How big should my chicken house be?
The size of your chicken house is determined by 3 things.
How much money you have to spend
The bigger the chicken house or layer house the more money it will cost. The fancier the poultry equipment you use – the more it will cost. Poultry equipment like poultry heaters and fans can quickly add up. Automatic feeding and drinking systems like nipple drinking systems and chain feeding systems are expensive to set up, but will save you money in the long run.
How many chickens you want to farm with
In broiler farming you can place up to 15 chickens per square meter. That is for intensive poultry farming. When doing free range farming or Organic farming this figure drops drastically.
When you are doing egg production – the more hens you wish to farm with the more layer cages you will need – generally you can place 5 – 7 hens per cage – depending on the size of the layer cages.
If you want to free range farm or do organic chicken farming you will need much, much more space.
How big your land is
The smaller you chicken farm, the smaller your chicken house or poultry houses will be. If you have more than one chicken house, or you are chicken farming with layers and broilers, you will need to space your houses out accordingly – if they are too close together they will affect each other and the chances of disease increase rapidly. The size of chicken houses and how many chickens is only something you can decide, based on budget and space – starting small, and building you poultry farm up, is an important consideration. Overcrowding the structures is a sure way to fail, although you will need to find the right balance – too few chickens and you will not show a profit. If you are planning on free range farming or organic farming you will need a lot more space than intensive farming. Both of these methods are regulated, and the number of birds you can place per meter, inside and outside the house, is strictly regulated. You will also need space to rotate the land, as chickens will turn the land into a dusty patch very quickly. Plan carefully, it will save you time and money later, and choose your poultry equipment supplier equally carefully, much of the equipment like nipple drinkers and chain feeders are specific to that company, and you will be buying poultry spares and parts for many years to come – make the wrong choice and you may end up spending more on your spares than you should. A solid poultry business plan, like in any business that wants to be successful is a must. Find a business plan template and change it to suit your conditions – finding people who will buy your broiler chickens or eggs, how far are you from feed suppliers and your customers, and cash flow will all play a part in your success – know all of these things before you dive in head long. Broiler chickens and chicken eggs are not something you can store on the shelf – when they are ready they must be sold – or you will lose your money.