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Poultry industry in Uganda revamped

Ugachick Poultry Breeders Limited revamps poultry industry in Uganda through production of day-old chicks, high quality animal feeds and other poultry products

Uganda 's poultry products especially eggs and chicken are on high demand in neighbouring countries like South Sudan, DR Congo and Rwanda.

Ugachick, one of the leading poultry farms in the country, says it is running a processing plant, a breeder farm (broilers and layers) hatchery, feed mill and a broiler farm with the aim of availing high quality chicken products.

"From the village chicken production systems common in Africa and based on the indigenous or native domestic fowl (Gallus domesticus) characterized by a low level of inputs and outputs, to the introduction of specialized breeding and intensified management, " a company official notes.

The company says its Ugachick Hisex Brown and Shaver layer have a high potential to lay eggs if well reared adding that the pullet should reach point of lay  with a well developed skeletal and muscle frame and average body frame should be at least 1.5 kg.

It adds that it should have no disease problem and should have a well developed reproductive system and urges farmers to invest in commercial layers as their profitable.

Poultry increase

Latest official data published in the Statistical Abstract 2011 says that the number of poultry increased by three per cent between 2009 and 2010 attributing the increments to the steady efforts to control animal diseases and improvement in the livestock production systems.

Poultry numbers in 2008 were 37, 434, 000 and in 2009 they rose to 38, 557, 000 million while in 2010 they were 39, 714, 000 million birds. According to Ugachick layers from 0-8 weeks should be fed on chick mash of 2 kg while those of 9-20 weeks are fed on growers mash of 6 kg. Those between 21-80 weeks are given 49 kg  of layers mash.

"Layers daily feed intake is 120-125 g per day from point of lay with Ugachick feeds up to depletion, " it notes.

The company says mortality during rearing is 3-5 per cent and during laying is 8 per cent. The age at point of lay is 18 weeks with total egg production of 318 eggs and off layers available is 88 per cent.


Egg production

Regarding weekly egg production, week 19 would be 6 per cent, week 20, 20 per cent, week 21, 50 per cent and week 22 would hit 78 per cent. Week 23 to week 43 would attain 90-93 per cent, week 44-week 60, egg production would be between 80 per cent to 89 per cent while week 61 to week 73, egg production would total to between 70 per cent and 79 per cent.

"The egg production percentage drops slightly from week 73 to week 80 that is 70 per cent and 65 per cent, " it states.
Ugachick has however had to grapple with the increasing cost of feeds that has led to rise in prices of poultry products like eggs where a tray of eggs that used to cost 4, 800 shillings now rotates around 6, 500 shillings while its chicken is being sold at 14, 000 shillings in different supermarkets.

"The company is trying hard to incur short term losses so as to sustain business in the long term. In February, we used to buy a kg of maize at 480 shillings but currently it costs 1, 650 shillings. There are inputs that we have to import like breeding facilities and this increases the cost of doing business, " a company official was recently quoted as saying.


By Geoffrey Muleme