But the best way to decide is to consider what your market needs.
A chicken house must be well ventilated, with open walls not less than 7 feet high on both long sides. Solid walls must not be more than 3 feet high.
Always ensure floor is compact and well drained, which will make it easy to clean.
Communal nests should be constructed on the darkest side of the house.One nest may be shared by five birds.
The best temperature guideline is the behaviour of the chick. So observe the behaviour and spread of the chicks in the brooder. When cold, chicks huddle together under the heaters or in corners. They also avoid drinking water and prefer to feed. Chirping and crying is common.
If it is too hot, chicks will run away from the heat source to the edge of the brooder. They will drink excessive water, and take less food. Panting is common and the crop will be watery.
When it is too drafty; chicks move to the end of the brooder away from the wind.
All these chick behaviours indicate problems with temperature. When temperatures are correct, chicks are normally distributed evenly within the brooder, some feeding, others drinking or playing.
Brooding requires a good supply of fresh air. Polythene bags make the house airtight creating breathing problems for the birds. By contrast, gunny curtains are porous and allow good ventilation.
Yes, if you observe from their behaviour that your chicks are cold. But remember that fresh air is fundamental to bird health.
Any manure in the compound means a contaminated environment. So use manure away from the poultry compound. The best practice is to sell the manure or use it in a farm away from poultry. Store manure in sacks, or heap and cover with a polythene bag to await disposal.
No. A multi- age and multi- breed farm provides a good environment for disease transfer. Local chickens tend to remain on the farm for a long time and can be disease carriers.