Thursday, July 17, 2008

Slow growths, small birds and transparency

A few weeks back, I have observed slow growth rates during the first to the 2nd week. Naturally, I had to look for likely causes of these symptoms. Upon evaluation I identified the following causes: 1. chick source 2. nutrition/feed 3. management. After more evaluation and data collection, I eliminated management partly because even those growers with good management have been affected. So there are only 2 likely suspects: DOC and feeds. Of course, if you point to these two as the likely causes, most probably they will point it back to you or to the other group. So, being a good and sensible poultryman, I only provided a solution to the only thing that I can control, and that is management. I felt that if I waited for confirmation of the problem from the breeding and the feed mill, all the birds with theses observed problems will have already been harvested (and that is what happended by the way!). Anyway, on my part, I advised my growers to do early selection and culling at the 1st week. I also prescribed to give a supplementation containing ATP and Sorbitol to help increase the feed intake during the 1st week in the hope of recovering the delayed days in growth. These management adjustments did very well in controlling the slow growth and the occurrence of small birds but still the runting cases have increased from 4% per month to about 10%! And they say that the feeds and DOC have no problems!
I think, that there was indeed a problem with the DOC, but not with the breeder itself but from the selection at hatchery level. Upon further investigation, it was found out that there are a lot of new hires at the hatchery during this time and this is most likely the true cause. Meanwhile, I also checked the feed content (protein and ME especially) and it showed that these two parameters are below standards.

In conclusion, the slow growth and small birds have been caused by two factors, 1) poor DOC selection at hatchery level and 2) low protein and caloric content. But with all the hiding and the cover ups, who will admit that they were to blame?

Talk about openness and transparency.......

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Return of the Jedi

Hi guys! I am back! Wait a minute, who am I saying hi to? Nobody ever reads my blog...hmmm.
Anyway, after a long absence from blog writing, I am finally back to blog some more. To tell you honestly, I did not feel like going back to blogging but I think the blog is the best outlet to put my challenges and frustrations in the field of poultry production an medicine and I get to share my experiences as well (as long as somebody reads it. Ah, well.)

Dachickenguy is in the house!!!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Akhirnya! (Finally!)

Akhirnya keluarga saya datang malam ini! After waiting for four months, my family will finally be arriving in Indonesia. Being the only Filipino in Jawa Tengah (as far as I know), it's really hard not to feel lonely at times. I tried to find comfort in going to the mall (Plaza Ambarukkmo is the best mall, I think) but being in the mall regularly almost became routinary. Now that my family will be joining me, going to the mall will be different because I have my family to join me. It will no longer be a long drawn out stay at Dunkin Donuts, then skipping on to Carrefour to do my grocery. Now it will be a family affair. But I don't think we can stay at Dunkin anymore because a lot of people are smoking there and not very healthy for my wife and son.
Just to let you know how excited I am, I cleaned my house thoroughly which I rarely do, cleaned the banyo until it shone, and I washed my bed sheets just to have that clean and fresh feeling. I have not yet done my grocery, but will do it my wife, who by the way is a great cook. God I missed her cooking! Also, I get to play with my son again who learned to ride the bike by himself! Can you imagine the pain I felt when I was told that my son already knows how to ride a bike without his dad teaching him how. Kakainis! Well, those are the hasles of working in a foreign country. You miss out on spending a few occassions with your family like family gatherings. weddings, my son's graduation. Hay naku, buti na lang nandito na sila so I won't have to miss out on anything again.
Enough. Masyado na nagiging dramatic ang blog ko.
Just wanted to let everyone know how happy I am.
" Fathers should be neither seen nor heard. That is the only proper basis for family life."
- Oscar Wilde

Monday, April 14, 2008

Taga Elbi ka ba? The Return of the Comeback

Since I have nothing to put on my blog today, I decided to post another set of taga elbi ka ba quips. Here goes nothing!

21. Kilala mo sina Saniano Boy at Girl.
22. Alam mo kung nasaan ang "Johnson".
23. Alam mo ang kaibahan ng dalawang Flatrocks.
24. Kaya mong pumasok ng hindi naliligo.
25. Alam mong si Carasus at Pegabao ay iisa.
26. Alam mong ok lang na pumunta sa Maahas.
27. Tumatambay ka sa APEC para mag inom.
28. Alam mo kung nasaan ang Fertility Tree, Kwek KwekTower, at angTemplo ni Bruce Lee.
29. Tuloy ang klase kahit signal number 3 na.
30. Alam mo kung saan ang pilahan ng jeep papuntangIRRI, Forestry, okaya ay Jamboree...
31. Hindi ka kumakain ng buko pie.
32. Alam mo na bago pa man nauso ang unli rice saTokyo Tokyo,marketing strategy na ito ng Salad Country.
33. Hinahanap-hanap mo ang chocolate cake sa Mer-Nel's.
34. Alam mong bawal tumawid sa UPLB Gate(main), mulaGuard Housepapuntang harap ng Carabao Park...
35. Alam mong may oras lang na pwede kumain sa IRRIpag di ka IRRIemployee.

