Types of poultry housing systems

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  • Permanent – can be either made of concrete, stones or bricks. Common type among medium to large scale farmers. Most farmers who establish permanent units have a long term commercial poultry rearing objective. They are costlier to construct but very durable.
  • Temporary- either made of mud, timber, iron sheet, wire mesh, grass/straw/reeds. The most common type of housing among small to medium scale farmers. Relatively cheaper and easier to construct but have a short lifespan. Requires frequent repairs within or between flocks. Normal entry level into poultry business for many.
  • Raised floor either slatted or deep litter. This mainly used by layer farmers and some broiler farmers and breeders. It is common in warm and or areas prone to flooding. It is also used in modern battery caged housing units. The floor is either made of wood or wire mesh.
  • Deep litter – chickens are raised on the floor on which suitable litter bedding materials are provided. Birds are quite comfortable as they have room to exercise normal physiological behaviours.
  • Battery cages are intensive methods of rearing chicken that doubles the stocking density in poultry units. They are costly to establish and manage. Allows for control in egg quality, egg eating and theft. Individual attention can be accorded to each bird as each cage houses 2 – 4 birds. The birds are however restricted thus stressed. Manure disposal is a challenge and proper arrangements for manure harvesting is required to avoid negative health impacts on birds or contamination of the environment. Safety of the workers is a key concern due to handling of wet manure and the resultant waste gases.
  • Semi free range combines deep litter system of housing combined with controlled access to open space for free ranging. Requires plenty of land and has challenges with wetness and disease control. The birds are exposed to wild birds thus negative biosecurity/ disease control and prevention measures.