?
    • Chickens to be provided feed twice a day (morning and evening)
  3. How many times to provide them with water in a day?
    • Chickens to be provided water twice a day (morning and evening)
    • 1 Gram feed intake requires 2.5 Milli Litres of water
    • 100 chickens require 30-35 Litres/day
  4. How much to feed?
    • Chickens eat 6-7 kgs concentrate in their entire life
  5. When does the chickens be allowed to graze?
    • The pregnant chickens should be allowed to graze in the afternoon period only
  6. What is the % of expenses that goes towards feed?
    • 60% of the expenses goes towards feeding the chickens
  7. What is the average Male:Female ratio?
    • 1 (M):10 (F) is the average ratio
  8. What is the lifetime of a chicken?
    • Chickens live up to 15 years
  9. What is the right age for buying a chicken?
    • Chickens of 5-7 months is the right age for buying for reproduction
    • Buy chickens as well as the cock from various places to have diversification
  10. When does the chickens start laying eggs?
    • Chickens will start laying eggs after 26 weeks of age
  11. How much eggs does a chicken lay in a clutch (continuously)?
    • A chicken lays up to 15 eggs in a clutch
  12. When does the chicken lay the eggs?
    • Normally, the chickens lays the eggs in the morning period
  13. Where does the chickens brood?
    • Normally, chickens feel safe to brood in a dark place
  14. How to identify the dates of the laid eggs?
    • The only way to identify the dates of the eggs is to put the days in the eggs using a marker
  15. How many eggs can a chicken brood at a time?
    • 9-11 eggs can be kept for brooding at a time
  16. Which eggs are to kept for brooding?
    • The last laid eggs (9-11) are good for brooding
  17. Within how many days, the eggs has to be kept for brooding?
    • Within 10 days of laying the eggs, the eggs need to be kept for brooding
  18. How to keep the eggs until the brooding time?
    • A pot with a little bit of salt in it will keep the eggs in good condition for 10 days
  19. How many eggs are laid in a year?
    • On an average, 70-80 eggs are laid in a year
  20. How long does it take for a new chicken to get familiar/used to the new environment?
    • A chicken take 4-5 days to get familiar/used to the environment meaning they will remember the new home
  21. How to help the chickens in brooding?
    • A round shaped circle containing sand with a little bit of ash, charcoal, a iron piece and 3 pieces of dry chillies should be kept for brooding
    • On top of the sand, paddy straw can be placed for comfort
    • Charcoal will absorb the moisture
    • Dry chillies will keep the place free from ants, insects etc
    • Iron piece will absorb lightning
  22. How long does it take for the chicks to emerge out of the eggs?
    • Chicks emerge out of the eggs in 21 days
  23. How to take care of the chicks in the initial period?
    • Chicks to be kept in the cages until they can fly a little bit
    • A little bit of turmeric to be added in the water for 1 week for providing the chicks
  24. What is the average weight of a fully grown chicken?
    • Chickens attain 1.5 kgs of weight in 5-6 months
  25. What other poultry goes well with chickens?
    • Turkey and Guinea Fowl goes well with chickens
    • It is said that they eat small insects including small snakes
  26. When to retire the chickens?
    • After 27 months, the laying capacity of the female chickens will reduce and hence the chickens can be retired
    • The male chickens (cock) is retired after one year and new one to be replaced
  27. What are the indigenous breed varieties of chickens of Tamilnadu?
    • Aseel
    • Kirappukkoli
    • Karunkalikkoli
    • Kontaikkoli
    • Kuruvukkoli
  28. What are the indigenous breed varieties of chickens of India?
  29. What is the ratio of chickens to be maintained?
    • 60-80% of laying chickens is needed at any point of time
  30. What to sell?
    • Eggs that are not kept for reproducing can be sold
    • One day old chickens can be sold after proper vaccination
    • Male Chickens (Cocks) need to be kept to the average required as they tend to fight within them
    • Chickens of 5-7 months of age can be sold (when it attains 1 kg and above)
    • Chickens beyond their laying capacity (after 27 months) can be sold
  31. When to sell?
    • Should plan to grow in such a manner to sell them during religious festivals like Deepavali, Bakrid etc as it will fetch handsome returns for mass selling.  Otherwise, they can be sold even daily
  32. What basis to sell?
    • Eggs can be sold at double the market rate for white eggs in retail
    • Chickens to be sold on Live Weight basis for meat purposes for better returns
    • Chickens to be sold at 3/4 of market rate
      • If the market rate is 400 Rs, the farmer can sell at 300 Rs leaving a margin of 33.33% to the buyer
    • Chickens to be sold on Live Weight basis for growing purposes on par with the market rate or even 25% above the market rate
  33. How much space is required for chickens?
    • Chickens require 1-2 Sq Ft of space
  34. What are the diseases that occur commonly in chickens?
    • Fasting in a week improve the immunity in the chickens against diseases
    • Country Chickens are hardly animals and are mostly disease resistant.  Still diseases can attack the chickens and they need to be managed by providing the proper medicines
  35. What are the vaccination schedule?
       Age
    Disease
    Vaccine
    Route
    1 day
    Marek’s
    HVT vaccine
    I/M
    5-7 days
    RD
    Lasota/F
    Occulonasal
    10-14 days
    IBD
    IBD Live
    Drinking water
    24-28 days
    IBD
    IBD Live
    Drinking water
    8th week
    RD
    R2B/RDVK
    S/C
    16-18 week
    RD
    Killed/Live
    S/C
  36. What the main enemies of the chickens?
    • Birds (mainly Vulture)
    • Cats
    • Rats
    • Mongoose
    • Snakes

