In general, poultry are raised in four ways:
- Intensive – In this system, the birds are kept indoors. Conventionally, broilers are raised on deep litter, and layers are kept in cages. In slat system of rearing, plastic or wooden slats with rounded edges may be used. This is more comfortable resulting in fewer foot problems. Plastic slat floor is designed to have an optimum hole to let manure fall through but have comfortable surface to let chicken walk around. As the bird’s feet stay cleaner, they produce cleaner eggs and stay healthier.
- Semi-intensive – In this system, birds are provided with a fenced open space for natural activity, feed and water are provided in an accessible shelter within the open space.
- Free range or Extensive – Birds range freely during the day – usually in a pasture – and return to a shelter at night.
- Backyard system – It is a traditional system practiced in Kerala where some amount of supplementary feed is provided to the birds.