The floor space requirement of a broiler chicken house is not the same as the laying bird’s house in most cases. Knowing the floor space requirement for a broiler and the dimension of a broiler house helps the farmer in planning and budget allocation. Most importantly, the space required for broiler chickens helps to determine the number of broiler chickens to rear from day-old to 6 – 8 weeks in the allocated space or piece of land.
Spacing and Design of Broiler Housing
Broiler chicken housing should be weatherproof to provide adequate protection from the weather elements (cold, rain, wind, and hot sun), provide warmth, and adequate ventilation, especially during brooding. A good broiler house should also be self-securing, as well as protect from predators. Many innovative poultry housing designs (permanent foundations, mobile houses, and simple shelters ) are in vogue to ensure broiler chickens have adequate comfort in their new environment.
Knowing the right floor space required for broiler poultry is a major guide toward the best stocking density of broilers and the cost of purchasing the equipment and materials needed to construct the broiler pen. The space requirement for broilers not only helps to cater to the chickens’ welfare, it greatly helps to reduce the cost of constructing a broiler house
Broiler chickens are best reared in a deep litter system and not the battery cage or cage system; this is because broiler chickens are meat producers and have a high tendency to encounter bone disorder problems when caged which will greatly affect their marketability. Broiler chicken needs to exercise and regulate fat deposition; hence, a deep litter system is most advised.
The purpose or let me say what you want to achieve with the broiler house is to ensure your chickens are safely kept and protected from harsh weather conditions; you need to put into consideration, the two weather extremes when constructing a broiler pen house. In this regard, you would be learning the recommended and cost-effective dimensions and floor space requirement for rearing broiler chickens from day-old to 6 weeks or any point of harvesting.
Floor Space Requirements For Broilers From Week 1 – Week 4 (Brooding Stage)
The floor spacing of the brooding pen of broiler chicken must be known prior to stocking. Brooding takes 4 weeks of the 6 or 8 weeks to rear broilers commercially. Meaning, the broilers spend more time in this pen than the other pen. During this period, the chicks need enough floor space to allow them to eat optimally, have better utilization of feed, and reduce the spread of diseases and infections.
The broiler chicks require more floor space during this period; overstocking can result in overcrowding or high population which can lead to the rapid spread of diseases, increased rate of pollution, low feed intake and efficiency, slow growth rate, and other unhealthy conditions in the pen while understocking can result to underutilization of resources, leading to the high cost of pen construction.
Usually, the chicks do not require much floor space during the first week. The standard floor space requirement for a broiler chick is 0.09 sqm. For example, if you are rearing 100 broiler chicks, the floor space requirement for 100 broiler chicks is 9 sqm for the first week alone. By week two, the birds are expected to gain more weight, obviously, they would need more space. The floor space area should be increased by 0.09 sqm weekly till week 4. That is, for week two, the floor space required would be 0.18sqm for a chick and 18sqm for 100 broiler chicks. For weeks three and four, the required floor space for 100 broiler chicks would be 0.27 sqm and 0.36 sqm respectively.
If you are planning to rear 100 broiler chicks, the standard floor space requirement is 36 sqm for the first 4 weeks, that is, the brooding stage. The dimension for constructing a 100 broiler chicks brooding house could be 9m by 4m or 12m by 3m. In addition, most importantly, the longest side of the pen (length) must face the direction of the wind for better ventilation of the pen. The broiler chicken house must be well-ventilated.
Floor Space Requirement For Broilers From Week 5 – Harvesting (Rearing Stage)
Depending on the target market weight, some farmers rear broilers for 6 weeks or 8 weeks. This is the commercial duration of rearing broiler chickens. After brooding for 4 weeks, the birds are bigger with varied sizes; more floor space is required for the birds to exercise and eliminate the risk of bone disorders.
The space requirement for a broiler chicken till market weight is attained is 0.60 sqm. it is best you use this space area since the pen you will use from week 5 to harvesting is the same. The growth rate is usually very high during this period; hence, a good allowance of floor space is better. The floor space requirement for 100 broiler chickens from week 5 to harvesting is 60sqm (0.60sqm x 100). The dimension could be 10m by 6m or 12m by 5m. Whichever way it is, ensure the longest side (length) faces the prevailing wind direction for even ventilation.
With the knowledge of the floor space required for broiler poultry, you can affirm the number of broiler chickens to accommodate a given area, you can develop your budget, and determine the materials needed to construct a standard broiler chicken house and the cost of equipment and materials to use.