He in­tro­duced poul­try wire cages in the Philip­pines

(Mem­oirs of an Agri Journalist)

Agriculture - - Contents -

Poul­try wire cages are just one of his con­tri­bu­tions to the lo­cal poul­try busi­ness. The cages are one cu­bic foot where two lay­ers are con­fined. It is where they eat and lay their eggs. They are not let loose dur­ing their egg-lay­ing lives which could be more than one year from the start of lay­ing when they are just over eight weeks old.

Be­fore Abel­lar in­tro­duced the idea in 1968, poul­try rais­ers grew their birds in colonies or in cages made of wood or bam­boo. The trou­ble with bam­boo or wooden cages is that they are not easy to clean. Ma­nure and feed par­ti­cles would stick to them. And there are crevices where ex­ter­nal par­a­sites like ticks and lice could hide. Eggs of in­testi­nal worms stick to the wooden cages and the birds would pick them up. In short, it is dif­fi­cult to main­tain proper san­i­ta­tion.

The san­i­ta­tion prob­lems are min­i­mized with the use of wire cages. This is be­cause ticks and lice don’t have any place to hide in wire cages. The eggs of in­testi­nal worms don’t stick on the wire so that chick­ens don’t get the par­a­site. There is also bet­ter ven­ti­la­tion so the birds don’t suf­fer from heat stroke. The in­side of the house is brighter when wire cages are used so there is no need for light­ing dur­ing day­time. One other im­por­tant ad­van­tage is that the eggs are cleaner and there’s less break­age.

Abel­lar said he got the idea of wire cages for poul­try dur­ing his stint in Tai­wan from 1965 to 1967. He was a tech­ni­cal man at the Cobb’s poul­try project in that coun­try and also served as a man­ager of a feed­mill there.

When he came back to the Philip­pines, he joined a mar­ket­ing firm that sold vet­eri­nary prod­ucts. But that was only for one year. He de­cided to be on his own and pur­sued the idea of in­tro­duc­ing wire cages for lay­ers.

Like any other tech­nol­ogy that was be­ing in­tro­duced for the first time, there was al­ways some re­sis­tance from the users. The main ob­jec­tion then was the higher cost. But of course, Abel­lar was pa­tient enough to ex­plain the ad­van­tages of wire cages. Aside from the san­i­ta­tion as­pect, wire cages are long last­ing and eco­nom­i­cal in the long run. They can be used con­tin­u­ously for 10 years or more with­out need for re­pairs.

It did not take very long for the big poul­try rais­ers to rec­og­nize the ad­van­tages of us­ing wire cages for lay­ers. Many of the coun­try’s big poul­try rais­ers be­came his loyal cus­tomers.

Abel­lar is nei­ther an agri­cul­ture grad­u­ate nor a vet­eri­nar­ian. But he may know more about the ins and outs of the poul­try in­dus­try than some agri­cul­tur­ists and vet­eri­nar­i­ans. He ac­tu­ally started out to be­come a med­i­cal doc­tor. He was al­ready a third year med­i­cal stu­dent at the FEU when he had to quit school­ing be­cause his fa­ther had died and had no means to con­tinue his stud­ies.

There were still only few vet­eri­nary grad­u­ates in the 1960s, and be­cause of his med­i­cal back­ground, he was hired by Mabuhay Feeds where he even­tu­ally rose to be­come the com­pany’s vet­eri­nary prod­ucts man­ager.

Af­ter two years with Mabuhay Feeds, he was rec­om­mended to the job in Tai­wan where he even­tu­ally picked up the idea of wire cages for lay­ers. He had come up with mod­els for large poul­try farms as well as small back­yard rais­ers.— ZAC B. SARIAN

Wire cages for lay­ers was in­tro­duced in the Philip­pines by Jose Abel­lar in 1968.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.