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What to consider when planning a successful integrated layer project

When planning an integrated layer project for pullets, the most important issue is to secure the ability to supply a uniform quantity of eggs to the market at any given time.

The best way to do this is by constructing one pullet house that will provide three cycles of mature pullets for three layer houses during a one-year period. This method ensures uniform level of egg supply throughout the year, and optimal usage of the pullet house.

An optimal integration layer project balances between production results, operating costs and biosecurity standards. An outstanding layers integration project includes an entire production chain, from seed to final product.

Attention to biosecurity

In order to meet strict biosecurity standards, it is highly recommended to locate the project within a three-kilometer diameter around the center of the layer farm.

The pullet farm should ideally be positioned 1.5 km from the layer farm and consist of one pullet house for every three-layer houses. The pullet house should be equipped with fully automated feeding, drinking, heating, manure removing and climate control.

The layer farm will include three-layer houses for each pullet house, and should be equipped with fully automated feeding, drinking, egg collection, manure removing, ventilation and climate control.

Once completed, eggs will be conveyed to the packing center where they will be graded and packed, ready to be distributed.

The feed mill and grain storage facility will produce all the necessary feed for the pullets and layers and will be ideally located near the grain fields.

A compost site, located near the crop fields, will process the manure from layer and pullet houses into valuable compost to be used as fertilizer on the grain fields.

Full lifecycle

The lifecycle of a layer begins in a pullet house where it is reared and grown for its first 18 weeks. It is then moved to the layer house and production can begin at the age of 20 weeks.

During the “sanitary period,” which lasts three weeks, the empty pullet house is cleaned and disinfected. Once completed, the next batch of day-old pullets can be housed.

The production period lasts 60 weeks with peak production reached at the age of 26 weeks with gradual decrease until the depletion date.

Accumulated production graph of a layer farm consists of three layer houses, each housing 100,000 layers. The average weekly production will be about 1.6 million commercial eggs.

A basic set-up of an integration project consists of one pullet house and three layer houses, which can be doubled and tripled to desired production capacity.