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How much space you need for your poultry farm

The needed space for the poultry farm depends on the number of birds you like to raise and other structures you want to put in place on the farm. The structures could include worker’s house, feed mill, feed storage house, egg depot etc. and all these will determine the space needed.

It is therefore highly necessary that experts are carried along to guide in the construction so as to maximize the space available.

Space Requirements for Poultry

For Chickens (Per/ Bird)

Square feet* of spaceLinear inches* of trough/100 birds
Weeks of AgeFloorCageFeederWaterer
Brooding0-41/21/21 1/224
Growing4-1213/42 1/248
     Roasters8-12212 1/248
12-1621348
Replacements8-1221348
12-212 1/2 – 31460
Layers
     Leghorn type21+2 1/2 – 31460
     Dual-purpose21+3 – 3 1/21460
Size of cage
(inches)*
W X D X H
Birds per cage
(Number)
Typical laying cages
(dependent on breed)
21+
9 X 14 X 18
18 X 14 X 18
32 X 30 X 18
1
2
3 – 5

For Turkeys (Per/Bird)

Square feet* of spaceLinear inches* of trough/100 birds
Weeks of AgeFloorCageFeederWaterer
Brooding
     Small type0-811 1/230
     Grow-out8-182 1/2360
Brooding
     Large type0-81230
     Grow-out8-182 1/2360
Finishing
     Hens16-203480
     Toms16-245480
Exterior Yards/Runs
                                                                                                                  Sq. Ft.
ChickensMature10
TurkeysMature20

*To convert to metrics, use these equivalents – 1 square foot = .083 square meter; 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters.

Read Also: Poultry Housing Management: Poultry Pen/House Construction Guide

Quick Facts…

  • Proper brooding temperatures are necessary for chicks to be healthy and to rapidly feather. The brooder temperature will decrease with each week of age.
  • All poultry requires a minimum amount of square feet in coops, runs and cages that increases with age to maintain health and to prevent social problems. They also require a certain amount of space at feeders and waterers.

Now before we go any further, let’s first discuss about the ideal way to construct the poultry house considering certain factors below:

House Orientation (Direction)

The poultry house should be located in such a way that long axis is in east-west direction.  This will prevent the direct sunshine over the birds.

poultry farm

Size

Each broiler require one square foot of floor space while a layer requires two square feet of floor space under deep-litter system of rearing.  So the size of the house depends on the number of birds to be reared.

Length

The length of the house can be of any extent.  The number of birds reared and availability of the land determines the length of poultry house.

Width

The open sided poultry houses in tropical countries should have a width not more than 22 to 25 feet in order to allow ample ventilation and aeration at the mid-portion.  Sheds wider than this will not provide adequate ventilation during the hot weather.

If the width of the shed is more than 25 feet, ridge ventilation at the middle line of the roof top with proper overhang is a must.  Hot air and obnoxious gases which are lighter than air move upward and escape through ridge ventilation.

In environmentally controlled poultry houses, the width of the house may be even 40 feet or more since the ventilation is controlled with the help of exhaust fans.

Height

The height of the sides from foundation to the roof line should be 6 to 7 feet (eaves height) and at the centre 10 to 12 feet.  In case of cage houses, the height is decided by the type of cage arrangements (3 tier or 4 tier).

Foundation

Good foundation is essential to prevent seepage of water into the poultry sheds.  The foundation of the house should of concrete with 1 to 1.5 feet below the surface and 1 to 1.5 feet above the ground level.

Floor

The floor should be made of concrete with rat proof device and free from dampness.  The floor of the house should be extended 1.5 feet outside the wall on all sides to prevent rat and snake problems.

Doors

The door must be open outside in case of deep-litter poultry houses. The size of door is preferably 6 x 2.5 feet.  At the entry, a foot bath should be constructed to fill with a disinfectant.

Side walls

The side wall should be of 1-1.5 feet height, and generally at the level of bird’s back height.  This side wall protects the bird during rainy days or chill climate and also provides sufficient ventilation.  In case of cage houses, no side wall is needed.

Roof

The roof of the poultry house may be thatched, tiled, asbestos or concrete one depending upon the cost involvement. Different types of roofs are Shed, Gable, half-monitor, full-monitor (Monitor), Flat concrete, Gambrel, Gothic etc.  Gable type is mostly preferred in tropical countries like India.

Overhang

The overhang of the roof should not be less than 3.5 feet in order to prevent the entry of rain water into the shed.

Lighting

Light should be provided at 7-8 feet above the ground level and must be hanged from ceiling.  If incandescent bulbs are used, the interval between two bulbs is 10 feet.  In case of fluorescent lights (tube lights) the interval is 15 feet.

Read Also: Causes of Egg Production Reduction in Poultry Farms and Ways to prevent them

Importance of a poultry house

  • To protect birds from adverse climatic conditions
  • To ensure easy and economic operation
  • To ensure scientific feeding in a controlled manner
  • To facilitate proper micro-climatic conditions in a near vicinity of bird
  • For effective disease control measures
  • To ensure proper supervision

Selection of ideal location for your poultry house

  • Poultry house should be located away from residential and industrial area.
  • It should have proper road facilities.
  • It should have the basic amenities like water and electricity.
  • Availability of farm labourers at relatively cheaper wages.
  • Poultry house should be located in an elevated area and there should not be any water-logging.
  • It should have proper ventilation.

Ideal Brooding Temperatures

Proper conditions are necessary for baby poultry changes during the first weeks of life. Ensure baby poultry are dry and bedding materials are not wet. Hypothermia due to wet conditions is one of the most common causes of baby poultry deaths in small farms.

Poultry flock owners should strive to follow the suggested temperatures in the chart below by regulating heat in the brooding unit. The temperatures should be measured at the outer edge of the hover (a canopy type brooding unit/lamp) 4 to 6 inches (10.2 to 15.2 centimeters) above the floor.

Room temperature should not be over 75°F (23.9°C) during the first few weeks. It is advisable to keep room temperature in the correct range to encourage rapid feathering of the chicks.

If weather conditions change outside of the brooding unit, attend quickly to temperatures to see if adjustments need to be made.

AgeBrooding Temperature
0 to 1 week93° to 95°F (33.9° to 35°C)
1 to 2 weeks88° to 90°F (31.1° to 32.2°C)
2 to 3 weeks83° to 85°F (28.3° to 29.4°C)
3 to 4 weeks78° to 80°F (25.6° to 26.7°C)
4 to 5 weeks75°F (23.9°C)
5 to 6 weeks70°F (21.1°C)
6 weeks and overComfort Zone 50° to 70°F (10° to 21.1°C)

References:

https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/agriculture/brooding-and-space-requirements-for-poultry-2-502/

http://www.agritech.tnau.ac.in/expert_system/poultry/Poultry%20House%20Construction.html

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