Poultry units for egg production and broiler production for small farmers come in many sizes. The price of a chicken house depends on size, quality and the equipment that is used. Poultry production units made from steel are manufactured in South Africa and usually installed on site. While many farmers, or prospective farmers look for cheap chicken houses – they are not always the best buy. Things to consider when buying a chicken coop are:
- thickness of steel sheeting used on the roof and sides
- thickness and dimensions of the angle iron used in the frame
- suitable anchors and tie downs (especially in a very windy area)
- the quality of each weld in the frame
- the quality of the concrete slab
- the quality of the curtains material – UV resistant?
- the type of winching system
- automatic drinking or manual drinking
- the quality of the cages in a layer house
- the direction the chicken house faces – did the manufacturer help you with a layout plan?
- back up service and spares for your poultry equipment
- training and quality poultry information
- inoculations and medication – are your chickens ready for placement
- heaters – gas or radiant heater – do you have electricity n your area
- fans – were you offered poultry fans and are they good quality
In remote areas, when erecting a poultry house you will need running water (which means a borehole and a large tank) and electricity (which means Eskom connections or a suitable generator). Emerging farmers can look forward to increased government loans for small farmers- although you will need to be very aware of what you need to start a chicken farm – the level of expertise at the department of agriculture is low – and they will not notice if you do not include key items of equipment – they will not be able to judge if your plan is actually good or bad – that is up to you – and you better get it right as once you have applied for, and been granted your loan or government grant there is no going back for more without a whole new plan and application. Most new farmers are likely to miss something – so whoever you buy from had netter know their oats – they will immediately notice what you may have forgotten. The best option is to find a poultry consultant before you put in for the grant or loan – usually the poultry company will be happy to go over your business plan with you and give you advice – and they should do this for free. They will advise on the bets structure for where your farm will be – and will advise on any extra items you may need like fans and heaters. It is also a good idea to have photos of the where you plan to erect the steel structure – this will enable the manufacturer to see if the land needs a grader to level the site before throwing the slab – this is often forgotten – and can be a major cost.
Training in poultry management and production
Video of Cheap chicken houses and poultry units come in various sizes and configurations – are you going to be doing layers for egg prodction – or broilers for meat production? The structures are different. Cheap chicken houses for emerging farmers may be the rage – but if you are a new farmer you may want to consider a well made, properly equipped chicken house – you need all the advantage you can get – and cheap often puts you in a position to fail before you even get going. Small farmers are well advised to take a poultry course or at least do some kind of training before launching their operation. There are several training facilities around South Africa – Pietermaritzburg has the Poultry Institute which offers a one week poultry course – it is detailed and intense – you can stay at the farm and it is well worth the cost of the training programme. You will learn how to place day old chicks – in a real chicken house with live birds. You will learn about poultry disease, and even get to cut a chicken open and see what to look for in a sick chicken. Every morning you will feed chickens and not only broilers but layers as well. They do not do any free range or organic chicken farming – it is all about factory farming and commercial poultry production. The layer house has battery cages and the broiler houses have birds at various ages. You will be expected to do manual labour as well as attend lectures in the afternoon - it is a real hands on course, so if you do not want to get your hands dirty – then it is not for you – and in fact, neither is chicken farming.