The purpose of raising animals on an integrated fish farm is to develop integration and fully utilize limited feedstuffs. The multi-stage utilization of feed stuffs and fertilizers makes it possible to supply the community with more produce and earn for the fish farm more revenue. Animal raising in China is practiced in line with local conditions; i.e., different natural resources and farm conditions decide the different items of management and animal raising (e.g., variety of fish-livestock-poultry integration or integrated management of aquaculture, agriculture, or a composite of animal husbandry, industry, and commerce).
Pond dikes, corner plots, etc., can be used to cultivate mulberry trees for sericulture on an integrated fish farm. The by-products of sericulture, dregs composed of the feces and sloughs of silkworm and mulberry residues, can be used as fertilizers for fish culture. On average, 100 kg of mulberry leaves will produce 50– 60 kg of silkworm dregs. If the dregs are fed to the fish, 1000 kg silkworm dregs can be converted into 100 kg fish. By applying 5000 kg pond silt to the mulberry plots, 250 kg mulberry leaves can be produced and silkworm cocoon production will be increased. The pupa occupies 80 per cent of a silkworm cocoon by weight and 100 kg raw silk and 600 kg pupae can be obtained from every 700–800 kg of silkworm cocoon. The silkworm chrysalis is rich in protein and fat (Table 9.1) and is a feedstuff for fish, livestock, and poultry. The pupa has a strong odour, however, and feeding should be controlled.
Collection of by-products
Silkworm dregs and mulberry could be collected at an early stage of silk-worm breeding, but at this time, the amount of these by-products is negligible. By-products should be collected after the dormant stage. Silkworm pupae are by-products after reeling. There are two methods of processing sericulture by-products: sun-drying and water-immersion.
Sun-drying method — This is obviously suitable only on sunny days. After the by-products are dry, they should be mixed with chicken feeds for broilers. The daily amount should not exceed 5 per cent of the total feed. This procedure must be discontinued when the chickens are 1 month old, otherwise, the quality of the meat is adversely affected. For pigs, the amount of pupae should not exceed 10 per cent of the pigs' compound fodder. Pupae should only be fed to sows and piglings.
Table 9.1 Nutritive composition (%) of silkworm dregs and pupae.
|Moisture||Crude protein||Crude fat||Crude fibre||Non-nitrogen extracts||Minerals|
Water-immersion method — Because it is difficult to dry silkworm dregs and pupae on rainy days, they are stored in large vats filled with water. The preserved by-products can only be fed to piglings. Never feed such material to the “fatteners” because of the strong odour of the wet pupae, which will adversely influence the quality of the pork.
The digestive tract of a chicken is very short, only 6 times its body length. Therefore, some of the eaten feedstuffs are excreted by the chicken before being fully digested: research has shown that about 80 per cent (by dry weight) of feed stuffs is utilized and digested by the poultry, leaving 20 per cent for use by other animals on the integrated fish farm. Chickens also peck at their food, causing 10– 15 per cent of the feed to be scattered over the ground. This wasted feed can also be reclaimed. The total protein content of dry chicken excrement can be as high as 30 per cent. In general, satisfactory chicken feedstuffs have a protein content over 18 per cent.
In the past, chicken manure was used as a fertilizer for crops. More recently, however, developed countries have begun to use processed chicken manure to feed farm animals. The production of chicken manure pellets is economically important. In China, dry sawdust and pulverized, dry stalk of crops are used as bedding material for chicken coops. Bedding material and chicken excreta may be used to feed fish. Part of this material is eaten directly by the fish and the rest fertilizes the pond water. This technique, however, still does not fully utilize all the nutrients of the chicken manure. Alternatively, the excreta together with the bedding material may be fed to cattle or pigs, especially to sows and beef cattle. In this situation, the undigested and unabsorbed fine feeds in the chicken excreta are fully utilized by the hogs or the cattle.
The excreta of pigs and cattle can then be fed to the fish, which will utilize the undigested nutrients. Besides increasing the utilization rate of the feedstuffs, this technique of feeding animal manures to fish fertilizes the water, producing plankton which is a good natural fish food. If animal excreta are used to culture fish, the pond silt is enriched. This pond silt can be used as a fertilizer for mulberry plots or on the pond dyke for green fodders, and will help produce a high yield. Thus, silkworms, chickens, pigs, cows, and fish can all be reared at the same time and the utilization of the feedstuffs and fertilizers can be maximized.
Characteristics of broiler farming
Broiler farming has only existed in China for 20 years. Large-flock, high-density broiler farming is the most common method. Broilers grow very quickly; if feeding conditions are favourable, they are sent to market after 8–12 weeks. The average weight of the chicken at this point is between 1250 and 1600 g. Broilers should be fed a compound fish with all the essential nutrients. Special attention must be given to the temperature, humidity, aeration, and hygiene of the chicken house. Among other things, this will help prevent disease. Because of the large population involved in broiler farming, one small mistake can cause substantial losses. In this way, broiler farming is very different from small-scale farming.
Selection of broiler species
The most common species of broiler chicken in the world is the White Cornish White Rock, hybrid. Some companies in the world that are specifically engaged in chicken breeding, have produced purebred hybrids. The production of a hybrid broiler begins with first-generation hybrids (grandfather generation), passes through second-generation hybrids (parent generation), and ends with third-generation double hybrids (broiler chickens for commercial production) (Fig. 9.1).
