Integrated Poultry Fish Farming System

Integrated Poultry Fish Farming System

Integrated Farming System is a resource management strategy to achieve economic and sustained agricultural production to meet diverse requirements of farm household while preserving the resource base and maintaining high environmental quality. This farming system seems to answer the problems of increasing food production, increasing net farm income, improving nutritional status, promoting natural resource management, sustainable use of land, water and biota. Integration of chicken with fish farming might be an economically viable and productive system for both rural farmers and commercial entrepreneurs.Supplemental feed and fertilizers – the high cost inputs in fish farming are not needed in such systems and the cost of inputs is therefore reduced. Poultry manure is a complete fertilizer, with the characteristics of both organic as well as inorganic fertilizers.

Poultry-cum- Fish Farming:

The integrated farming of fish and poultry can be divided into 2 groups:

  1. Fish culture practice.
  2. Poultry husbandry practice.
  3. Fish culture practice:

Fish culture practice followed in the integration of poultry-cum-fish farming is the “Composite fish culture system”. It is very popular in India. More than one species of fish are reared in the same pond.

Considerations for selection:

  • The selected species should be compatible with each other
  • The species and their combination ratio should be adjusted according to the amount of feed stuff and manure that are expected to be made available by the other sub-system
  • As far as possible the species should fast growing
  • Selected fish should be hardy and resistant to common diseases and parasites
  • The species should be able to tolerate low oxygen levels and high organic content in the water.

Stocking density:

Stock 600-1000 fingerlings of Indian carps, catla (Catla catla), rohu (Labeo rohita), mrigal (Cirrhinus mrigala) and Chinese carps, silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) and common carp (Cyprinus carpio). Species stocking rate could be 40 percent surface feeders (catla and silver carp), 20 percent rohu, 30 percent bottom feeders (mrigal and common carp) and 10 percent grass carp.


Side slope should be 1.5:1. Embankment should be 1 ft more than the high flood level of the selected site. In case of clayey soil, pond dyke’s external side should be 1:1.5 & internal side slope should be 1:2.

Construction of inlet and outlet should be done, fencing is also required. Fill the pond with fresh water to a depth of 2-2.5m.


Depending upon the soil and water pH, requirement of quicklime in kg/ha:

pH                    quicklime(kg/ha)

  • 2000

5-6                    1200

6-6.5                 1000

6.5-7                  400

1/3rd of the required is applied initially to the pond and rest amount is divided into 11 installments and applied monthly.


Done after 7-10 days of liming. Fertilizers used are both organic and inorganic.

Cow dung @ 5300-5500 kg/ha/year is applied as organic fertilizer.

Inorganic fertilizer

Urea @ 100-110 kg/ha/year

Single super phosphate @ 22-26 kg/ha/year

Murate of potash @ 95-100 kg/ha/year

Applied after 7 days of application of organic fertilizer.

1/3rd of the required amount is applied initially and rest amount is divided equally in 11 installments and applied monthly.


Grass carp attain 1 kg weight in 7-8 months, Rohu, Catla, Mirika etc. attain 1 kg weight in 1 year.

Harvesting may be done by removing only the table size fish or the complete stock.

2.Poultry husbandry practice:

Deep litter system:

In the deep litter system the poultry houses are constructed on the pond embankment or any convenient places of the fish farm. In this system the floor of the pen is covered with 10- 15 cm thick easily available dry organic matter like- dry leaves of tree, chopped straw, hay, saw dust, lime, etc. The dropping of the birds which fall gradually combined with the materials used and bacterial action started. When the depth of litter becomes less, more organic matter is added to maintain the sufficient depth of litter. The litter is regularly stirred and after 2 months it becomes dip litter and in about 10- 12 months it becomes fully built up litter In case of litter becomes damp,lime is applied to make it dry. This is preferred over the battery or cage system because of higher manorial value of dip litter or fully built up litter.

Height of the house from floor to roof should be 3.6m and height of the walls should be 2.72m.

For 1 ha pond ie. 7000-8000 fishes, 500-600 birds are required. In 1 year, 25-30 birds can produce 1 ton deep litter. Daily 50 kg / ha water spread area poultry dung is applied to fish pond.  Space  required for 1 bird is 0.3 to 0.4 m2. So, 1 house can accommodate 250 birds. For 1 ha pond, 2 poultry houses with housing capacity of 250 birds should be prepared.

