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How to guide for keeping Egg laying birds (Layers) in Uganda

by Admin

If you've been planning on starting a commercial Poultry Farm with layers, kindly take time and review this
poultry guide for managing your birds before you even start building your poultry house in Uganda.

But first, let us hear what some poultry farmers for layers have to say:

Ms Mutyaba, who has 500 chicken, sells 10-15 trays of eggs every day to whole sellers at Shs7,000 per tray.
If there happens to be a low egg production, the farmer attributes it to the weather conditions
like thunder and heavy winds that affect the chicken.

Mr Lawrence Kulumba, another chicken farmer, collects 26 trays of eggs every day that he sells to wholesalers
and retail shop owners. He currently has 1,000 layers and sells a tray between Shs7,000 and Shs7,500.

“I only supply wholesalers and retailers because they are easy to deal with. In most cases,
I already know how many people I am to supply on a particular day because I get the orders a day before,” he adds.
“I don’t deal with supermarkets because of the delays in payment yet I always have to purchase the feed and other
things to feed the chicken in order to get more eggs,” he says.

Before your Layer chicks arrive at home

make sure that;

  • A brooder is in place

  • Paraffin lamps/electric bulbs/charcoal stove is available

  • Litter for the floor is available

  • 1m2 will accommodate 20 chicks upto 4 weeks old.

  • Temperature control: 350C for day-old chicks, 24-270C for 1 week.

  • Reduce heat as they grow especially at night.

Feeding your Layers

Layers – 1 to 8 weeks feed on chick mash, after 8 weeks introduce growers mash gradually, then with layers mash
after drop of first egg.

From the day a layer chick hatches, the chicken takes about five months before it starts laying eggs.
As a poultry farmer you must be prepared to meet the expense of rearing these young birds (pullets) through this period.
Feeding the young pullets is a major challenge. In an effort to cut down costs, many farmers make the mistake to
underfeed the birds during this pre-lay period.

When your hens are laying eggs, you may not feel the burden of purchasing feeds since they are generating some
income from the sale of eggs.

Do not forget that the performance of your commercial layers is greatly influenced by how you
manage them in brooding and pullet growing phases.

There must be clear performance indicators which you have to monitor during the brooding, growing and laying phases
of egg-type chickens (layers).

Body weight is a major performance indicator.

Under-feeding pullets produces underweight
birds which mature late, produce small eggs and decline more sharply after peak egg production.

Overfeeding produces overweight birds. Overweight pullets are not good because they neither attain nor
sustain high egg production.

Pullets which have been raised well attain high peak production and are less prone to
subsequent egg production problems.

How to mix chick Mash

Give your layers Chick Mash from 0-6 weeks Starter.
For 100 kg of Maize brand mix with 12 kg fish, 10 kg sun flower, 10 kg cotton, and 4 kg shells.

How to mix grower's mash

Grower's mash is also called layer replacement/developer/gain and you give it upto 10 weeks.

You will give grower's mash as gian prior to selling off your birds for meat in the market as
what in Uganda most of us call off layers.

You mix 100 Kg of Maize brand with 15 kg fish meal, 12 Kg cotton seed cake, 8kg of shells,
4 kg bones, ½ Kg calcium, ½ Kg premix, 50 gm Furazolodine, 1 kg red salt, 1 kg fossil.

How to mix layer's Mash

Given your chicken layers mash from start of Egg laying to selling off, typically a 20 weeks egg laying cycle.
For every 100 kg of maize brand, mix 25 kg of fish meal, 10 kg of Sunflower, 10 kg of cotton seed cake, 8 kg of shells,
1/2kg of calcium, 3/4kg Primix, 150 gm of Lysin and 2 kg of Red salt.

Good management practices/tips for your layer chicken

  • Allow for good air circulation in your poulty house for egg laying birds

  • Layer needs on average 120 gm of food per day

  • Distribute food troughs and water troughs evenly (one basin/50 birds)

  • Provide grit at 20 weeks, you give your birds small, loose particles of stone or sand.

  • Laying nests must be kept in dark places, collect eggs 3 times a day, allow a nest for every 5 layer hens

  • Provide soft clean litter

  • Store eggs with the small end facing down

  • Clean dirty eggs with steel wool/coarse leaves, Never wash your eggs

  • Add greens to the diet of your layers and whenever possible vitamins to their water

  • Debeak your layer chicken at onset of egg laying

  • Cull your Layers when egg production drops below 40%. To cull, simply means you start slaughtering your birds for meat.