The white-feather broilers bred in China are a combination of the Starbro System from Canada and the Hybro System from Holland. China has now established the National Pure Line Chicken Farm. This farm sells grandfather-generation chickens to first-grade chicken farms, which sell parent-generation chickens to second-grade chicken farms, which produce double-hybrid commercial chickens for market. However, Chinese people prefer to eat yellow-feather broiler chickens, therefore, most of the white-feather broiler chickens are frozen and exported. The live poultry supplied to the domestic and Hong Kong markets usually consists of a variety of yellow-feather chicken bred by the Institute of Husbandry, Shanghai Academy of Agriculture, the New Pudong chicken. The meat and viability of this species is better than that of the imported Starbro chicken, but their growth is a little slower: the body weight of the New Pudong reaches 1500 after 10 weeks and a hen can lay 140 eggs/year.
Equipment for chicken farming
Chicken house — For economic reasons, the open type of chicken house with natural lighting and ventilation is used on integrated fish farms. Usually, the chicken house is a one-storey building with an inverted V-shaped roof. Its length is 6–8 m, its height to the eaves is 2.2–2.5 m (3 m in warmer areas), and each room has an area of about 100 m3, which can accomodate about 800 chickens. The width of the house should depend on the number of chickens to be raised. Two workers can handle 3000–4000 chickens. The chicken house should face the sun and the ratio of windows to ground area should be 1:8 to 1:10. South-facing windows should be bigger and closer to the ground than north-facing windows. A concrete floor should be constructed 30 cm above ground level to facilitate drying and sterilization.
Fig. 9.1. Breeding of a double-hybrid commercial broiler.
Fig. 9.2. Thermo-electric umbrella.
Fig. 9.3. Wooden feeding trough.
Fig. 9.4. Cylindrical feeding trough.
Fig. 9.5. Chain-driven feeding trough.
Fig. 9.6. A big-opening jar on an aluminum plate (chick waterer).
Fig. 9.7. A perforated cardboard box used for chick transportation.
Fig. 9.8. A broiler transportation cage.
Thermo-electric umbrella — A thermo-electric umbrella is commonly used to heat the chicken house. It is 1–1.1 m square, about 0.7 m high, and has a 45° upward inclination (Fig. 9.2). Each umbrella contains 300-W thermoelectric wires and a thermostat and can keep 250–300 chickens warm. In the winter, stoves with pipes should be installed in the chicken house for additional heating.
Feeding trough — There are two types of feeding systems: manual and mechanical. The feeding troughs are either made of wood or iron. The size and height of the standard wooden feeding trough (Fig. 9.3) depend on the growth period of the chickens. There is a special rod on the trough to prevent the spillage and contamination by chicken manure. There should be enough feeding troughs in the chicken house to guarantee that all chickens are fed equally. Cylindrical (Fig. 9.4) and chain-driven feeding troughs made of sheet iron (Fig. 9.5) are also used. In the chain-driven system, a feedstuff box is attached to one end of the trough. A chain moves transversely through the trough delivering feed to the entire length of the trough. This systems is easy to use and saves on labour.
Waterer — For chicks, a big-opening jar on an aluminum plate is used as a waterer (Fig. 9.6). The waterers should be installed around the thermo-umbrella for easy access by the chicks. As the chicks grow, an automatic, barrel-like, plastic waterer can be used instead of a jar. This waterer contains enough water for about 100 chickens/day. Some farms use a long trough with running water, and the results have been promising.
Table 9.2. Nutritional standards for broiler chicken feeds.
|Feed component||Age of chicken|
|0–5 weeks||> 5 weeks|
|Metabolic energy (Kcal/kg)a||2,800–3,000||3,000–3,200|
|Crude protein (%)||20–22||18–20|
|Protein/energy ration (g/kcal)||72||61|
|Amino acids (g/kcal)|
Glycine or serine
|Vitamins and mineralsb|
Vitamin A, active (IU/kg)
Vitamin D, (IU/kg)
Vitamin E (mg/kg)
Vitamin K1 (mg/kg)
Vitamin B1 (thiamine HCL) (mg/kg)
Vitamin B2 (ribotlavin)
Pantothenic acid (mg/kg)
Nicotinic acid (mg/kg)
Vitamin B6 (mg/kg)
Folic acid (mg/kg)
Vitamin B12 (mg/kg)
a 1 cal = 4.19 J.
b For chickens 0–8 weeks old IU, international units.
Table 9.3. Feeding standard for broiler chickens.
|Age (days)||Daily feed per chicken|
|Age (days)||Daily feed per chicken|
Chicken cage — Chick-transportation cages are made of calcium-plastic corrugated paper and can hold 100 newly hatched chicks (Fig. 9.7). For marketable chickens, an iron wire cage of 90 × 60 × 35 cm is usually used. Each cage can hold 15–20 live chickens weighing 1.5 kg each (Fig. 9.8).
