What is a high reproduction rate?
Reproduction rate, particularly in livestock farming, refers to the number of offspring that an animal or bird gives birth to or hatches. Animals that reproduce a high number of offspring at a go can be considered to have a high reproduction rate. In the context of this article, we shall focus on animals that are capable of reproducing a minimum of 5 offspring in a single reproduction cycle.
Why should you choose a farm with a high reproduction rate?
Farms with high reproduction rates are associated with high profitability. Many offspring present the farmer with an opportunity to earn more through the sale of the offspring. Such farms have the ability to be self-sustaining. Surplus offspring are sold to help cater for the cost of the remaining offspring and breeding stock.
High reproducing animals also assure the farmer of better continuity on the farm. From the offspring, the farmer is able to choose offspring with the best characteristics to be part of the future breeding stock on the farm.
How we determine our top Farms with a high reproduction rate
We determine our top farms with a high reproduction rate on the basis of the following factors;
The expected average number of offspring per animal
Top 5 Farms with a High Reproduction Rate
Pigs have the highest rate of reproduction among all livestock animals. Pigs can give birth to a maximum of 16 piglets. During the first pregnancy, sows give birth to the least number of piglets. This can range from 6 piglets to 10 piglets.
Pigs have a gestation period of 3 months 3 weeks and 3 days. This period is relatively short when compared to cows for instance, which have a gestation period of approximately 9 months. The gestation period of pigs allows farmers to be able to breed their pigs twice per year. Bred twice per year, each sow can give birth to a total of 20 piglets per year.
Learn more about pig farming in Africa.
Ducks are very productive when reared under great care. The reproduction rate of ducks is highly dependent on the breed. Muscovy ducks, which are the most common in Africa, lay up to 15 eggs before they begin incubating the eggs. They hatch these eggs after 35 days. On the other hand, Pekin ducks and Rouen ducks can lay between 180 eggs to 220 eggs per year. They take 28 days to hatch their eggs.
With these figures, farmers looking to easily increase their flock population can consider duck farming, especially the two latter breeds.
Learn more about duck farming in Africa.
Rabbits can give birth to between 1 to 12 kittens. Rabbit offspring are referred to as kittens. Averagely, rabbits give birth to 5 kittens. They have the shortest gestation period which ranges from 25 to 30 days depending on the breed. What this means is that rabbits can be bred over 4 times within a year.
What makes rabbits highly productive is the fact that they are induced ovulators. Induced ovulation means that the female rabbit (doe) ovulates every time she gets mounted by a buck. A rabbit can get pregnant within a few minutes of giving birth if mated. This is highly discouraged. Bucks and does must be housed separately to prevent this from happening.
Learn more about rabbit farming in Africa
Turkeys can lay over 100 eggs in a single year. For this to happen, however, the eggs have to be collected every time the turkey lays them. If not, the turkey will lay a maximum of 17 eggs and begin incubating them. The eggs hatch after 28 days. Mostly, turkeys may only lay and hatch their eggs once per year. Despite this, a return rate of over 10 poults per year per turkey stills qualifies as a high reproduction rate.
Learn more about turkey farming in Africa
Indigenous chickens have a high reproduction rate. They can hatch and raise chicks three times in a year if maintained well. They can hatch over 5 times in a year if the chicks are withdrawn from the hen immediately form the hen and placed in a brooder. This action eliminates the hen’s responsibility for raising the chicks. It also accelerates the hen’s hormonal readiness to mate, lay, and hatch more eggs. With this strategy, one hen can hatch up to 75 chicks in a calendar year.
Learn more about chicken farming in Africa.
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