Novel poultry cages launched
A new innovative self help system for poultry production, the Inkukukaya System, was launched at the Windhoek show grounds’ Bank Windhoek Hall this week. The System is specifically designed for easy use and cleaning particularly for urban and rural farming.
The Inkukukaya cage was designed by Botswana poultry farmer, John (Butch) Vaughan-Davies, who approached South African plastic injection moulder, Ian Dickinson, for manufacturing. Dickinson took the design a step further, developing a system of modular plastic panels.
Government agencies and emerging farmers were present at the product launch as Inkukakaya Modular Coop Solution’s South African agent, Ian Dickinson, explained how the simple click and lock in system works.
“Inkukukaya coops have the potential to allow people to start farming with minimal capital outlay, without the need for bedding material or expensive brooding and with virtually no ‘down time’ between flocks. The system allows for great flexibility and is easy to expand,” says Venter.
The coops are sold in flat-pack form and can be quickly assembled without tools. The coop should ideally be placed under a roof, although to reduce start-up costs an open-sided shed will suffice instead of a conventional, fully-enclosed chicken house.
This unique brooding system is much more hygienic and efficient as you can add on and scale up to allow for the growth of chicks, Venter said. Additional simple sheds are to be introduced later on with poultry training and management assistance from NOSA Agricultural services.
A modular chicken coop reduces mortality rates to 2%, making it a hit with small-scale farmers.
The system also allows for the use of a blanket veil when needed while allowing for sufficient air flow as it can be raised to the needed height. “The cages must be placed on blocks or a wood or steel framework to lift the coop off the ground and support the coop floor. Fresh air then circulates into the cage from below and droppings fall through to the ground,” explains Dickinson.
“Blanket brooding requires no lights, no sawdust or litter, and no electricity or gas for heating, which is a huge cost saving,” says Dickinson. “Farmers simply throw a blanket over the cage for warmth. The blankets are lifted during the day for light and fresh air.”
Chicks has successfully been raised in these coops using the blanket brooding method. A recent trial of chicken growth rates under blanket brooding recorded 221g at 7 days, 546g at 14 days, 1,0kg at 21 days, 1,7kg at 28 days and 2,4kg at 35 days. This compares favourably with growth rates of conventional floor brooding of 230g, 552g, 924g, 1,6kg and 2,4kg at the same time intervals.
Venter however said that because of the difference in climate here in Namibia, the expected time is increased to 40 days.
This system was successfully piloted in conditions where temperatures dropped to 0°C.
The local agent for Inkukukaya Modular Coop Solutions, Managing Director of Mica Sales & Marketing, Leon Venter said that this innovate product is ideal for home use while plans are under-way to expand the product line to agricultural retail stores.