I know that when farmers start out with livestock projects, they may not have a clue about production standards or targets. So what are production standards? Are they important?
If you aim to take your livestock project to the next level, you need to acquaint or familiarise yourself with livestock production standards. These give you a guide on which to judge your manager or project performance.
Production standards are benchmarks established through research and experience about the ideal production practices and targets.
Production standards should be your target or aim in order to make a profit from your project. Let us briefly look at a few of these targets.
Mortality or deaths: The accepted range should be 5% or less. This means if you are keeping 100 broilers, you can reasonably expect to make a profit even if 5 birds were to die. If you are keeping 1000 broilers, the deaths should not exceed 50 birds.
Growth targets:-Growth rate measures the rate at which an animal converts feed into meat. If meat is the product we aim to produce and sell, then we must be interested in growth rates.
An example: In sheep, the following weight targets apply:
|Age (Weeks)||Single (Weight in kg)||Twin (Weight in kg)|
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT
- It is important to acquaint or familiarise yourself with production targets in the particular project of your choice.
- Keep efficient records that enable you to track patterns. Refresh your memory here: https://livestockmatters.blog/2019/04/09/farm-records-part-1/
- Individual identification of breeding animals is important.
- A scale for weighing animals is crucial to have.
We will continue with this important topic in the next instalments. Follow our blog for automatic updates. Happy farming!