Price of Layer Cages for chickens (prices can change due to steel price fluctuations)
Layer cages, or battery cages, are galvanised wire cages for chickens. They are used in poultry houses, specifically layer houses, for the easy management of hens and the eggs they lay. Layer cages for small chicken houses are usually 2 tier, which means that they are stacked up 2 levels. The hens are kept in these layer cages for the 2nd phase of the laying cycle. (A laying cycle is made up of 2 parts. The first part is the rearing cycle - the chickens are raised from 0 - 20 weeks. The second part is the laying stage where the hens lay eggs, 21 weeks to 60 weeks - this is 40 weeks long - about 10 months). Prices of layer cages and the cost of a layer cage depends on the size and installation of the chicken cages.
Cost of manual layer cages - R5500 per cage unit (prices may change without notice)
A layer cage is made up of 2 parts - the starter section, which has the medication tanks, and supplies water to the rest of the layer cages, and follower sections. You can add as many follower sections to a starter section as you wish (the length of the house will limit more follower layer cages.
A layer cage has a nipple drinking systems included in the cages - these allow the chickens to get water by pecking at a nipple. A trough runs along the length of the layer cage which makes feeding the hens very easy.
Layer cage Specifications
- Layer cages have the following features:
- Layer cages are 2450mm long and 1870mm wide and 1650mm high.
- Nipple drinking system
- Troughs for feeding
- Medication tanks
- Glavanised steel
- Adjustable foot plates for levelling
- Layer cage unit - 16 bays - 8 on each side across 2 tiers.
- Each layer cage unit hold between 80 to 112 hens
How a layer cage works
The hens will live in the bays, or cages in the layer cage. They will not leave the cage for the laying stage. As the hens lay eggs, the eggs roll gently forward and are caught in the egg rack, allowing the easy collection of eggs. All the water is fed from a header tank on the roof of the chicken house, and fed to the medication tanks inside the layer chicken house. From there the water goes to the pipes which have drinking nipples and the chicken takes on water. Chicken feed is poured into the troughs where the chickens can eat. The layer cages have floor which are also wire mesh, the litter drops through the mesh and onto the floor, where it dries out and can easily be cleaned.
How many chickens can I place in a layer cage?
Layer cages come in various sizes. The older layer cage design allows for a maximum of 5 hens per bay. The new generation layer cages allow for 5 - 7 chickens per bay. The layer cages we sell are new generation layer cages. (designed specifically for small farmer egg production). The layer cages consist of 16 bays - 8 on each side across 2 tiers. This means you will be able to place between 80 birds and 112 birds in a single layer cage unit. (5 hens per bay and 7 birds per bay). New poultry farmers or egg producers would be wise to start with less chickens per bay until they have some experience - the more chickens you place in each bay the higher the risks of disease and other problems.
Things to consider when installing a layer cage
Layer cages are fairly easy to put together, although if you have never assembled one it can be confusing. The first time you should contract a poultry equipment company to help you. Do not cram too many layer cages into your chicken house. Allow sufficient space around the cages so that you can easily move between the cages themselves and the walls of the poultry house. The space should be big enough to push an egg trolley, or wheel barrow so you can collect eggs and clean properly underneath the poultry cages.
The chicken house must be wide enough to accommodate the layer cages. The poultry house should also be high enough so that the top tier of chicken cages are not too close to the roof. Remember that the hens will be living very close together and may overheat if they are directly underneath an uninsulated steel roof. A poultry fan will make a big difference when controlling temperature.
Your layer house should ideally be on a cement slab. If your layer cages are on dirt, when you clean the litter you will remove the ground and eventually have a much lower floor on the chicken house. You will never be able to properly sanitise a dirt floor, and as everyone knows, disease is the number one killer of poultry, especially chickens kept in intensive chicken farming houses.
Operating a layer house with layer cages, no matter what the price of the layer cages, or the price of the chicken house, requires the same basic principles of poultry farming. Just because the layer cages make certain aspects of egg production easy, does not mean that basic principles like heat, cold, disease and proper care fall away. Layer cages and battery cages are made in South Africa. The quality, size and delivery location all play a part in the cost of layer cages and the price of layer cages. Chicken cages are also used for when you catch broilers at the end of a cycle - these are obviously not the same as poultry cages that are used in a layer house. The are often made of plastic or wood. Cardboard is also used to transport chickens and day old chicks - and these boxes cannot be re-used as they cannot be cleaned and sanitised.