A good chicken house must have several characteristics in order to help you maximize on production. It should be a clean and dry house which also has good ventilation as well as the spaces that will ensure the chicken is productive. An ideal chicken house should have a space that is 1 square feet. The birds should also have good laying boxes which can measure 1 foot by 1 foot by 1 foot. These are also called the nesting boxes. Have at least 1 laying box for every six chickens. So if you have 100 chickens, you should be having at least 16 laying boxes.
It is also important to include perches in the chicken houses, particularly where space is a constraint. These should be 1” round poles where the chickens can perch on. They should be positioned across one end of the house. Using the wood shavings or sawdust on the floor comes with several advantages. For one, it will keep the house warm at all times but it will also soak up the faeces thus helping in maintaining hygiene in the chicken house.
Birds in the chicken run
For the chicken that graze in the chicken run or range, it is still important to have feeders and drinkers in the house especially at night so that they can feed at night and supplement their feeding. If you have poultry of various ages, have a separate house for the chicks which is clean and dry. This will allow them to eat without being “bullied” by the older and bigger birds. Additionally, it also reduces transmission of high risk diseases from the older birds to the chicks. This house should also be situated away from people and animals.
The Breeding Chickens
Breeding is one of the best ways of improving your flock. You can cross the chickens with different other improved breeds. Start by selling the best breeds that you need in your farm based on their characteristics. For example, for the breeding of layers, you need to choose a good rooster and good laying hen. Ensure you are crossing with an unrelated hen in order to avoid inbreeding. This is why the cockerel exchange programs are always important. You can check out our Kienyeji Marketplace for adverts on the various breeds of jogoos for sale including Kuroiler, Rainbow Rooster, KARI Improved Kienyeji, Kenbro, Indbro amongst others. For chicken meat, choose fast growing large roosters and hens. Have a single rooster for every 8-10 eggs.
Choosing the Right Eggs to Hatch
One of the best ways to expand your poultry business very fast and also ensure that your business is profitable over the longer term is by buying a poultry egg incubator and hatching the chicks yourself. However, it is important that you are well-trained for this exercise or have your staff trained for successful hatching in order to minimize losses.
The eggs that you buy for hatching must be from a reputable supplier. They should also be smooth, clean and of medium sized. They should all be eggs of the same size. Bigger eggs could be having double yolks and will not hatch. On the other hand, eggs which are very small will hatch small chicks.
Perform egg candling in order to ensure that the eggs you are planning to hatch are fertile. You can buy a candler or make a home-made candler by sticking a round card with a small hole on a torch. You can then place the egg on the hole on the cardboard and turn on your torch in order to determine if the egg is fertile. The result should be as follows:-