Broiler chicken feeds
To fully utilize feedstuffs, cut down on feed costs, accelerate the growth, and promote the health of the broiler chicken, nutritional standards for broiler chicken feeds have been established (Tables 9.2 and 9.3). For easy feed preparation, vitamin compounds and trace element additives for broiler chickens are manufactured. These are added to the feed as needed. There are also many feedstuff companies in the world that prepare formulated feeds for broiler (e.g., Table 9.4). The requirements for metabolic energy, crude protein, amino acids, calcium, phosphates, vitamins and minerals are fulfilled by these feeds.
Feeding and management of broiler chickens
Simultaneous in-and-out systems — All chickens should begin feeding on the same day and shipped to the market on the same day. After all the chickens are sold, the poultry farm should be completely cleaned, sterilized and left dormant for 7–14 days to break any infection-diseases cycle. Thus, the next batch of chickens will have a “clean start”. Because the growth rates of broilers vary, a modified simultaneous in-and-out system should be used. Chicken should be received at the same time, but sold according to body weight. Those chickens with a slower growth rate can be kept for 1 or 2 more weeks before they are sold.
It is essential that the poultry house be properly prepared for a new batch of chickens. Besides cleaning, sterilizing, and allowing the house to lie dormant for 7–14 days, a layer of clean, dry bedding should be laid down, the temperature should be kept above 80°F, the temperature under the nursing umbrella should be 90–95°F, and lamps should be installed in the umbrella to attract the chicks to the warmth. A board is set up outside the umbrella to keep the chicks in the warm area. The trough and waterers should be installed around the umbrella and filled before the chicks are introduced to the poultry house, which should be done in the morning so that the chicks learn to eat and drink during the day. The lamps are left on for the first two nights only, and fresh food and water should be given daily and consumptions recorded. The temperature of the nursing umbrella should be checked nightly to avoid having the chicks huddle tightly together to create warmth. The protective board around the nursing umbrella should be extended and the temperature lowered by 1°F daily. The air should be kept fresh, the bedding of the chicken house dry, and the surrounding environment as quiet, possible.
Table 9.4 Component formulae (%) and analysis of the broiler chicken feeds produced by the Wuxi Feedstuffs Company, Wuxi, People's Republic of China.
|Component||Age of Chicken|
|0–5 weeks||5 weeks|
|Low-grade wheat flour||5|
|Chinese scholar tree leaf powder||4.5||5|
|Trace element additives||0.2||0.1|
|Multivitamin additives (g)||5||5|
|Metabolic energy (Cal/kg)||3,030||3,057|
|Crude protein (%)||21.57||20.14|
|Crude cellulose (%)||3.71||3.76|
As the chicks grow, the protective board should be removed (day 7) to avoid crowding. The trough and waterers should also be changed to larger size and the nursing umbrella is gradually raised. If feed is supplied all day, the supply should not be interrupted. For artificial feeding, the feeding time should be fixed. Weaker chickens should be separated into a group for feeding. The bedding should be changed frequently and exposed to the sun as often as possible. The chicken house should be kept warm in the winter and well ventilated and temperate in the summer. Chicks are fed a special diet during their first 5 weeks and then gradually switched to a fattening diet. Disease prevention is crucial throughout the rearing period.
When chickens reach 10 weeks of age, with a body weight of 1.5 kg, they can be sold. It is better to catch the chickens in the early morning; catching should be done carefully to avoid injuries. Each cage can hold 15 chickens in the summer and 20 in the winter. A layer of dry grass should be placed on the bottom of the cage.
Prevention and treatment of disease
The raising period of broiler chickens is short, but the population density is high. Disease prevention in this situation depends on proper nursing management, cleanliness, and hygiene. A program of disease prevention should be outlined before the raising process begins and treatment should only be carried out when prevention fails.
Common chicken diseases include pullorum disease, coccidiosis avium, infectious bronchitis, chronic respiratory diseases, variola avium, Newcastle disease, cholera avium, Marek's disease, ascariasis avium, and deficiency diseases, e.g., nutrient deficiency (vitamins, minerals). Some chicken diseases can be prevented by vaccine inoculation or by medication. Some manufacturers have produced mixed whole-value feedstuffs including vitamins, trace elements, and drugs, effectively preventing certain diseases. Some drugs produce a disease resistance after extended application, such as anti-coccidiosis medication. The most reliable way to prevent the outbreak of disease is good nursing management, cleanliness, and proper hygiene, as well as isolation and sterilization.
A preventive project — Marek's vaccine is given to chicks within 48 h of hatching. To prevent Pullorum diseases, 0.01 per cent furazolidonum is added to the drinking water for chicks 1–7 days old. Nose drops of weak toxic Newcastle disease II vaccine are given to 7-day-old chickens; at the same time, the chickens are inoculated with variola avium vaccine. To prevent coccidiosis, 30 ppm robenidine is added to the feed after 10 days and is discontinued 1 week before marketing. Beaks should be cut in the middle with a beak cutter and hemostasis is done by cauterization at 15 days to prevent bad pecking habits. The H120 vaccine against infectious bronchitis is administered in the drinking water to 20-day-old chickens at a dilution of 1:500 to 1:1000 (the dosage is 5–10 mL/chicken). A subcutaneous inoculation of Newcastle disease I vaccine is given at 45 days. If ascarids are found, tetrametrazol is given.