How to identify the characteristics of a good layer

  • Look for the bright red comb and wattles

  • Good layer should have Alert eyes

  • Width between pelvic bones should measure at least 2 fingers, big enough for the egg to pass through!

  • The beak and claws should look bleached

  • The cloaca (behind) should be moist, well lubricated for the egg to slide over.

How to store your eggs well

Keep your eggs away from cooking heat, do not store eggs in a kitchen where it is hot.
Heat might partially incubate your eggs and kill the embryos in them

Do not store them on top of a cupboard where heat from the roof can reach your eggs and incubate them.

Keep your eggs in a cool secure dry place.

Do not wash your eggs with water

The records you should keep for your layers

  • Production data e.g. number of eggs produced

  • Amount of food eaten

  • Health interventions e.g. treatment

  • Deaths

  • Sales and purchases

Comments for How to guide for keeping Egg laying birds (Layers) in Uganda

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

by: Haruna

Many thanks to the admin for going out of your way to educate and empower the masses at absolutely no cost to the beneficiary.
I can't find suitable words to thank you better. Your information was spot on and really preemptive of all my curiosity on layer birds management as an income generating activity in Uganda. Be blessed in all your endeavor and be rewarded in in the best way multiple times!

by: tebugulwa isaac

Hero am isaac from kamengo mpigi i want to start commercial layer for eggs but were i can get more knowledge on it and in such area we have a problem of clean water is it impossible to use wells water for your birds and i want to know the capital i need to rear 1000hens as my start and am need power and the bird can give whow many trays of eggs per day and it can eat waht average for five months of giving eggs and were i can find u in uganda thanks

256777237676/ 252616799027
Or fbk

by: Anonymous


Help identifying costs
by: Anonymous

This is a very informative arrival thank you .
Regarding the different types of feeding and mixers can you please let me know what the costs are?


Contact the Poultry Guide Admin for further details.

Feeding Kuroiler Chicken
by: Julius Onencan

I have started rearing kuroiler chicken lately. I bought 12 week old birds. I have information on the type of feed to give before and after they start laying. The bit of information still lacking is how much feed to give per bird per day, and at what intervals.

The Sick Layers
by: Noah

How to know that your layers are sick

  • You will find them Dull

  • They will reduce feed intake

  • You will your birds have reduced water intake

  • The birds will have low egg production

  • If they we're still young, the rate of growth is reduced.

  • The feathers of the bird will be rough- Rough coat

Common problems in the management of layers

The following are some of the problems which farmers encounter. Many of them can be avoided if the farmer is informed.
These problems could lead to serious economic losses if they are not addressed promptly.


This is when chicken peck and injure each other.
It starts when one bird gets injured and others peck it.
The victim often bleeds to death.
You can prevent this by trimming the birds’ beaks.Immediately remove of the injured bird to prevent serious injuries.
Cannibalism can also be brought about by protein or amino acid deficiencies, over-crowding, insufficient feed quantities and boredom.


The vice of egg eating may develop if a hen lays soft shelled eggs. This happens when there is a nutritional deficiency.
For this reason, layers’ mash must have a good balance of nutrients. If a hen watches another one laying an egg,
it is tempted to peck at the emerging egg and break it. Once the egg is broken, hens will immediately eat it.

You need to construct proper nests to avoid this. Individual nests should be big enough to allow only
one hen at a time. If communal nests are used, they should be partially covered so as to make them dark.


Broodiness is a natural tendency where hens try to incubate their eggs. Commercial layers do not have this characteristic
because it was bred out. However, once in a while, a few hens in the flock may become broody.
A broody hen is unproductive and sits in the nest, inconveniencing others.

Such a hen should be isolated and kept on a rough floor until it loses broodiness.
Then, it can be returned to the laying house to resume laying eggs.


Due to either ill health or infertility or both, some hens may fail to lay eggs.
These should be removed from the flock (culling). By 25 weeks (six months), all hens should be laying eggs.
Thereafter, unproductive birds should be identified promptly and culled to avoid losses caused by feeding them.

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