The purpose is to protect the birds from dogs, cats, snakes, rats and other pests and thieves and to keep out mice, rats and birds from eating valuable poultry feed and transmitting disease.
Basic requirements for the building are:
• it is rain proof
• it protects poultry from direct sunlight
• it is not subject to flooding
• it is wild bird proof.
• it has enough space
• it is easy to clean out
• it has a solid door with a lock
Positioning of the house is an important consideration in order
• to protect poultry from wind and rain storms
• to prevent direct sunlight from entering the house and stressing the birds
• to have good drainage around the house to protect it from flooding
• to avail of the prevailing wind to cool the house in a warm climate
The house should have a roof with a steep slope to allow rainwater to run off, and have a good overhang.
The house should be at least 1.8 –2.0 m high so that a person can stand upright.
need for litter. The housing must allow the fresh excreta to be removed from underneath.
Spaces between the bamboo strips need to be such that the excreta fall through but the bird doesn’t catch its foot between the strips (about 2-2.5 cm wide for an adult bird).
Do not overcrowd the chickens and floor space should be as follows:
• Chickens 0-6 weeks old: 10-12 birds/m2. Floor size 5m x 2m /100 birds
• Pullets to 16 weeks old: 5-7 birds/m2 Floor size 2m x 2m / 25 birds
• Laying hens: 5 birds/m2. Floor size 5m x 2m / 25 hens
• Hens in layer cages, floor space may be 12-15 birds/ m2
• Cage size for 3 hens: 40 cm long x 30 cm wide x 45 cm high, for 5 hens: 50 cm long x 30 cm wide x 45 cm high.
Source: African Farm Resource Centre