THIS is apropos of the letter ‘Poultry sector’s problems’ (June 5). This is a fact that the poultry sector is an important element of Pakistan’s agriculture and its economy.

The poultry industry is one of the largest and fastest growing agro-industries everywhere in the world. This can be accredited to an increasing demand for poultry meat and egg products.

However, Pakistan’s poultry industry is facing a los of problems and challenges. Major problems facing the industry can be put in order by working on a few things, and adopting instructions set by poultry scientists.

The factors needed to be pondered for improvement include a collaboration between academia and the poultry industry. If academia and poultry farms owners or farmers sit together, share experiences, and farmers get guidance from the academia by undergoing short trainings on various aspects of poultry farming, then basic learning about poultry farming can be accomplished by famers, which one is missing in poultry industry workers at moment.

Poultry meat is an important protein source of our food. Its quality is pertinent to the quality of life of poultry birds. Chicken feeds come from many sources including, land marine, plants and animal products.

If you provide nutrient-rich feed to poultry birds and keep them healthy by keeping their housing clean and disinfected, you can harvest optimal disease-free meat. Although many factors are involved in achieving the optimal growth rate and size at harvest such as breed, gender nutrition, feeds, timely proper vaccinations and dry clean housing, most often it has been seen that farm workers are responsible for disease in the flocks.

The source of contaminations they bring include dirty hands, equipment, footwear and vehicles, and improper handling of infected and injured birds.

TO minimise such risks, there should be authorised entries into sheds, use of disinfected footwear and equipment, and clean feeder and water. The use of antibiotic and other drugs for poultry should be governed by laws and regulations. Stress level of birds can be reduced through proper feeding, suitable bedding such as sawdust, husks and a fear-free environment.

Farms should be cleansed every day. Sick birds should be culled or handled properly, working condition of ventilation systems should be ensured at all times.

The poultry industry can be better and more profitable if it is operated scientifically.

HABIB HYDER LAGHARI Canada

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