Selection of poultry birds:

In the integration of fish and poultry farming both egg type and meat type are farmed. In the cage and dip litter system both egg type and meat type are grown. But in storied house (chang ghar) egg type birds are farmed. In the dip litter and cage system any of the high yield (egg and meat) variety of poultry birds like- Rhode island, Leg horn, etc. are suitable, but in storied house Kisten golden breed is only preferred.

Housing of birds:

Just 1 month prior to stocking of fish pond with fish seed after vaccination against viral diseases and after providing all prophylactic measures about 8 week aged poultry birds are brought to the house for farming. Before introduction of birds into the house the house and the utensils to be used in the poultry raising practice should be disinfected with disinfectant like- potash. When the poultry birds becomes 18 months aged then their egg laying capacity will be reduced and the old stock should sale out and a new stock should introduced to the house after cleaning the house with disinfectant.

Feeding of birds:

Under litter system the poultry birds are fed according to their age. The normal feeding practices followed-

  1. Skik mash– 40- 45 gm/ day in 3- 4 times a day up to the age of 8 week of birds.
  2. Grower mash– 50- 70 gm/ day in 5- 6 times a day from 8- 18 weeks age of birds.
  3. Layers mash– 80- 120 gm/ day in 3- 4 times a day from 18 weeks age of birds.

Along with feed there should be sufficient supply of drinking water to the farmed poultry birds is required. For dust bath of birds an earthen pot of about 2 feet diameter filled with clean and dry earth are place in the house. Roosting starts from 8 weeks age of the chicken and so perches are provided in the pen for roosting of birds at the rate of 8 inch/ perch/ bird.

Egg laying management:

After the birds are 22 weeks of age, egg nests are kept in the house. Every 5-6 birds require 1 nest.


In this poultry-cum- fish farming from a hector of water spread area pond in 1 year 3500- 4000 kg fish, 650 kg chicken meat and 120000 nos. of chicken eggs can be produced.


1.Construction expenses:     

The expenses for earth moving, RCC work, workshop, repair and spare parts, cost of construction materials, like- brick, rubble, steel, cement, etc. need to be surveyed. The major item of construction expenses goes for earth moving and RCC work. Earth moving can be done either manually or mechanically depending on the cost of labour.

2.Marketing facilities:

The farmed product can be sold either to internal market or to export market. In both cases the taste of consumer and the provision for supplying the product to the consumer should be observed.

3.Growth of unwanted aquatic weed in the pond:

Unwanted aquatic weeds are needed to be removed from fish pond as it reduces the pond productivity. These unwanted aquatic weeds could be removed- manually, mechanically, chemically and biologically. If possible manual removal method is better. Grass carp, java puthi, tilapia, etc. are good biological agent in removing aquatic weed from fish pond. Chemicals such as 2-4 D, 4 D Ester, Simazine. Paraquat, Urea etc. can also be used.

4.Weed fishes, insects, unwanted organisms etc. in the pond:

These need to be removed. Removal can be done by repeated netting or by using chemicals. Soap-oil emulsion (soap: oil :: 1: 3) over the pond water surface is most commonly used technique to kill the insects in fishponds. Mohua oil cake@ 200- 250 ppm or tea seed cake@ 750 –975 Kg/ha(100- 130 Kg/bigha) give encouraging result in controlling weed fishes of a pond and it also helps in reducing the quantity of organic fertilizer required by 50%. Commercially available bleaching powder@ 97- 113 Kg/ha (13- 15 Kg/bigha) can also be used as fish toxicant.

  1. Algal bloom:

Some time a thick layer of algal bloom of brown or green colour is seen over the water surface of pond. This can be removed from fish pond by using a piece of split bamboo followed by liming based on water PH as mentioned earlier. Chemicals like- coppersulphate @ 0.1- 0.5 mg/lit. of water or diuron@ 0.3- 0.5 mg/lit. of water also helps in controlling this bloom.

  1. Partial replenishment of water:

Since total dewatering is not possible, so depending on the feasibility some percentage of pond water may be pump out and the same is refilled with new water. But the water depth should be restricted to 2- 2.5 m for good production of fish.

