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 Animal Husbandry - Meat Animals  


Introduction - Rearing of animals for meat is one of the activities of the farmers in East Khasi hills District. There is a huge demand for meat in the state as a whole, which is imported for the outside the state. Thus there is ample scope for producing animals for meat production. Considering the climatic condition that prevails in the district, rearing of animals for meat is having a great potential for commercial production.

Varieties of animal reared for meat:     Cross-breed and Local 

Broiler Rabbit


Poultry -

1.     Variety

The demands of poultry products in East Khasi Hills District have been increased. The variety of breeds the farmed in the East Khasi Hills district are Husbbard and Vencob for meat (Information collected from Muktieh enterprise & Rapsang Premier Hatchery). Vanaraja variety developed in Hyderabad is to be tested (in ICAR, Umiam) to find out if they can be farmed in this area also.

2.     Packages

The chicks should be uniform size and weighing between 45-55 g and active (at least about80%). Do not mix chicks of different breeding stock. Maturity should be achieved at the 42 days. Male broiler will weigh more than the female broiler. Approximately, average weight should be 1689 gms for male broiler and 1331 gms for female broilers. Birds should be completely healthy, free from internal and external parasites and immune to all endemic viral and bacterial infections.

3.     Management

Starting at the time of placing the chicks in to the boxes, they are to be place in a spacious manner. The chicks should not be with held in the boxes for long time. Unloading of the chicks should be rapid and gentle.


Location: It shall be located on fairly raised and properly drained site in such a direction that maximum period of sunshine available.

Type of house and space: The birds should be kept either on deep litter or in cage. The distance between two types of houses should be 30-40 m and 10-20 m of same type. The bottom 1/3rd of the house is closed and remaining should be covered with wire net etc. the roof should be lean or gabbled type with locally available materials. The birds will require ½ sq. ft. area in brooder house (up to 4 weeks age) and 1.5 sq. ft. onwards. The birds will require 45-65 sq. cm. Space under hover and 250-500 chicks to be brood at one time in one place.

 Disinfection: Poultry houses should be thoroughly cleaned disinfected before the arrival of chicks. Equipments such as feeders, waterers and hovers should be cleaned and disinfected by formladehyde and potassium permanganate fume or lime solution. 

Temperature: The bird is warm blooded animal and they feel most comfortable at temperature of about 23-27ºC. However, at dry old age the brooder house temperature is required 35ºC and it can be decreased @ 3ºC per week to ideal level. The temperature should be maintained either through electric appliances or burning of smokeless coke etc.    

Light: Continuous light is required in brooder house and minimum 12-14 hrs. in finisher houses. The intensity of light should be 40-60 w per 20 sq. ft. of space.

Litter: The litter should be 7.5-10 cm deep. Saw dust, paddy husk or groundnut hulls can be used as litter. It should be dry and periodically stirred. When require mix lime, it will help in reducing the moisture level of litter and ammonia gas.

            Ventilation: Proper movement of fresh air through the house is required to remove carbon dioxide and ammonia fumes and control the moisture in the house as well as better litter condition. 

Feed and Nutrition-

Feed represents 60-75% of the total cost of poultry production. Therefore, efficiency in feeding is one of the key factors for successful poultry farming. The poultry ration to be given in the form of pellets or mash. The feed and ration shall be free from rancidity, musty odor, odor mold and insect infestation.

Feeding 3-4 times every day will stimulate feed consumption and prevents wastage. Generally one broiler chicken can consume total 4.5-5.5 kg compound feed in their period of 6-7 weeks.

The margin of safety is particularly important in the region for proteins, vitamins and minerals in the rations. Thus, supplementation of these nutrients is needed. Rations formulated for different categories of broiler birds are generally contain 16-22% protein and 2500-3000 Kcal metabolization energy. Thus, by considering the above facts, poultry ration should be prepared with locally available feed resources by incorporating cereals and their by-products like maize, rice polish, broken rice and job’s tears grain etc. (60%), vegetable proteins like groundnut cake, soybean cake and till cake etc. (27%), animal proteins like fish meal and meat meal etc. (10%) and vitamins, minerals and other additives (3%) to economize cost of feeding.

