January 21, 2020

Common design of poultry houses

  • It should have fundamental amenities like electricity and water.
  • It should be located in a raise area to avoid any water-logging.
  • It should have good ventilation.
  • Design should not allow visitors or outside vehicles near the houses.
  • The structures should in a way that located that  fresh air first passes through the sheds
  • The egg stores, offices and the feed store should be located near entrance to reduce the movement of people around the poultry houses.
  • The disposal pit and sick/quarantine zone should be constructed only at the furthest end of the site.

By Stephen Karacho (sales manager Adweek Chicks +254742214220)

poultry housing for chicken Kuroiler, Broilers, Layers, Rainbow rooster, Kenbro, Sasso, KARI & Kienyeji chicken.

Floor space requirement for Chicken

Age (weeks) Deep litter (ft2) Cages (ft2)
0-8 0.60 0.20
9-18 1.25 0.30
18-72 1.50 0.50

Different types of housing for poultry

Extensive Management System or free-range: In which the birds live outside the whole day and find their own feed like Plants, leaves, Ant, insects, and other living organisms. Birds allowed house at night by their owner.

Semi-intensive management System: In this system, the bird live outside for whole day for foraging and a handful grain provide by the owner at night. This method is mostly used on a small scale for 300- 400 birds only.

Intensive Management System: in this method, all the comfort is provided to the birds in the house. To get the maximum production the Good quality feed is always remaining available in front of the birds. This is the most common method used worldwide on a commercially large scale to fulfillment the consumption of chicken meat and Eggs

Deep litter

  • In this type of housing the chicken are kept on litter floor.
  • Arrangement for feed, water and nest are made inside the house.
  • Fresh litter materials spread on the floor and change often as it gets dirty.
  • Recommended litter material should be of about 3” to 5” depth.
  • In Kenya saw dust, or wood shavings are the most used as litter materials.
  • This method saves labour involved in regular cleaning of droppings, however it needs periodical stirring and change of litter.
  • The litter is spread on the floor in layers of 2 inches weekly till the required drying is attained.
Imechapishwa na Adweek Chicks kwenye Jumanne, 13 Machi 2018
Imechapishwa na Adweek Chicks kwenye Jumanne, 13 Machi 2018


  • Less labour intensive in everyday cleaning .
  • Cost effective in setting up: It is cheap.
  • The deep litter manure is a valuable fertilizer.
  • Lesser annoyance by flies when compared to cage system.


  • Due to of the direct contact between the chicken and litter, bacterial and parasitic diseases can be a problem.
  • Respiratory problems may occur due to dust from the litter or accumulation of Ammonia and other gases from the litter.
  • The cost of litter is an added expense on the cost of production.

Cage system

  • This method involves raising of poultry on raised wire netting floor in compartments, known as cages, they are either built-in with stands on floor of house or suspended.
  • Feeders and drinkers are attached to cages from outside except for nipple drinkers, for which pipeline is fitted through the cages.
  • This method has proved to be very efficient for laying birds.
  • As of today, over 70 % of commercial layers worldwide are kept in cages.
  • Automatic feeding and egg collection systems can be installed in this method.
  • The droppings are either collected in trays below cages or on belts or on the floor or deep pit below cages, dependent on type of cages.

Types of cages

  • single or individual bird cages
  • multiple bird cages (up to 10 birds)
  • colony cages (more than 10 birds)
  • Battery cages
1. Water tank
2. .Water pipe
3. Elbow
4. Drinker
5. Feeding trough hook
6. Feeding trough
7. Trough supporter 
8. Top mesh
9. Partition mesh

10. Door


  • Minimum floor space requirement.
  • Artificial Insemination (AI) can be carried out easily.
  • Unproductive and sick birds can be identified.
  • Less feed expenditure due to wastage.
  • Protection from a wide range of parasites and litter borne illnesses.
  • Iniquities of egg eating and cannibalism is minimal.


  • High start up investment cost.
  • Manure handling may be problem flies are a big problem.
  • Cases of spots of blood in egg are high.
  • Problem of cage layer fatigue. 
  • In case of broilers, blisters are common on their breast, particularly when the broilers gains weight more than 1.5 kg.

Elevated cage system

  • The level of the shed is raised by 6-7 feet using pillars.
  • The space amid the two pillars is 10 feet.
  • Two feet wide platforms are made over the pillars. When 3 ‘M’ type cages are arranged 4 platforms are required.
  • In case of 2 ‘M’ and 2 ‘L’ type cages are arranged 3 platforms are required.
  • When building platforms projecting angles or iron rods to be provided to fix the cages.
  • The inter-platform distance is 6-7 feet depending upon the type of the cages used.
  • The total height of the house is 20-25 feet and the width is 30-33 feet.

Cage rearing system for broilers

Broilers too can also be raised on cages. To avoid the blisters on the breast, the bottom part of the cage can be coated with plastic materials.


  • It is efficient for high density of rearing.
  • No expenses on litter.
  • Little or no incidences of coccidiosis.
  • Minimal cannibalism
  • Cleaning and disinfection is easy.
  • feed efficient, no wastage. 


     Incidences of breast blisters.

  • High incidences of twisted keel.
  • High  start up investment cost on cages.

Equipment used in Poultry House


Heat is quite much needed in the brooder house for chicks as well as in cold climate region for maintaining the temperature in the Poultry House.

the types of heaters used in the house to supply heat

  • gas heater
  • Charcoal brooder
  • electric brooder
  • Box brooder


the feeder should place according to the space and strength of the flock. In broiler poultry farming where we raised birds for 0 to 8 months, therefore, the feeder should be full 24×7 to achieve maximum weight in limited time. 10 feeders are enough for 1000 birds. the maximum distance between birds and feeder should not be more than 2-meter.

Types of feeder

  • Hanging feeder
  • Tube feeder
  • Tray feeder
  • Automatic Feeder ( used only for commercially large scale )

Waterer and Drinker

Water and drinker should be place according to the height of the birds in Brooder, Gower and layer House. 10 drinker is enough for 1000 birds. the maximum distance between drinker and birds should not be more than 2-meter Types of Drinkers:

  • Nipple Drinker ( 1 nipple for 8- 10 birds)+
  • Fountain Drinker
  • Automatic Drinker

Management in the Poultry House

  • The cleanliness in the house decreases the mortality of birds and increase the growth rate.
  • In deep litter system floor should burn by flame gun to kill the bacteria in every new batch.
  • The boundary should be color by white cement in every batch.
  • Spread the lime powder or dewormers for cleanliness and hygiene in the house.
  • Allow Bio-security at farm gate and don’t allow the visitor too much in the house.
  • In the cage system, wash the trays every day and keep the proper management of the dropping trays every day


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