The ideal house should provide the birds with a comfortable environment. The house should also be cost effective, durable and provide a controllable environment.
When planning the construction of a broiler house, one should first select a well drained site that has plenty of natural air movement. The house should be oriented on an east – west axis to reduce the effect of direct sunlight on the sidewalls during the hottest part of the day. The main objective is to reduce the temperature fluctuation during any 24-hour period. Good temperature control always enhances feed conversion and growth rate.
The following are the key components of a broiler house:
- Roofing material should have a reflective surface on the outside to help reduce the conduction of solar heat and should be well insulated.
- Ventilation systems should be designed to provide ample oxygen and to maintain optimum temperature and relative humidity conditions for the birds.
- Lighting should be oriented to provide an even distribution of light at the floor level.
- Stocking density
Correct stocking density is essential to the success of a broiler production system by ensuring adequate room for optimal performance.
- The ideal stocking density for broilers is one square foot per bird (1sqft/bird).
- Incorrect stocking density can lead to poor litter quality, high mortality, poor uniformity and poor growth rate.
Ventilation can be described as the circulation of fresh air through the flock house. This is achieved by the air passing from one side of the house and exhausting through the opposite side.
Ventilation in poultry houses serves several functions including:
- Removing excess heat and moisture
- Providing oxygen while removing harmful gases
- Reducing dust hence improving air quality.
For better ventilation the house should rectangular with a maximum width of not more than 10metres (or 33 feet) and have a wall not higher than 3 feet on the longer side. The rest of the side wall should have chicken wire.
- Key to maximizing bird performance is the provision of a consistent house environment. Large fluctuations in house temperature will cause stress on the chick and affect feed consumption. Furthermore, these fluctuations will result in additional energy expenditure to maintain body temperature. This will help to conserve heating costs, reduce solar energy penetration and prevent condensation.
- The most important insulation requirements are in the roof. A well insulated roof will reduce solar heat penetrating the house on warm days, thus decreasing the heat load on the birds. In cold weather a well insulated roof will reduce heat loss and energy consumption needed to maintain the correct environment for the chick during the brooding phase, the most important time in the development of a chick.