Control of coccidiosis — Coccidiosis is the most serious disease of broiler chickens and usually appears after the chickens are 2 weeks old. It is mainly transmitted through manure, especially in the hot and humid season. If the bedding material is thick, the transmission will be more serious because damp bedding promotes oocyst hatching. The most effective approach to coccidiosis is to raise chicklings in cages above the ground. Thus, the chickens are isolated from their own excrement. If a thick grass bedding is used, some anti-coccidiosis medication should be given with the feedstuffs right after the initial feeding and throughout the entire growth period. For example, 125 ppm sulfadimethoxine, 30 ppm chlorophenyl quanide, or dinitolmide (zoalene) up to the concentration of 0.0125 per cent can be added to the feed. The continuous application of anti-coccidiosis drugs could result in a drug resistance and a consequent outbreak of coccidiosis. If the results of the first trial are not promising, other medications should be considered. Two kinds of medications can be applied alternatively. Besides medical control, a clean, hygienic chicken house with ground bedding is essential. The addition of vitamins A and K to the feed can also increase coccidiosis resistance.
Collection and utilization of chicken manure
The constituent breakdown of chicken manure varies with the method of chicken raising (Table 9.5). Chicken manure will ferment and decompose a few hours after excretion, producing a total smell and animals will instinctively refuse to eat chicken manure unless they are accustomed to it. Therefore, the chicken manure must be deodorized before feeding. This can be done with ferrous sulphate or by fermentation. Ferrous sulphate for industrial use (FeSO4 . 7H2O, green vitriol) has a mild bactericidal function. After mixing it with chicken manure, there will be no fermentation, no decomposition, and no foul smell. The ferrous sulphate will absorb the moisture, however, making the pulverization and spreading of the powder very difficult. The chicken manure can be mixed with chimney dust at a rate of 50 per cent and then baked dry at 60–80°C. The resulting mixture will not absorb moisture and will spread easier. Usually 7 per cent ferrous sulphate and 3.5 per cent pulverized coal dust are blended with chicken manure. After drying, the mixture is odourless and can be fed to pigs, cows, fish, and even chickens at a rate of up to 20 per cent of the feedstuff. The nutritional breakdown of the mixture is as follows: moisture, 10.35 per cent; protein, 21.90 per cent; fat, 1.25 per cent; non-nitrogenous extracts, 21.33 per cent; crude cellulose, 7.13 per cent; minerals, 30.04 per cent; energy, 2161 cal/kg (1 cal = 4.19 J).
Table 9.5 Composition (%) of chicken manure (dry) from different chicken-raising methods.
|Constituent||Cage raising||Ground raising|
|Sawdust bedding||Dry grass bedding|
The fermentation of chicken manure can be manipulated to produce a palatable feed. If dried, pulverized grasses are used as the bedding, a mixture of chicken manure and dried, pulverized grass (about 14 per cent) are put into a fermentation pool (2 × 2 × 0.5 m) and equal amounts of dried, pulverized grass, silage, and wheat bran are added with a small amount of table salt. The fermentation pool is then filled with water, which occupies 70 per cent of the pool.
The mixture is stacked to 15 cm in height, and allowed to ferment for 4 h in the summer. If the temperature is over 40°C the fermented material should be spread out. The material should be heaped up to 20–30 cm in the spring and fall, and allowed to ferment for about a day. In the winter, the mixture should be stacked to 40–50 cm in height and covered with a plastic sheet for 3–4 days. The fermented feed has no foul smell, a slightly wine flavor, and pigs find it very palatable.
The nutritional value of fresh manure from a chicken less than 5 weeks old is high; pigs will eat this manure without any treatment. The manure of egg-laying hens contains about 60 per cent of the crude protein from the feedstuffs. The daily excreta of an egg-laying hen contains about 4 g of digestible protein. Fresh chicken manure from cage-cultured hens can be collected and immediately mixed with the pig feed. This mixture should only be fed to sows; feeding the mixture to fatteners may influence the quality of the pork.
Chicken manure contains latent pathogens and sterilization is necessary to prevent other animals from contracting chicken diseases. One common sterilization method is to use methyl alcohol bromide to fumigate the manure and the bedding. Fumigation can be performed in the storage basement of the silage tank or in specially designed tanks. Another sterilization method involves mixing the manure with formalin at a dose of 0.5–2 per cent and allowing the mixture to air dry, before use. Fresh chicken manure accounts for no more than 30 per cent of the cow or pig feed; a 15–25 per cent manure contents gives the best results.
Geese are mainly for human consumption and are herbivorous animals that can utilize some of the green, coarse feeds. Unlike ducks, geese do not have to use feeds of animal origin; therefore, the feed cost for geese is much lower than that for ducks. The well-known Chinese geese has strong ability to graze, matures early, and has a high output. The ratio of feed to meat, is higher for geese than for ducks, When raising geese on a fishpond the goose droppings go directly into the pond, fertilizing the water as well as feeding the fish.
