Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Producers who raise pastured poultry and want to maintain egg production this winter should keep their birds as warm and dry as possible, according to experts from the Purdue University College of Agriculture.A good first step is to provide indoor accommodations for the flock.“Producers should insulate housing, provide heat, make sure water is kept unfrozen and keep hens inside on extremely cold days to avoid frostbitten combs and wattles,” said Patricia Hester, professor of animal sciences.Providing shelter has a number of benefits, said Delaware County Extension educator Michael O’Donnell, a pastured poultry producer.“The most important thing for laying birds when it’s cold out is to have an area where the birds can get out of the elements so they can get to dry bedding, be able to roost up and not have a draft running through their area,” he said.A small coop, shed or barn are housing options that allow birds to get out of the elements and provide space for them to move around, Hester said. According to the Humane Farm Animal Care poultry housing standards, exits to the outdoors should be placed every 50 feet in large barns and should be 18 inches high and 21 inches wide. These exits may also provide ventilation, but if condensation appears on coop windows, additional airflow is required.Perches are also recommended to keep birds comfortable. Shelters should be kept above single-digit temperatures to avoid frostbite. To minimize the risk of accidental fires, producers should pay close attention to indoor heaters.O’Donnell recommended using straw, wood chips or wood shavings as indoor bedding. Sand, dirt and mulch are good materials for a dust bath, which birds need to keep clean and limit pest infestations.Poultry also need access to water at all times because they are constantly breathing out moisture, using it in egg production or passing it through waste. If the coop temperature dips below freezing but stays above single-digit temperatures, it may be necessary to heat drinking water using a base heater or an electric heater that can sit inside a water dish. O’Donnell advises checking the water often to ensure it does not run out, spill over or become contaminated.Producers may also need to provide more feed for their poultry because birds use more energy in winter to regulate their body temperatures. If the birds don’t have enough to eat, they might lack the energy needed to produce strong eggs and maintain good health. That is why feeders should be kept filled.“Laying hens eat more feed in cold weather,” Hester said. “When they are outside, they have access to roughage in the field. When they are inside, they tend to eat more feed and less roughage due to lack of availability.”It is also important to make sure the birds get enough of the calcium they need to produce strong egg shells. One solution is to provide them with a diet that includes crushed oyster shells.O’Donnell said laying hens may not produce as many eggs as daylight dwindles.“Laying cycles can be triggered by light exposure, so a light source on a timer may be helpful in that case — you can have a light turn on before the sun is up to mimic a longer day,” he said.For more information on poultry management practices, call the Indiana State Poultry Association at 765-494-8517, or visit their website: http://www.inpoultry.com/.
Suresh Raina celebrates after taking the wicket of England’s Alex Hales (right), during at Trent Bridge cricket ground in Nottingham, England, on August 30, 2014. Photo: APAmbati Rayudu scored an unbeaten 64 as India relied on an all-round performance to defeat England by six wickets in the third cricket one-dayer and take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series on Saturday.Rayudu, who was drafted in place of an injured Rohit Sharma, stitched 87 runs with Suresh Raina (42) from 14.5 overs for the fourth wicket as India chased down the modest target of 228 with 42 balls to spare.Ravichandran Ashwin, however, took home the Man of the Match award for his excellent performance with the ball as he picked up three wickets giving away just 37 runs.Ajinkya Rahane, who was promoted to opener’s slot, made 45 while Virat Kohli struck 40, his highest innings score of the tour so far, as the Indian batsmen had an easy outing against a pedestrian-looking English bowling at Trent Bridge.Rayudu grabbed his chance of making it to the playing eleven with both hands as he scored his third half century in his 14th ODI. He hit six fours in his 78-ball unbeaten knock.Rayudu himself struck the winning runs a two off James Tredwell as India reached 228 for four in 43 overs to fashion a clinical win to the celebration of the Indians at the dressing room and sizeble supporters at the stand.Ravindra Jadeja was the other unbeaten batsman on 12.The visiting batsmen played sensible cricket without taking much risks after their bowlers, led by off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (3/39), had put them on top by dismissing England for 227.advertisementShikhar Dhawan was the lone Indian batsman who did not make a substantial contribution in the match which saw home side paceman James Anderson being booed by Indian supporters.Anderson was involved in an ugly spat with Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in the first Test at the same venue here. India had lost the five-match Test series 1-3.The first ODI at Bristol was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rains. The remaining two ODIs of the series will be played at Birmingham (Sept 2) and Leeds (Sept 5).Teams:England: Alastair Cook (C), Alex Hales, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Steven Finn, James Tredwell and James AndersonIndia: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C & wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Mohit Sharma.Scorecard: