Plan to start a chicken house or chicken farm? Apart from poultry housing plans or chicken coop house plans think about the following: Have you been told that poultry farming is easy and is profitable? Do you think that buying 500 broilers and putting them in a structure will make you a rich man - forget it. While chicken farming can be easy, and can be profitable there are many ways to fail - and only a few methods of success. You do not need to reinvent chicken farming - there is tonnes of poultry information on the Internet - most of it very good information. The trick is can you apply it. Farming with a few chickens is not going to make you rich - poultry farming is a numbers game - you need to be producing thousands of broilers or eggs per month to start seeing any kind of serious profit. Think about it - if you are only making 60 cents per egg you sell - how many eggs do you need to draw R20 000 every month? 33 thousand eggs - and that is a whole lot of chickens (about 3000 hens) and chicken food. - There are several things you need to think about before you start. Do your homework, do proper cash flows and projections - take into account the fact that with broilers you will need to fund 6 weeks of food before you sell the chickens. With layers producing eggs you will need to sit out the first month or so while you hens come into lay, and even then they will only hit peak production at about 30 weeks old.
chicken hen houses should not be made of wood - this is a very bad idea - rather build a steel structure and you will avoid many problems such as disease. The steel poultry house will also last a lot longer than a wooden hen house - remember you will be using a high pressure sprayer to clean the house - wood and water - go figure!
Do you know what you are looking when doing plans for a chicken house or chicken farm?
- What kind of poultry farming do you wish to do? - layers or broilers?
- How many chickens do you wish to sell, or how many eggs do you want each month?
- How much space do you have to put up a chicken house and do you have poultry housing plans?
- How close will your chicken house be to your neighbours, and do you have council permission and chicken coop house plans?
- Do you have a good supply of municipal water or a strong flowing borehole?
- Have you had any poultry training, or done some kind of poultry course?
- Have you ever worked in a chicken run, or egg production facility?
- Are you prepared to be working in your chicken house every day - several times a day, or employ someone to do so?
- What do you know about medication and inoculating chickens?
- Do you plan to do free range chickens, organic chicken farming or intensive chicken farming? Do you know the difference and do you know the regulations pertaining to each form of poultry farming?
- Do you know how to lay out a chicken farm, taking into account sun, wind, water access and road access?
- Do you have a market for your eggs or broiler chickens - and how far away are they from your chicken farm?
- How close is the nearest supplier of poultry feed - and can you buy it at a competitive price? Where will you keep the food?
- Is there a supplier of shavings for the floor of you poultry coop near you?
- Do you know how to put togther a business plan - this vital even if you are not raisng capital from government grants or a bank loan?
- Do you know how to use a computer - this will help with managing your farm - there is poultry software out there?
- Have you vivted a commercial chicken farm - do you have any contacts in chicken farming?
When making plans for a chicken house you will need to answer these basic questions - while setting up with small chicken coop house plans, it is not hugely important - if you only plan to keep a few backyard chickens, then it is fairly easy to learn as you go. If your poultry housing plans include farming with 500 or more birds, then you will need to know what you are doing. As the number of chickens increase so do the problems and challenges. Poultry disease will probably be the biggest issue for a new farmer. Many birds living close together is a recipe for sick chickens. You will need to find out all you can about "bio security" - that is techniques and procedures that will minimise the impact of disease, and the spread of disease. While the methodology is simple, the application must be perfect - especially if you have several chicken houses with hens and broilers of different ages. You should never farm with birds of different ages in the same chicken run - and even if you have several houses, they should be well spaced and movement between the runs should be limited, and clean gumboots and foot baths with disinfectant used. The kind of chicken house you place your chicken in will depend on whether you are planning to do layers or broilers. Each type of chicken farming uses different types of poultry equipment. And then within the kind of farming you plan you will have a choice of whether to automate the processes like drinking and feeding. The more you spend on automation of your processes the less you will spend on labour - trust me, giving 2000 chickens water and food every day is a big job - and we have not even mentioned the cleaning of drinkers and daily maintenance! If you have read all this and you still feel confident there is no reason why you should not give chicken farming a go - once you have learnt the basics, and have got into the daily routines, poultry farming can be very fulfilling and profitable.
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