The Chinese goose is famous for its early maturity and high output. There are large and small varieties, the lionhead being the largest Chinese variety and one of the largest varieties in the world. A mature lionhead goose weighs 10–12 kg, the gosling grows quickly, and a 75 to 90-day-old meat goose can weigh 5–7.7 kg. Their ability to seek food is poor, however, and they produce only 25–35 eggs/year. The Taihu goose is famous for its small size, the mature goose weighing only 3.5 kg. This variety matures earlier than the lionhead goose and lays around 80 eggs/year; some species, in fact, can lay over 100 eggs/year. The Taihu goose has a great ability to seek food and its consumption of feed is less; therefore, the Taihu goose can be more suitable to raise than other varieties. Meat goslings can be produced by crossing the high-yield Taihu goose (maternal) and the large lionhead goose (paternal) through artificial insemination.
Grazing of meat gosling
In the spring, the temperature gradually increases and the grasses sprout. This is the best time for the growth and grazing of meat goslings. After the wheat harvest, goslings can graze on the remains of the harvest and, therefore, less feed is required. Only about 1 kg of feed is required for each gosling up to 70 days old.
Newly-born goslings are timid and dislike the cold; therefore, they should be kept warm and divided into small groups. They must be fed at least six times daily at a fixed time. A midnight feeding is essential. Feedstuffs include fragmentary rice, chopped green cabbage, or green grass. After 4 or 5 days, the goslings can begin to graze and the distance of grazing can be increased gradually. After 15 days, they can be allowed out all day but should be kept in the hut at night to prevent losses as a result of predation. During fattening, if the weather is hot, the geese should be kept in the rivers, lakes, or ponds for the night. After 70 days, or when the average weight reaches 2.5 kg, the geese can be marketed.
Management and feeding of the breed goose
A simple goose house can be built on the bank of a fish pond. The house should face south and the southern side should be open or enclosed by low walls. There should also be a dry run of at least 5 m in width for feeding and resting. The connection between the dry run and the fish pond should have slope less than 30°. The fish pond should be surrounded by hedges about 60 cm high and the bottom of the goose house should be 20 cm higher than the outside. Grass is used as a bedding to keep the house dry. Straw is stacked in one corner of the house for laying eggs. A typical goose house can hold about 4 Taihu geese/m2 and the water area should be as large as possible.
To achieve a high fertilization rate of seed egg, there should be 15 male geese for every 100 female geese. Taihu geese can utilize green fodder, therefore, during the non-egg-laying season, raising breeder geese depends on grazing with a small amount of blighted rice as a supplementary food.
Table 9.6 Feed composition for the breeder goose.
|Month(s)||Daily feeding amount||Feed ingredient (%)||Metabolic energy|
|Blighted rice||Bran||Bran cake||Frag rice||Barnyard grass|
a 1 cal = 4.19 J.
The nutrients in this formula, especially the crude protein and metabolic energy, are too low. This is due to limitations in the food source and rising cost. Because Taihu geese have a propensity to graze and the ability to utilize coarse feed, however, they can adjust their intake according to energy and protein requirement. Thus, they can overcome the disadvantages in the formula in Table 9.6. If this feeding formula was improved, the egg-laying rate could increase.
Prevention and treatment of disease
Mature geese are highly disease-resistant. Goslings, however, are vulnerable to a variety of diseases. If they are kept in a large goose house with a dense population, a minor error in management could have devastating effects. The best preventive measures against goose diseases are proper rearing management, a sanitary environment, and proper vaccination.
The common infectious diseases are gosling pest, cholera avium, and yolk peritonitis. Gosling pest vaccine is now available in China. The mother goose should be inoculated with diluted (1:100) gosling pest vaccine 1 month before egg laying once a year; the goslings will be immune to the disease. Regular inoculation of cholera avium vaccine can prevent cholera in geese. It the flock is already infected, streptomycin should be injected at a dose of 100,000 IU (international units)/goose three times at 4-h intervals. Yolk peritonitis usually occurs during the egg-laying season. At present there is no vaccine for this disease. Streptomycin can be used for treatment and the whole flock should be administered furazolidonum mixed with the feeds at a dose of 25 mg/goose for 3 or 4 consecutive days. Besides medical control, sterilization, isolation and properly burying diseased carcasses should be practiced to prevent the spread of disease.
The Chinese have a tradition of eating duck eggs and processing them into salted or preserved eggs. Raising egg-laying ducks requires less and simpler equipment than goose raising. Ducks can produce more and larger eggs. Ducks live in groups, and graze on natural feeds. Therefore, raising egg-laying ducks is more profitable than raising egg-laying hens. On an integrated fish farm, the grow-out pond can be used to raise egg-laying ducks. Ducks are omnivorous water fowl that can use the by-products of as well as animal feeds. The nitrogen content of duck manure is twice that of goose manure. The phosphate content of duck manure is nearly three times that of goose manure.
Shaoxing duck is one of the best egg-laying species in China. It is a rather small species, a mature duck having an average weight of 1.25–1.50 kg. Its ability to seek food is strong, so it requires little artificial feed. It matures early and usually lays eggs at the age of 120 days producing 250–300 eggs/year. Highly productive ducks can lay more than 300 eggs/year. Each egg weighs about 55–65 g. Khaki-Compbell drakes from Holland have been crossed with Shaoxing female ducks. The hybrid vigor is obvious: first-generation hybrids begin to lay eggs after 102 days, producing an average of 287.7 eggs/year. Each egg weighs about 64.5 g. Therefore, one hybrid duck can produce about 18.6 kg of eggs/year. The economic benefit of this hybrid is about 50 per cent higher than that of Shaoxing duck.
