What size Chicken house do I need?



What size Chicken house do I need?

Consider the following factors. Answer as many questions as you can and then work backward with the information:

What kind of poultry farming are you interested in?

Egg production, broiler production, free range egg farming, organic egg farming, organic broilers….. all of these types of farming use different equipment and poultry houses.



How many chickens do you want to farm with?

200 or 50 000 – makes a big difference in how you go about planning a chicken farm.

How big is your chicken house?

or how much space do you have to put up a poultry house.

How much money do you want to make every cycle?

Poultry farming for broilers and egg production is a numbers game – you need to do big numbers to make a decent amount of money.

How much capital do you have?

Set up costs are high initially – thereafter you will start to make money.

Who are your customers or who will buy your chickens or eggs?

Where to buy

No point in setting up an organic chicken egg production farm when there are very few buyers of organic eggs near you. You may find the market around you does not care about organic or free range – you would be better off do intensive egg production. As a matter of interest organic eggs and organic chicken demand is growing in South Africa – all the major supermarkets now sell free range eggs and organic eggs. When doing any free range production or organic farming you will be limited by certain regulations – you may not use layer cages and you will need lots of space.

Useful Poultry quantities and guidelines

1. chick trays – 3 per 100 chicks.

2. bell drinkers – 75 – 100 chickens.

3. tube feeders – 33 chickens.

4. 3l and 4l fonts – 100 chickens.

5. pan feeders – 65 chickens per pan.

6. nipple drinkers – 12 – 14 chickens per nipple.


7. chain feeding (broilers) – 2.5cm per broilers along the trough.

8. chain feeding (layers) – 15cm – 17cm per laying chickens along the trough.

9. nest boxes – 1 bay or hole per 5 hens.

10. broilers per square meter – between 12 and 15 chickens per square meter.

11. broiler breeders – 7 -8 hens per square meter (broiler breeders are laying hens that produce eggs for the hatchery).

12. free range –  outside space – 1000 birds per hectare (10 000 square meters in a hectare) – means 10 chicken per square meter. This is outdoor space

13. free range – perch space –  30cm to 45cm per bird 14. free range – nest boxes – 1 nest box per 4-5 hens.

14. free range inside space –  10 hens per square meter.

15. organic chickens – inside space laying hens – 6 hens per square metre (and 8 hens per nest) – nest box space is calculated separately).

16. organic chickens – outside space – 4 chickens per square metre.

17. Layer cages – depending on the size of the bay – max chickens per cage 5 or 7 chickens per bay or cage.

18. Gas brooders – G12 – 2500 – 3000 chickens, M8 gas heater – 1000 – 1200 chickens per heater.

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