4.         Health Care Measures

The major diseases like Coccidiosis, Omphalytis, Infectious coryza, Salmonellosis, Monocytosis and Perosis are reported in this region. However, poultry farmers always must try to control mortality and in any case it should not increase over 10% for economical production. For this, all general practices should be followed like vaccination, treatment of water with chlorine/bleaching powder and treatment of litter with lime.Thus, following preventive measures to be strictly followed by the poultry farmers.

Vaccination Schedule - (0 – 3 days        Ranikhet / Fowl pox)

Preventive Measures

0 – 3rd Weeks     

B-Complex with antibiotics
4th Weeks Coccodiostate
4 - 5th Weeks Calcium tonic fortified with B12

To minimize loss from disease, “All in and all out” system is preferable. Other wise birds of different age groups should be reared separately.

Feed formula for broiler ration preparation

Feed (kg) Starter Finisher
Maize  50    60
R.P.  10  10
G.N.C. 22  15
Soya Meal  8   5
Fish Meal  8
Additives    2   2
Protein (%) 22  19

Nutrient Requirement

Nutrients 0-4 weeks 5-8 weeks
Protein %   22    19
ME. K cal/kg  2900   3000
Fiber %    6 6
Calcium %     1   1
Phosphorous %     0.5    0.5



The goat is a versatile animal. Marginal or undulating lands unsuitable for other types of livestock may be used and any inexpensive shelter will suffice. It is reared in East Khasi District mainly for meat. Some breeds of goat produce wool, some valued as source of leather and dung is sold for manure.

1.     Variety

In East Khasi Hills District, local breed is found to be in maximum number. Black Bengal goats can also be incorporated into the local goat population through crossbreeding for improvement of their meat quality and other productive parameters (Information collected form ICAR).

2.      Management

The following are some examples of housing:-

  1. Stall System

  2. Loose Housing

  3. Box system

  4. Ground Level  

  5. Stall housing Elevate floor

  6. ‘Lean to’ type of shed

Apart from the above housing the following sheds are also required:

  1. Shed for bucks 

  2. General flock shed

  3. Kidding shed   

  4. Quarantine shed


Following are the important information relating to reproduction

  1. Age for breeding for females and males  -           12 to 15 months

  2. Weight of the above                               -           Above 18 Kgs.

  3. Age of the first kidding                           -           17 to 20 months

  4. Oestrus Cycle                                        -           17 to 21days

  5. Duration of Heat                                    -           1 to 2days

  6. Gestation Period                                    -           145 to 155 days


Apart from the normal feeding which is abundant in the surrounding the following different types of feeding ate maintained these days:

  1. Finisher ration

  2. Ration for pregnant animal

  3. Ration for

  4. Ration for buck

  5. Starter ration

There are some of computed ration is shown as follows:-

Starter ration ingredients+

Percentage (%)

For grower







Groundnut Cake



Wheat bran



Mineral Mixture



Common salt






Apart from the above information owner should take the responsibility of watching the animal for any sign of illness and immediately report to the concern veterinarian for treatment. Also vaccination should be given in routine as per the guidance from the veterinary hospital, dispensary and aid centre.


Broiler Rabbit-

1.  Variety

Rabbit can be introduced as a micro livestock in East Khasi Hills Districts for meat, fur and wool production. Two breeds of meat breeds, viz. New Zealand White and Soviet Chinchilla, in order of preference were recommended for production. Meat rabbits were recommended for the medium and low altitude areas.

2.   Packages

Technology of production in cage and hutch rearing was perfected for the benefit of the farmers:

(a)  Breeding age:    7 months

(b)  Weaning age     42 days

(c)  Slaughter age    90 days

(d)  Dressing percentage

With head         : 62%

Without            : 56%

Small body size:

They require less feed ad space to accommodate and small carcass that can be consumed by a family in one meal.

Short generation and high reproduction potential:

The rabbit is highly prolific animal. They can be bred at any time of the year even 24 hours after delivery. Their gestation period is 30 days and the young rabbit matures at an early age and become ready for production cycle. An adult rabbit can produce 20-25 young ones in a year. 