Utilization of natural resources
Ducks are omnivorous water fowl. They have a great ability to seek food; therefore, they should be raised by grazing as much as possible. The natural resources of the rice fields, lakes, marshes, trenches, ditches, and river shoals can be utilized. Ducklings usually hatch in early fall and the paddy field can be used for grazing. Ducklings eat grass, snails, small fish, shrimp, and injurious insects in the paddy field. As the rice grows, the ducks can be transferred into the rivers, channels, ditches, lakes, or marshes for grazing. After the rice harvest, duck can be herded back to the rice paddy fields to graze on left-over rice, barnyard grass, snails, and mole crickets. Natural feeds are seasonally available and duck raising must take advantage of natural resources to save on artificial feeds. When grazing stops in November, the ducks begin to lay eggs.
Duck raising in fish ponds
Fish ponds can be used to raise ducks; however, ducks eat small fish and compete with black carp for snails. Therefore, ducks should be raised in grow-out ponds, which have a much bigger water area, or within an enclosed section of a large fish pond. The construction of a duck coop is similar to the construction of a goose house, but egg-laying ducks are more sensitive to the cold. Therefore, duck coops should be kept warm and there should be windows and doors on the southern wall to keep coops cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
If there are lakes, marshes, and river shoals rich in natural feeds close to the duck farm, grazing should be utilized to its utmost. Otherwise, the ducks could be bred in the coop, moving from the dry run to the wet run to the fish pond for food and rest, with all the egg-laying ducks living mainly on artificial feeds. Each Shaoxing duck must be fed 110–120 g of mixed feedstuff, including blighted rice, barn-yard grass, rice bran, fragmentary rice, and 50 g of animal feeds, such as fresh fish and pupae. Besides the 100–200 g/day of green vegetables for each duck, snails and Corbicula spp. are often used as supplements to meet calcium needs. The green fodder should be chopped and fresh fish should be cooked and then mixed with the green fodder. Feeds are given three times daily at set times. The Shaoxing duck is rather nervous and easily disturbed, which may influence their egg-laying ability. Therefore, the environment should be kept peaceful and quiet. Although the egg-laying duck is a water fowl, they must rest on land. Thus, the duck coop should be dry and the grass bedding should be thick in the winter to keep it warm and dry.
Prevention and treatment of disease
The most common infectious diseases of the egg-laying duck are duck pest and fowl cholera. The newly developed vaccine against duck pest has shown promising results, but treatments for fowl cholera are still unsatisfactory. To treat fowl cholera, each egg-laying duck is injected intramuscularly with 50,000 IU of streptomycin three times at 4-h intervals and 0.2 g/day of sulfadimethoxinum is given orally for 3 consecutive days. Sterilization, isolation, and properly burying diseased carcasses should be practiced to prevent the spread of disease.
Pigs are omnivorous. The length of its digestive tract is 14 times its body length. Feedstuffs are much better utilized by pigs than by chickens. Chinese pigs can tolerate and fully utilize coarse fodder as well as chicken excrement including the bedding. The pig has become one of the main animals in the complete fish-livestock-poultry system of integrated fish farming.
Pigsties on the pond dikes
Pigsties are usually built on the pond dike of an integrated fish farm so that the pig excrement can be directly flushed into the pond. Because the pond dike is not too wide, the pigsty is usually a single row, faces south, and has an inverted V-shaped roof. The depth of the pigsty from south to north is 4 m and the width of every house is 3 m. There should be a 1 m wide veranda on the southern side. Each house has an area of about 11 m2 and can hold 10 fattening hogs. The height from the ground to the eaves should be 2.0–2.2 m. To reduce costs the south side should only have a fence about 1.2 m high. The cement ground should be a little higher on the northern side. This facilitates the flow of excreta directly into the fish pond through the discharge ditches. This semi-open type of pigsty is cheaper to build, well-ventilated, receives sufficient sunlight, is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The feeding trough is installed on the southern side and pigs sleep on the northern side. This arrangement keeps the ground dry and is convenient for operation and management.
Utilization of hybrid vigour
The Taihu pig, bred in the Wuxi district of China, can copulate when it reaches 30 kg, normally at the age of 5 months. They mature earlier and produce more piglets per litter (15.5). Mature sows weigh about 125 kg. The quality of the pork is good, they use less fodder, and can tolerate coarse fodder. The growth rate for the fattening pig, however, is unsatisfactory. The Yorkshire stud pig has been crossed with the Taihu pig and the first generation hybrids have been used as fattening hogs with good results. As the standard of living in China improves, more lean meat is required. The Landrace hog for salted meat is being recommended for cross-breeding. A first-generation hybrid sow from the Yorkshire stud pig-Taihu sow cross has been crossed with Landrace stud pig. Offspring of this triple hybrid grow very rapidly. To fully utilize this good stock, artificial insemination is often used for breeding.
Pig fodders and rearing management
There are various fodders on an integrated fish farm that can be used as pig feed. However, to promote the growth and fattening of the hogs, their nutritional value should be increased. To lower the cost of pig farming, local produce and by-products of the farm should be fully utilized. The feeds should be nutritionally complete, including 55–60 per cent corn, barley, wheat bran, and rice bran; 5 per cent of soybean cake and cotton-seed cake; 15–25 per cent table salt; and 2–3 per cent bone powder and calcium carbonates. Green fodder should account for 15–30 per cent of the total fodder. Table 9.7 shows a feed formulation that could be used in an area that is rich in fodder crop.