Alam mo na ba kung taga ELBI ka?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mortality: An Indicator of Performance

Mortality has always been an indicator of performance. It is quite obvious that with a very high mortality, all factors, like FCR, BW and age, are affected. It is therefore very important to keep mortalities low so that performance will be higher. Below are my observations and recommendations on how to keep mortalities low and controlled.
Proper cleaning is often a neglected part of the operation. THis happens because our growers often times want to increase their profit per year by loading their farms as fast and as often as possible. Cleaning if not done properly can adversely affect your performance because a lot of bacteria and viruses can live upto 3 months in a poorly cleaned environment. Also, a lot of disinfectants are inactivated in the presence of organic matter. In short, your disinfectant will not work! So clean up!
I may sound like a broken record, but I still believe that good brooding will effectively prevent your birds from dying. Why? Because during this period, DOCs are not that strong enough to protect themselves from outside infection. Also, a lot of the bird's physiological function is developed during brooding, like the immune system and the digestive system. If not properly given the right temperature, sufficient ventilation and proper feed and water care, your birds will have a weaker immune defense and poor digestive/absorbing function during the 3rd and 4th week. That is why poorly brooded birds are more susceptible to respiratory diseases and almost always break down during stressful conditions, like after giving your ND vaccination at the 3rd week. As they say, your chicks are are your future!
It has always been a practice among poultry farms to give antibiotics as a prevention during the 2nd or 3rd week. The problem is, we might be giving antibiotics during a time when the birds do not really need it! That is why most of the times we experience respiratory breakouts even after giving preventive antibiotics. Also, giving antibiotics regularly can cause resistance which is currently experienced here. To ensure that the giving of antibiotics is needed and timed properly, it is recommended to do necropsy to evaluate the condition of the birds. Doing necropsy can tell you a lot of what is happening inside the birds. Remember, that using antibiotics will cost you, and it will cost you a lot if not done and timed properly.
Proper selction of small and weak chicks can and should be done as early as the first week. We have to separate these challenged birds from the stronger ones because these are often times the first ones to gwet infected with disease. Also with proper selection, we significantly lower the probability of disease spread. Proper selection also goes hand in hand with culling. Culling of small birds or runts during the early stages is a good management practice, because we are already eliminating and reducing the risk of an infection coming into the farm. Early culling of runts also ensures that we have a better conversion efficiency because these birds though small can eat the same amount of food as a normal bird. So, select then cull is an important key.
If the above mentioned factors are done properly but poorly monitored, then we will still have problems with our mortality. Being able to monitor closely the farm will better prepare us for any eventual disease that we mioght experience. With proper monitoring, we can easily anticipate and properly prevent mortalities from happening iunexpectedly.
With the five factors mentioned above, it is safe to say that we will be able to control any mortalities that can happen in the future. Preparing our buildings, taking good care of our DOCs, knowing when to give antibiotics and montiroing these things will ensure that our birds will be protected and be strong enough to fend off any problems in the future.
Remember, your birds depend on you to survive and you depend on your birds to live!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Jakarta Project

Have you ever been to Jakarta? The first time I have been in this city is when I arrived in Indonesia. I was awed and impressed by this city because it is very modern and have a lot of places for shopping. If you want gimmick then Jakarta is the place for you. It is like Makati and Ortigas rolled into one. Shopping malls, retaurants, bars, discos, you name it, it's here. I stayed there for about three weeks and then I learned the bad side of Jakarta. The traffic is terrible! It is even worse here than in Manila! Trafic starts at around 630 am and lasts for the whole day! Its even worse during weekends.

Why is traffic so bad? Well, because there are a lot of vehicles and the roads are so narrow. And its home to 10 million people, meaning there are a million motorcycles on the road. They're like ants that just pop up anywhere. They're behind you, in front of you, by your side, everywhere! Good thing I don't drive here. If I did, it will be a lot of stress. And according to something I read, Jakartans don't lioke to take public transport and vehicle owners are growing by 10% a year! No wonder car companies used Jakarta as a test market.The good thing about it is, the drivers here are very patient and have tremendous self control. If a pinoy driver is in the same situation, there will have been some blood spilled because its crazy out there on the road. A regular 30 minute ride will be turned into a 2 hour nightmare because of the traffic. God, I miss color coding!

Tulad ng sabi nila, kung ayaw mo matrapik, umalis ka ng maaga!

But for shopping, Jakarta is the place to go. To live and work there is another question.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Finally, the season finale of Heroes season 2 will be aired this wednesday 8pm WIB. It's a cool series because it shows that people with superpowers may use their powers for good or for evil. The plot is always changing and you never can tell what will happen next. My fave character their is the Japanese guy named Hiro who has the power to teleport himself to anyplace and anytime in the world. One episode in Season 1 showed him teleporting himself to the girls bathroom! How cool is that!

Anyway, this show is a lot like the workplace. There are people who have power and there are people who wants to have power. People in power may use their abilities for good or evil. Reminds me of my past bosses. One of my past bosses uses his power to scare you into doing your job very well. Scared the hell out of me but come to think of it, I did perform well because of his tactics. Although he used his power to scare his people, his ultimate goal was to elevate your performance. And he was also very protective of his people. Nobody can scream at his people except for him. Another one of my bosses also uses his power but in a different way. He uses his power to make other people agree with him even if everyone knows that he is wrong. He makes his subordinates realize that no matter what you do, the boss is always right. The boss is always the best. The boss also signs your paycheck and determines your salary raise!

People in the workplace who wants to have power usually are very friendly with people who are in power. In the local Pinoy dialect, it is called "sipsip". COme to think of it, the word is dead center in describing these people. Since they want to be in power also, by "sip-siping" to the boss, they in turn may have sucked some power from the boss. Oh, to be favored by the gods!

Case in point, I have a colleauge before who always says yes to the boss even if he knows that the boss is mistaken. And when the boss turns around, that's the time he unleashes a series of vile vituperations against that person. But because he is such a good dog, I mean boy, he is always on the good side of the person in power. Talk about lap dogs!

Back to Heroes. If you have the need to imagine yourself having super powers and saving the day, without having to suck up to any one in power, then this show is for you.Catch it Wednesday nights at AXN at your local time.

" With great power, comes great responsibility!"

- Uncle Ben to Peter Parker, from the movie "Spiderman"

***picture of "Heroes" above taken from kateblake_200 at