7.Ammonia in pond water:

Ammonia occurs in pond water in 2 forms i.e. ionized and unionized. Unionized ammonia toxic to fish. Ammonium (NH4) is lethal to fishes only at a level above 16 ppm while ammonia (NH3) is lethal at a level above 0.02 ppm. If the unionized ammonia concentration is increased then the fish may die. Control the water temperature, pHand also the concentration of phytoplankton in the pond and for that purpose take the renovative measures given in case of changes of water pH& temperature.

8.Phytoplankton bloom:

The sudden increase of population of certain planktonic algal group as thick mass in water is called phytoplankton bloom. It is identified by the deep green or blue green or reddish green colour of the pond water. During the day time phytoplankton produces excess oxygen and during night and cloudy days they absorb dissolved oxygen from water for their respiration resulting dissolved oxygen depletion and fish mortality. The death and decay of algae also cause dissolved oxygen depletion. The reason for this algal bloom in pond water is the presence of excess nutrients in water. Therefore if this problem encountered in the fish culture pond then supply poultry manure to the pond should immediately be cut off and the remedial measures should be taken as mentioned in the case of algal bloom cited in the renovation measures of a pond which can not be dried.

  1. Changes in water temperature:

It leads to loss of appetite of cultured fish. Fish will also shows poor growth and they become susceptible to diseases. If the water temperature changes to a markable level then supplying feed and fertilizer to the pond should immediately be stopped. Replenishment of water from a nearby source, harvesting the table size fish, etc. are some of the corrective measures to be taken for it.

Note: Apart from the above cited water quality parameters the other water quality parameters to be noted are- total alkalinity, turbidity, micronutrients, chemical pollutants, insecticide, organic matter, presence of aquatic vegetation, etc. are to be checked regularly for good production from a fish pond.

  1. Fish health management:

Cultured fish should be checked regularly for their health. If any deviation in their normal behaviour is seen then they should be treated with the advice of an expert

  1. Health management in poultry:

Poultry birds  suffer from viral, bacterial, parasitic, fungal and nutritional diseases. Keeping the poultry house clean and dry and vaccinating the farmed stock of the poultry birds against all the viral diseases can help in maintaining a healthy stock of chicken. Before bringing the poultry birds into the house the house and utensils to be used in the farming practices should be disinfected. The farm chicken should be fed with balanced feed. The poultry birds should be dewormed at least once in a month. The veterinary expert should be consulted for any type of poultry disease and accordingly steps may be taken.


  1. Procurement of fish, poultry meat as well as chicken eggs from same farming system.

2.Water from fish pond can be used for poultry husbandry practice.
3.The transportation cost of the manure is not involved.

4.The nutritive value of applied fresh manure is much higher than dry and mixed with bedding materials e.g. saw dust or rice husk.

5.Some parts of the manure is consumed directly by the fish.

6.No supplementary feed is needed for the fish.

7.No extra space is required for chicken farming. Chicken sheds can be constructed over the pond water or on the dyke.

8.More production of animal protein will be ensured from the same area of minimum land.

9.The overall farm production and income will increase.


In integrated fish-layer farming systems, direct deposit of fresh chicken manure to fish ponds can produce enough natural fish feed organisms, thus maximising profit and reduces production and feed cost. Higher production of animal protein can be achieved from the same area of minimum land with this system. Integrated layer-fish farming systems also provide employment opportunities. Poultry manure is a complete fertiliser. The most valuable poultry production systems for fish production are those systems which produce nutrient-rich and collectable waste. Layers produce more calcium and phosphorus-rich excreta than broilers. The direct use of egglaying where the birds are of constant weight and produce fairly constant levels of waste, are easier to manage than broilers in which waste availability is cyclical


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Chnnabasavanna AS, Biradar DP. 2007 Relative performance of different rice-fish-poultry integrated farming system models with respect to system productivity and economics. Karnataka J Agric Sci., 20(4) : 706-709.

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NACA, 1989. Integrated Fish Farming in China. NACA Technical Manual 7. p.227.

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Sandeep Kour and Asma Khan

Division of Livestock Production and Management, F.V.Sc.& AH, Sher-e-Kashmir University of  Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Jammu

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