Piglets may be produced from the sow of the same farm but are usually bought from a breeding farm. Piglet fodder should be given to the newly bought piglings, changing to pig fodder when the body weight reaches 20 kg. When the body weight reaches 30 kg, fattening fodders are maintained until the body weight is over 90 kg (Table 9.7).
Piglets must be properly trained to eat, sleep, and discharge waste at fixed positions. The feeding trough is usually placed on the southern side of the pigsty and a small amount of manure is placed near the corner of the manure exit on the southern side of the pigsty to teach the newly arrived piglets to discharge waste at that location. A clean grass bedding is stacked on the higher northern side for sleeping. Sometimes piglets discharge waste throughout the pigsty and the stockman must sweep the excreta into a fixed corner to keep the sleeping place clean. After several days, piglets develop good habits and keep their sleeping place dry and clean. The piglets are given a fixed amount of feed three times a day at a fixed time. The pigsty must be cleaned two or three times daily to ensure the piglets sleep and eat well.
Table 9.7 Component formulae (%), additives, analyses, and daily feeding amounts of artificial feeds for various sizes of pigs.
|Chinese scholartree leaf powder||-||5||5|
Digestive energy (cal/kg)a
Crude protein (%)
Daily feeding amount (kg/pig)
a 1 cal = 4.19 J.
Prevention and treatment of disease
The pig is more resistant to disease than the chicken. With proper management, a sanitary environment, and the necessary preventive measures, pigs will stay healthy. The common infectious diseases of pigs are pig pest, erysipelas, pasteurellosis, piglet paratyphoid, and pig asthema. There are vaccines for the first four diseases and a triple vaccine for the three fulminating infectious diseases: pig pest, erysipelas, and pasteurellosis. This triple vaccine is convenient to use and very effective. There is, as yet, no vaccine for pig asthema. The main preventative measures for pig asthema are quarantine and eliminating diseased pigs. Intramuscular injection of kanamycin at a dosage of 20,000–40,000 IU/kg body weight once daily for 5 consecutive days or intramuscular injection of oxytetracycline at a dosage of 20–40 mg/kg body weight once daily for 5–7 consecutive days will have certain curative effects. The sick pig should be isolated and sterilized, and dead pigs should be deeply buried or burned to prevent the spread of disease.
Milk Cow Production
A cow is a herbivorous ruminant and can efficiently utilize green forage, especially chicken manure with grass bedding. Chicken manure contains a large amount of nonprotein, nitrogenous compounds (uric acid or amide compounds) that cannot be effectively absorbed by pigs: however, milk cows can utilize these compounds. This is why milk cows are common in fish-livestock-poultry integration. The milk output of the cow is high, its economic benefit is great, and the amount of excreta produced is considerable.
Because grazing is the main method of cow raising, a large pasture is needed. In the winter, stall feeding is practiced. Because of the lack of a large pasture on an integrated fish farm, intensive stall feeding is used for milk cow raising. In front of a double-row cow barn, there is usually an enclosed playground. The cows are fed and milked in the stall and walk around in the playground. All the forages for the milk cows are supplied during stall breeding.
Black and white cows
The black and white cow is the highest milk-yielding type. Most countries of the world raise a variety of black and white milk cow which originated in the Netherlands. The Chinese black and white cow can adapt to the natural conditions of the local district and has a high milk productivity. A primiparous cow can yield 4000 kg of milk during 305 days of lactation; over 5000 kg of milk can be expected after the third pregnancy. The milk fat index is 3.203.5 per cent.
Prevention and treatment of disease
Tuberculosis and brucellosis are common infectious diseases of both humans and cows. Tuberculosis causes degeneration of the tubercle nodes on the lung and lymph nodes and brucellosis causes abortions and infertility and decreases the lactation of cows. These can infect both milk cows and humans and, therefore, quarantine measures must be practiced. Newly-bought milk cow should be isolated for three months and tuberculin tests should be performed three times by both intradermal inoculation and intraocular instillation. These cows should remain quarantined until they are proven disease-free. A similar test should be performed twice yearly for those cows without tuberculosis. If any cow develops tuberculosis, it should be isolated immediately and examined. All other cows should be examined 30–45 days after any outbreak until no positive case is found for three consecutive tests. All dairy workers should be regularly examined by X-ray. If any tuberculosis is found, the patient should be fed separately. Breeding of healthy cows should be enhanced to replace diseased cows and establish a new, healthy herd. The serum agglutination test can be used to detect brucellosis in milk cows. This test should be performed yearly. Healthy cows are given sheep type No. 5 brucellus bacillus (or pig type No. 2) attenuated vaccine for the prevention of brucellosis.
Forage and feeding of milk cows
Stall feeding is normally carried out in the dairy of an integrated fish farm and should be performed on a scientific basis. The daily feed formula and feeding plan must be set according to the nutritional content of the forage and the nutritional requirements of the animal. Feeding standards vary from country to country. Tables 9.8, 9.9 and 9.10 show the feeding and rearing standards of the United States.