Utilization of non Competitive food:

Rabbit do not compete for grains meant for human consumption and can be successfully raised on vegetable waste, grass, tree leaves, weeds, etc.

Quick Growth:

Rabbit can attain a weight 0f 1.5 – 1.8 kg within 10-12 weeks.


The rabbit meat is a whole some and tasty product compared to other meats being high in protein, low in fat and calorie.

Fur and Skin:

Besides meat, rabbit also produces fur and skin as by-product for preparation of various apparel item such a children garments, caps, hand gloves, fancy bags, etc.

3.   Management

The management of rabbit is similar to that of other animal. It is simple in many aspects to manage a rabbit farm. However, it requires a regular attention for maximum production.

Hutch System:

It is a self contained cage with or without nest box. The roof is made of thatch grass/asbestos/C.G.I. sheet. The hutches can be moved from one place to another depending upon the season. The system is generally used for back yard rabbit rearing.

Shed System with Cages:

This system is generally prepared for commercial rabbit production. The size depends upon the number of rabbits to be handled by the raisers. The cages are arranged inside the shed either in single or two tier system.

Feeding and watering:

Feeding depends on type of feed available. In a back yard few rabbit can be reared with the kitchen waste and other available forages. But in large scale balanced concentrated (pelleted) feed is a must. Pelleted feed should be given at a rate of 100 gm/day/rabbit with 50 gm in the morning and 50 gm in the morning and 50 in the evening. Watering is provided once a day, but it should be available for both day and night.


Generally the rabbit attains at 6-7 months of age. Mating is to be either morning or in the evening. For mating the female rabbit is to be taken to the male rabbit cage. After successful mating the male rabbit is generally falls down either on the right or on the left side of the female with a typical groaning sound.

The pregnancy period of rabbit is 30 days. The breeding should be planned in such a manner that about 4-5 litters (delivery) are obtained per female/year. A nest box/dry cleaned hay should be kept in the cage at around 25th day of the pregnancy to help the doe in preparing nest for new born babies.

Care of the New Born:

The new born kits are helpless animals as they are blind and devoid of body hair. The kits start developing hair on 4th day and open their eyes after 10 days. The kits should be examined daily and the dead ones should be removed. When the bedding material is wet it should be replaced with fresh clean bedding.


The young rabbits are separated from their mother between 42-45 days depending on their growth and capacity to eat. No sudden change of feed is advisable during weaning period. It is better to keep the young ones in a group along with their little mates for a few days after which may be gradually shifted to individual cages.


Regular cleaning of the shed/cage is very essential.

Slaughtering for meat and fur:

If the male population is more in the farm and all are not needed for breeding purpose then the culled animal may be slaughtered at 90 days of age for meat purpose and the fur may be kept for processing.  

Common Diseases:

If management is very good then the occurrence of disease is very less. However the important diseases of rabbits are coccidiosis, ear canker, mites’ infection, mucoid enteritis and hocksore. Sulment was found to be choice of drug to control coccidiosis and Neocidol for ear canker. Parasitic diseases of rabbits, peak incidence and preventive measures are listed in the following Table -

Type of parasites

Peak incidence

Control measures

A.Helminth Parasites



Passalurus ambiguous

Through the year 

Piperazine @ 250 – 300 mg/kg in feed or water (Single doze) for infected animals

B.Protozoan parasites




April to September

Preventive treatment

  • Sodium-sulpha-dimethyl-pyrimidine (12.5% W/V)

  • Dose: 60 ml/4 litre of drinking water on 1st day followed by 30 ml/4 litre of drinking water on 2nd, 3rd and 4th day.

Curative treatment

  • Sodium-sulpha-dimethyl-pyrimidine (12.5% W/V)

  • Dose: 1 ml/kg b.w. on 1st day followed by 0.5 ml/kg b.wt. on 2nd, 3rd and 4th day.





October to Febuary

ForButox(Deltamethrin) @ 50 ppm for Sarcoptes scabiei and @ 75 ppm for Psoroptes cuniculi (Two applications at 10 days interval).

If diseases occurs, please contact Animal Production Div. ICAR, Umiam, or nearest Veterinary Department hospital. 












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