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

An Introduction to Goat Farming

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we are going to see Goat Farming.

In this blog, we will see the important aspects of Goat Farming targeting the meat production.  The entire blog will be presented in a Question & Answer format.  While it will be beneficial for the first time user to read the entire blog, the frequent users of this blog can just focus on their specific needs.

The entire focus of this blog is towards the traditional or indigenous or desi or local breeds.
  1. How many goats can be fed using 1 Acre?
    • Generally, on an average 20-25 goats can be grown using feed from 1 Acre of land
  2. When should the goats be brought into the farm?
    • The farm should have planted grasses, trees etc 1 year before the first goat enters the farm.  This is applicable only to those farm where the grazing does not happen outside the farm
  3. What are the feeds that goats eat?
    • Generally goats eat anything and everything
  4. What are the feeds that are dangerous to the goats?
    • Nerium Oleander (Arali)
    • Puscilla spp
    • Lantana Camara (Unni Chedi)
    • Ipomea Carnea (Neyveli kattamanakku)
  5. How much to feed per day?
    • Option 1
      • Fresh Grass & Fresh Fodder - 3 Kgs
      • Dry Grass & Dry Fodder ----- 300 Grams
      • Concentrate -------------------- 250 Grams
    • Option 2
      • 4-5% of body weight
  6. What is the ratio of the feeds?
    • As a thumb rule 2/3rds of the energy requirements should be met through roughages. Half of the roughages should be leguminous green fodders and rest half should be grasses/tender tree leaves
  7. How many times to feed in a day?
    • Feeding needs to be provided 3-5 times a day
  8. What is the % of expenses that goes towards feed?
    • 75% of the expenses goes towards feeding the goats
  9. How much water is required per goat?
    • Goats require 3 litres of water per day or 4 times their feed intake in relation to dry matter
  10. What is the average Male:Female ratio?
    • 1 (M):20-25 (F) is the average ratio
  11. What is the parameter for buying a goat?
    • A female goat which produces more kids than the average in a single delivery is always better
    • A male goat which has fathered and delivered more kids than the average in a single delivery is always better
  12. How much manure does a goat produce in a year?
    • On an average, 0.3 to 0.7 tonne manure is produced by a goat in a year
    • 2 Goats manure (including the urine) is good enough for 1 Acre for a year
  13. What is the average weight of a fully grown goat?
    • Generally, the average weight will be 25 kgs
  14. How long should we keep a new goat separately before it can be introduced with other goats?
    • New Goats should be kept under observation for about 15 days and then only should be allowed to mingle with other goats in the farm
  15. How long a goat can be kept in the farm?
    • A goat can be kept for up to 10 years
  16. What is the age for attainment of  puberty?
    • The female goats will reach puberty in 10 to 12 months age
    • The male goats will reach puberty in 12 to 14 months age
  17. When should the first mating be allowed in a Male Goat?
    • The first mating should happen during 12 to 14 months.  It would be even better if they are allowed to mate only after 2 years
  18. What is the right age for castrating Male Kids?
    • Castrating of Male Kids should be done within 1 month of their birth
  19. When to retire the male goat?
    • Male Goats should be retired each year
  20. What is the maximum age for a Male Goat to be used for service?
    • 6-8 Years of age is the maximum age a male goat can be used for service
  21. What is the average age of Male Goats and how many Female Goats can they service?
    • A Male Goat of 6 Months can service 5-6 Female Goats
    • A Male Goat of 18-24 Months can service 25-30 Female Goats
    • A Male Goat of age beyond 24 Months can service 50-60 Female Goats
  22. What is the ratio of Female Goats to be maintained?
    • Option 1
      • 75% - 1.5 to 2 Years of age
      • 20% - 2 to 4 Years of age
      • 5% - 4 to 6 Years of age
    • Option 2
      • 1:2 ratio meaning 1 mother and 2 kids
        • For ex., you should keep 20 kids for 10 female goats.  This way, the ratio can be maintained after every delivery assuming the average is 2 kids per delivery
  23. What is the best age for procuring a goat for growing or breeding purposes?
    • The best age a goat to be bought is 1.5-2 years
  24. When should the first mating be allowed in a Female Goat?
    • The first mating should happen during 10 to 12 months.  It would be even better if they are allowed to mate only after 1 year
  25. When is the first delivery expected?
    • The first delivery can be expected in 15 to 20 months
  26. What is the best age for procuring a goat for growing or breeding purposes?
    • The best age a goat to be bought is 1.5-2 years
  27. When is the first delivery expected?
    • The first delivery can be expected in 15 to 20 months
  28. What is the pregnancy time?
    • The pregnancy period is usually between 145-156 days
  29. How much time is preferred between pregnancies?
    • 34-99 days is the time gap required after birth
  30. When to retire the female goat?
    • After the 6th Year, the female goats can be retired
  31. What is the yield per pregnancy?
    •  On an average, 1 to 2 kids can be expected per pregnancy.  Sometimes, it may be 3 to 4 kids also.
  32. How long should the kid be allowed to drink milk?
    • The Kids should be allowed to drink milk for 2-3 months.  The kids will start eating grass from the 21st day onwards
  33. What are the indigenous breed varieties of goats of Tamilnadu?
    • Kanni Adu
    • Kodi Adu
    • Moolai Adu
    • Pallai Adu
    • Salem Karupu Adu
  34. What are the indigenous breed varieties of goats of India?
  35. What to sell?
    • Female or Male Kids can be sold after 3 months for growing purposes
    • Female Goats should be sold after 6 years of age or after 10 pregnancies
    • Male Kids can be sold just before the next delivery or 8-9 months of age and above
    • Adult Male Goats should be sold after keeping 1-1.5 year in the farm
  36. When to sell?
    • Should plan to grow in such a manner to sell them during religious festivals like Deepavali, Bakrid etc will fetch handsome returns
  37. What basis to sell?
    • Goats to be sold on Live Weight basis for meat purposes for better returns
    • Goats to be sold at 3/4 of market rate
      • If the market rate is 400 Rs, the farmer can sell at 300 Rs leaving a margin of 33.33% to the buyer
    • Goats to be sold on Live Weight basis for growing purposes on par with the market rate or even 25% above the market rate
  38. Misc
    • Male goats to be kept separately from the herd as they normally stinks a lot
    • Male goats kids and Female goats kids to be separated by the 4th month
    • Kids to be separated from their mother after the 3rd month
    • The fastest weight gain happens during the first 3-6 months of age
    • Pregnant goats to be kept separately and not be allowed for roaming before 2 weeks of delivery
  39. What are the important appliances required?
    • Feeders
    • Water Troughs
    • Weighing Machine
    • Chaff Cutter
    • Burdizzo
  40. How much space is required for goats?
  41. Age groups
    Covered space (sq.m)
    Open space (sq.m)
    Up to 3 months
    0.2-0.25
    0.4-0.5
    3 months to 6 months
    0.5-0.75
    1.0-1.5
    6 months to 12 months
    0.75-1.0
    1.5-2.0
    Adult animal
    1.5
    3.0
    Male, Pregnant or lactating ewe / doe
    1.5-2.0
    3.0- 4.0

  42. What are the diseases that occur commonly in goats?
    • Goats are hardy animals and they are usually disease free.  But it is generally accepted to vaccinate them for reducing the economic loss
  43. What are the vaccination schedule?
    S.No.Name of DiseaseFirst VaccinationNext VaccinationVaccineDosageImmunityTime of Vaccination
    1AnthraxAt the age of 6 month for kid or lambOnce Annually (In Affected area only)Anthrax Spore Vaccine1 ml S/C1 YearMay-June
    2Black Quarter(BQ)3 months of ageOnce Annually(Before monsoon)BQ Vaccine5 ml S/C6 month & 1 YearMay-June
    3Contagious Caprine Pleuro Pneumonia (CCPP)At the age of 3 month & above for Kid or lambOnce Annually(January month)IVRI Vaccine0.2 ml S/C1 Year--
    4Enterotoxaemia (E.T)At the age of 4 month for kid or lamb (If dam is vaccinated) At the age of 1st week for kid or lamb (If dam is not vaccinated)Before monsoon (Preferably in May) Booster vaccination after 15 days of first vaccinationET Vaccine5 ml S/C1 YearMay-June
    5Foot & mouth disease (FMD)At the age of 4 month for kid or lamb & aboveTwice in a year (September & March)Polyvalent FMD vaccine3 ml S/C1 YearFeb & Dec
    6Goat PoxAt the age of 3 month & above for KidOnce Annually(December month)
    7Haemorrhagic Septicemia (HS)At the age of 6 month for kid or lambOnce Annually Before monsoonHS Vaccine5 ml S/C6 month & 1 YearMay-June
    8Peste des petitis ruminants (PPR)3 months of ageOnce AnnuallyPPR Vaccine1 ml S/C1 Year
    9Sheep Pox3 months of ageYearly Once Adult - 5 ml S/c
    Kids - 2.5 ml S/c
    Feb-Mar
    10TetanusAt the age of 3-4 monthsrepeat at 6 months and then annually0.5 - 1 ml s/c or i/m