Rodents are considered as parasites in the poultry world. They could damage almost everything and steal food from our chickens. But why and how to get rid of them?
An article from New Vision tells us how.
Rodents are one of the leading challenges poultry farmers are facing. Almost every poultry farmer mentions rodents as a threat to their poultry units.
“They do not only eat the feeds but they also carry diseases that affect chicken,” says Kironde Lule, a poultry farmer near Bombo. Kironde Lule keeps thousands of chicken at his farm. Celia Kansiime, owner of Mish farm in Kiwenda, also complains about the same.
Rodents like poultry houses for three different reasons. They provide an almost unlimited supply of food, water and in many cases hiding places in which they nest their young ones.
According to Celia Kansiime, Best farmer 2016, rodents move from nearby bushes and find their way into poultry houses through several ways. They can enter a hole large enough to pass their head through, as small as a quarter-inch for mice or a half-inch for rats. Once inside the house, they can easily dig into the loose, dry poultry litter, under caked litter, into dirt floors, inside walls, and into electricity insulation in the walls and the roof.
“And to see them, you must be very keen because they know you are coming before you open the house. But all this time, they are eating away your chicken feeds and contaminating them with diseases and dirt,” Henry Lugolobi, owner of Sight farm, Namulonge says.
Of course, the most obvious problem with rodents is the feed they consume and contaminate. All rodents will eat poultry feed, and they contaminate and ruin much more than they eat. They are also known to carry other pests like fleas that may gradually attack the chicken too. When fleas attack chicken, they affect its growth because they suck blood from it.
A mature rat eats around 40grams per day. If there are 20 rats in the house, then those are 800grams per day or around 24kgs per month. In actual money, at a cost of sh1, 200 per kilogram, this is sh30,000 lost per month. Of course the cost of the losses increases with the rising number of rats. Given the small profit margin got from chicken, certainly that is big money lost.