Hen houses are just small chicken houses.
Traditionally a poultry house is for many birds – 200 – 40 000 chickens. A hen house or chicken coop is made so that you can keep chickens at home. Usually hen houses are built so that the home grower can keep layer chickens or broilers. – Pullets are hens that have not started laying yet – but will soon – often known as “point of lay” chickens. The home grower will keep a small chicken house and maybe 5 or 10 chickens – which will give them up to 40 eggs a week. 40 eggs is a lot if you are just growing home chickens for eggs for your family – the balance you can sell to your neighbors and family.
Keeping a small chicken coop is very simple – and in South Africa with our great climate and larger than usual properties it is surprising that more families do not grow chickens at home. For a relatively small outlay you could have fresh eggs on the table every day.
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So how many hens do you want to farm with – or easier to ask how many eggs do you want per day or per week? Assuming a lay rate of 85% – this is how we work out how many eggs we will get per hen per day – and 85% is kinda standard if you doing everything correctly, the the following table should help.
Eggs for your family
How many people in your family, and how many eggs do you want each family member to eat? A family of five – who each wanted one egg per day would need 6 hens in their coop. If each member wanted 2 eggs per day you would need 12 hens.
Chicken houses for small farmers
Chicken houses or poultry houses come in various sizes – How many chickens do you want to farm? How many eggs do you want per week? When farming broilers or layers the chicken house is similar – the poultry equipment you put in the house is very different and the type of chickens you farm with are different. If you want eggs – you will need layer chickens and if you want poultry that you can eat you will need to put broiler chickens in your poultry house. Farming with 50 chickens or more requires some discipline – Lots of chickens is not necessarily more work – but you will need to be more careful with your hygiene and bio security. Disease in chickens do not happen frequently – but when it does it can run through your flock in a matter of hours – especially if you are following intensive chicken farming procedures.