Poultry Farming Information and Tips
- Parent Category: Poultry Farming South Africa
- Published on 20 August 2011
How many chickens in a chicken house?
Small chicken farmers and emerging farmers often ask questions about poultry units and how many chickens?, how many chickens in a chicken house?, how big is a chicken house?, poultry house sizes?, poultry houses small farmers? and chicken houses emerging farmers? The number of birds that you place in your chicken house is critical - too many and they will die, too few and you do not make any money. The type of chicken farming also determines numbers.The number of hens in a layer house is different to the number of broiler chickens in a broiler house. Broiler farming is raising chickens for their meat and layers are hens raised for their eggs. Broilers will live in the coop for 4 to 6 weeks, and then they will be ready for slaughter. Laying hens will live in the layer house for about 60 weeks - after which time they will stop laying productively. They will then be sold for slaughter.
The number of broilers in a broiler house is between 12 and 15 birds per square meter. The number of layers in a layer house depends on the layer cages and the size of layer cages. In the new generation layer cages between 5 and 7 hens can be placed per bay, or cage.
Broiler houses - how many chickens and broiler house sizes?
Calculations are based on 15 chickens per square meter.
- 30m x 6m broiler house - 2700 broiler chickens
- 24m x 6m broiler house - 2160 broiler chickens
- 15m x 6m broiler house - 1350 broiler chickens
- 12m x 3m broiler house - 540 broiler chickens
- 6m x 3m broiler house - 270 broiler chickens
Layer houses - how many chickens and layer house sizes?
Calculations based on 5 birds per bay - experienced chicken farmers can place up to 7 chickens per bay. (10 bays per cage per tier) .
Based on a two tier layer cage:
- 30m x 7m layer house - 1760 layer chickens - 22 cages
- 24m x 7m layer house - 1440 layer chickens- 18 cages
- 15m x 7m layer house - 800 layer chickens - 10 cages
- 12m x 4m layer house - 320 layer chickens - 4 cages
- 9m x 4m layer house - 240 layer chickens- 3 cages
- 6m x 4m layer house - 160 layer chickens - 2 cages
How many chickens in a chicken house or poultry unit and how big is a chicken house. This will depend on you and the amount of space you have for your chicken farm - and of course on budget - your target market or poultry contract will determine how many broilers or layers you want to produce. Poultry house sizes and poultry houses small farmers. Chicken houses emerging farmers. Poultry units come in many sizes - and in some cases can be custom built to you specifications. You can also ask for a free range chicken house or an organic chicken house - these are built slightly differently to a standard chicken house. A standard hen coop or chicken coop does not give the birds access to the outside - organic or free range must have some kind of opening to allow the birds in and out of the structure.
For organic framing - layers and broiler how many chickens will be determined by the organic poultry regulations - and they are very stiff - all of you inputs like poultry feed have to be organically grown - so if you cannot buy organic feed you will need to grow your own organic vegetables and corn or mielies so you can feed your organic hens or organic broilers. If you are planning on doing free range chickens or free range eggs you will not be able to use layer cages - you will need nest boxes - these are free standing galvanised steel nesting boxes - the hens will be able to choose which nest hole they want - the hens will live on the floor like broilers - or you could put up some kind of perch for them. The hens must also be allowed outside the house - you will not be able to farm with as many chickens as in an intensive poultry house - the free range regulations stipulate how many chickens per square meter - inside and outside the poultry house. Free range chicken eggs bring a premium in many places - but forget trying to find a market in rural areas - people buying eggs and chicken meat in rural villages around South Africa are only interested in price - and it costs more to produce organic or free range meat and chicken eggs! In bigger towns and cities the demand is pretty good - especially the more affluent suburbs and areas. Woolworth's and Spar both offer free range and organic products (not only poultry products) - at a price of course! If you can get a contract to supply one of these retailers then you will make money off these two alternative types of chicken farming. You will probably have to submit to a farm inspection to prove you are indeed following the rules. The other option is to look for bed and breakfast outlets that server breakfasts - or bakers who need eggs. These kinds of buyers (the bakers anyway) - will need graded eggs - usually large size eggs as this is what their recipes require. Bed and breakfast and restuarants will want large eggs for the kitchens and extra large to serve for breakfast - nothing better than a large golden egg to impress their patrons.