The standards in Tables 9.8, 9.9 and 9.10 are minimums and 10–15 per cent could be added in practice. Because the body weight of the primiparous lactating cow is still increasing, their standards should be 20 per cent higher. If the proposed milk production is over 6000 kg, cows are usually given the feed for weaned, multiparous cow with a daily milk production of 15 kg.
The daily portion of forage for the milk cow is given according to milk production (the amount of milk produced and its fat content index). Feeding standards can be calculated according to the nutritional requirements to maintain daily milk production and the average body weight of the milk cow (600 kg). Using the nutritional requirements of the feeding standard for milk cows as reference, the total daily nutritional requirements can be determined. The physiological characteristics of different developmental stages of the milk cow should also be considered in the calculation, e.g., pregnancy. The price and palatability of the feeds are also considered. Forage for milk cows mainly consists of green and coarse feeds. In the winter or hay season, cows are fed 1 kg dry grass and crop stalks and 3–4 kg silage or 5–7 kg root tubers for every 100 kg body weight. In the grass-growing season, 8–10 kg green grass are given to the cows for every 100 kg body weight; 1 kg mixed fine forage is given for the production of every 2.5–3.0 kg milk. The fine forage mixture is 30 per cent cake-type feedstuffs (15 per cent if chicken manure is used), around 40 per cent grain feedstuffs (barley, corn, etc.) 10–15 per cent bran, 10 per cent by-products of processing, and 10 per cent minerals, salts, and fish meal. The nutritional components of different forages can be calculated from the nutrient table and amounts should be adjusted to meet the needs of the milk cow. Mixed forage production has developed very quickly in the past 20 years. Forage manufacturers use computers to calculate the needs of the milk cow and feeds are mixed automatically and a mixed whole forage is produced.
A milk cow should be fed a fixed amount three times daily at fixed times. Fine forage is usually given first, followed by fodders, and water. The forage must be fresh; iron nails and wires must be removed. Milk production can increase 10– 15 per cent if the milk cow drinks a sufficient amount of water. Exercise is also essential if maximum production is to be attained. The entire cow is brushed before milking; dry brushing in the winter; washing and brushing in the summer. The cow barn and playground should be cleaned frequently; cow manure and urine being washed directly through manure ditches into the fish ponds. For sterilization of the barn, which should be performed monthly, 5–20 per cent bleaching powder emulsion or 5 per cent cresol is used.
Table 9.8 Feeding standard for milk cows (daily): oat unit standard.
|Oat forage unit|
|Digestible crude protein|
Table 9.9 Feeding standared for milk cows (daily): milk net energy unit standard (NND).
|NND||Digestible crude protein|
a IU, International Units.
Table 9.10. Rearing standard (daily nutritional requirements for the production of 1 kg of milk).
|Oat unit standard||Milk net energy unit standard (NND)|
|Oat unit||Digestible crude protein|
|NND||Digestible crude protein|
From 4 to 5 days after parturition, only 2 kg of milk should be taken from the breast of the high-yielding milk cow. One third of the milk can be removed at 7 days and all the milk can be removed 9 days after parturition. High-quality hay with a small amount of fine feed and juicy forage is given to the weak cow as its main food within 3 days after delivery. Milk production gradually increases for 10–15 days after delivery. Fine quality grass, fine forage, and a sufficient amount of water should be guaranteed at peak lactation. Milk production begins to decrease gradually 3 months after delivery and weaning begins 60 days before the next delivery. The amount of fine feeds, green fodder, and juicy forage and the frequency of milking should be reduced 10 days before weaning. Milking should be performed every 2–4 days and stopped when production drops to 4–5 kg.
Milking technique and storage of fresh milk
Milking can be done manually or electrically. Integrated fish farms usually do not have many milk cows, therefore, manual milking is preferred. The udder should be washed with 50°C water and thoroughly massaged. Milking is performed by massaging two nipples at the same time. The first and second runs of milk are collected in a special container and should not be mixed with the milk of other runs. When most of the milk has been removed, the udder should again be thoroughly massaged. When all the milk is removed, the udder should be given a final massage.
The milk collected by manual milking should be filtered through gauze to remove hairs, dust, fecal material, and other impurities. It should then be cooled quickly and stored in a cool place. The milk should be thoroughly sterilized, tightly sealed, and transported to the milk-collecting station as soon as possible.
Artificial Breeding and Utilization of Earthworm
Earthworms are a good food for fowl and fish. Fresh earthworms contain 8–10 per cent protein; dry earthworms 56–66 per cent. Their effective energy content is 2920 cal/kg and their nutritional value is equivalent to that of fish meal. The reproductive ability of earthworms is very strong, multiplying 200 times/year under normal conditions. With proper management, an earthworm can reproduce 1000 times/year. No special equipment or fodder are required for earthworm breeding. Fermented cow dung, pig manure, weeds, and rank grass from the integrated fish farm mixed with the proper amount of silt are good fodders for earthworms. The large-scale propagation of earthworm not only improves the soil but also improves crop productivity. Artificial breeding of earthworms is not widely advocated and practiced in China. Some integrated fish farms consider earthworm breeding as a form of animal raising. Earthworms can serve as protein feeds for poultry, pigs, and fish and the results have been promising in enhancing yields.