I have had problems with the quality of chicken feed

Dear Editor,

I observed over the past months that the quality of chicken feed produced by Guyana Stockfeeds Ltd, is poor. The feed doesn’t have corn, soya,and all the other chemical components that will give the chickens good growth and good health. What can be seen in the feed is lots of fine rice, bran and copra meal.

The chickens that are hatched from all the hatcheries are also of very poor quality, from every 1000 baby chicks, farmers like myself are getting up to 30% in mortality.

The most we used to get was 10% mortality. Then I observed that the chickens are growing unevenly thus posing a threat in the weight average at the end of every crop of birds reared.

It seemed to me that these hatcheries are buying some very low quality eggs to hatch, thus the hatch they give out to farmers is costing them millions of dollars in losses because of a high mortality rate.

However, many hatcheries that have their own chicken farms have very little mortality, and very rapid growth rate of the chickens they produced.

The Ministry of Agricul-ture and the Bureau of Standards must take a keener look at these issues. For the past 2 weeks Guyana Stockfeeds raised their feed cost twice. I am paying $200 more per bag of feed in the past 2 weeks.

Fine rice is over $2000 per bag, the cost to grow chickens is on the increase, while the price is going down because of a glut in the market. The chickens are resisting treatment, the drugs will cause an increase in the death rate because of poor resistance in the birds because of poor quality eggs hatched. Some chickens are flying like ducks all because of poor quality feed.

Yours faithfully,

Rev.Gideon Cecil

Editor’s note

We sent a copy of this letter to Mr Robert Badal the Chief Executive Officer of Guyana Stockfeeds Limited for his comments and received the following response:

“Thank you for the opportunity to respond to Rev Cecil’s complaint.

My company does provide an extension service that responds to complaints from poultry and other farmers. So far this year we have received no complaints on the quality of our Kaituk brand of feeds.

All farmers that use our feeds have reported excellent results which mean low mortality, excellent feed conversion and profitability. After receiving your letter I contacted a few farmers by telephone. They have all indicated that they experienced no problems as far as the quality of our feeds is concerned.

Our poultry feed to which the Reverend alluded comprises a unique blend of corn, rice, soya, vitamins and minerals etc. In fact since the beginning of 2007 we have increased the level of corn in our feeds because of the inability of the local rice industry to supply us with sufficient inputs of rice and bran.

As regards day old chicks, we continue to use the same sources of hatching eggs as we have used over the last three years. We monitor every shipment of eggs on arrival, the age, flock number, and hatchability of each flock. We also monitor the performance of the chicks we supply as regards to mortality, growth and weight gain. From all reports we are confident that we supply the best quality day old chicks available in Guyana.

The price of our feeds is reflective of the increased cost of raw materials locally and internationally. We were forced to increase the price of feeds this year by $200 (less than 6%) on account of significant increases in the cost of all raw materials including broken rice that moved from $14 per pound to its current price of $20 per pound, wheat midds and rice bran from $6 to $10 per lb and corn, soya and other raw materials by more than 25% this year.

I would advise Rev. Cecil to check his source of feed as any feed without corn would not originate from Guyana Stockfeeds Inc. And if he contacts me I will have my extension officer visit his address and verify his concerns.”

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