Title: Poultry houses and equipment
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Title: Poultry houses and equipment
Alternate Title: Bulletin 45 ; Florida Agricultural Extension Service
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Mehrhof, N. R.
Publisher: University of Florida, Division of Agricultural Extension
Publication Date: June, 1926
Copyright Date: 1926
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Bibliographic ID: UF00026345
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aab7727 - LTQF
amt6556 - LTUF
47284531 - OCLC
002570248 - AlephBibNum

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HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida






(Reprinted November, 1927)


COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN
AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA DIVISION OF AGRICULTURAL
EXTENSION, STATE COLLEGE FOR WOMEN AND UNITED STATES
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE COOPERATING
WILMON NEWELL, Director




POULTRY HOUSES AND

EQUIPMENT

BY N. R. MEHRHOF



-<- _


Fig. 1.-A modern poultry farm, showing colony brooder houses


Bulletins will be sent free upon application to the Agricultural Extension
Division, Gainesville, Florida


Bulletin 45


June, 1926











BOARD OF CONTROL

P. K. YONGE, Chairman, Pensacola
E. L. WARTMANN, Citra
W. B. DAVIS, Perry
E. W. LANE, Jacksonville
A. H. BLENDING, Tampa
J. T. DIAMOND, Secretary, Tallahassee

STAFF, AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION DIVISION
A. A. MURPHREE, A.M., LL.D., President of the University
WILMON NEWELL, D.Sc., Director
A. P. SPENCER, M.S., Vice-Director and County Agent Leader
J. FRANCIS COOPER, B.S.A., Editor
ERNEST G. MOORE, Assistant Editor
RUBY NEWHALL, Secretary
GRACE GREENE, Secretary to County Agent Leader

COOPERATIVE AGRICULTURAL DEMONSTRATION WORK
W. T. NETTLES, B.S., District Agent ,
H. G. CLAYTON, M.S.A., District Agent
J. LEE SMITH, District Agent
R. W. BLACKLOCK, A.B., Boys' Club Agent
JOHN M. SCOTT, B.S., Animal Industrialist
HAMLIN L. BROWN, B.S., Dairy Specialist
E. F. DEBUSK, B.S., Citrus Pathologist
N. R. MEHRHOF, M. AGR., Poultryman

COOPERATIVE HOME DEMONSTRATION WORK
FLAVIA GLEASON, State Agent
VIRGINIA P. MOORE, Assistant State Agent
LUCY BELLE SETTLE, District Agent
RUBY MCDAVID, District Agent
ISABELLE S. THURSBY, B.S., Food and Marketing Agent
MARY A. STENNIS, M.A., Dairy and Nutrition Agent








POULTRY HOUSES AND EQUIPMENT

By N. R. MEHRHOF*

Supplying suitable environmental conditions is one of the
most important features of poultry management. A suitable
environment means the right kind of house, properly located.
The construction of a good poultry house is an economical in-
vestment. Proper poultry housing is an important item in egg
production and careful consideration should be given to it.
Conditions in Florida will vary so that every poultryman must
use his own judgment when planning the details of his houses,
but there are a few principles of construction which should be
carefully considered in the building of all poultry houses.

METHODS OF HOUSING POULTRY
Poultry is generally housed according to the method of man-
agement, that is: colony, semi-colony, or intensive. These
methods are employed with both baby chicks and laying stock.











H-i







Fig. 2.-A two-thirds span laying house in use at the Florida National
Egg-Laying Contest, Chipley. Size 12x14 feet.

The colony system is used when a relatively small number of
chicks are to be brooded in one house, and also for small flocks
of layers. Colony brooder houses are shown in Fig. 1.

*The author is indebted to a number of county agents and poultry
raisers for valuable assistance rendered.





Florida Cooperative Extension


Colony houses are either stationary or portable. If they are
of the latter type they should be constructed on skids so that
,they can be moved from place to place. Perhaps the most im-
portant advantage of this method is that there is less danger
from disease. The disadvantages are that it increases building
costs, labor, and management.
The intensive system (Fig. 12) is used when a large number
of chicks or layers are to be housed in one house. The advantages
of this system are that building costs are less and less labor is
required. However, the disadvantage is that there is a greater
opportunity for the spread of disease.
The semi-colony system is midway between the colony and
intensive.
In this state we find all three methods employed and combina-
tions of the three. The most prevalent methods employed ap-
pear to be the use of the colony method for brooding baby chicks
and the semi-colony and intensive methods for managing the
layers.
THE SITE FOR THE POULTRY HOUSE
Poultry houses should be located on well drained soil with a
southern or southeastern slope. The soil shoftld be suitable for
producing green feed.
In the construction of the poultry house, thought and consid-
eration should be given to its relationship to other buildings so
as to save time and labor. Consider the nearness to other build-
ings, the central feed and water supply.
In constructing poultry houses, bear in mind the future de-
velopment of the flock.
Wherever possible, poultry houses should be so located that
the land in front and rear can be cropped. The growing of
greens and cropping helps to keep the yards sanitary.
Trees in the yards are valuable for furnishing shade for the
birds.
TYPES OF HOUSES
The types of houses that are being used most extensively in
the state are either shed-roof or even-span.
The house should be relatively deep. Narrow houses are cost-
ly, and at the same time are undesirable because good ventila-
tion is almost impossible without causing direct drafts to blow
over the birds.






Poultry Houses and Equipment


The depth of the house will be greatly influenced by the width.
The more nearly square the house is, the lower the building
cost will be.
















Fig. 3.-Even-span laying houses 18'x32' with capacity of 250 hens.
(Duval County)

The front of the house should be high enough to allow the
sunlight to penetrate into the interior. Sunshine is a good dis-
infectant.
In deep houses it is desirable to have light underneath the
dropping boards. This can be furnished by having windows in
the rear of the house underneath the dropping boards.

POULTRY HOUSE ESSENTIALS
In the construction of a poultry house, the following features
should be considered: (1) economy, (2) convenience, (3) venti-
lation, (4) protection from heat and cold, (5) protection from
vermin, (6) sanitation, (7) sunlight, (8) sufficient space for
fowls, (9) dryness.
Economy in building poultry houses is very important. How-
ever, it does not pay to use a poor grade of lumber. Use only
sound lumber. We must consider the lasting qualities in figur-
ing on economy. Poultrymen in the state are using both dressed
and rough lumber for construction. It is advisable, however, to
use dressed lumber for the dropping boards, nests, and perches.
This will allow an easier control of lice and mites and permit the
dropping boards to be kept more sanitary.






Florida Cooperative Extension


Construct houses as plain as possible. Fancy trimmings and
unnecessary furnishings do not increase efficiency. They retard
economy.
Convenience in a poultry house is likewise desirable. All the
fixtures inside the house should be so arranged as to make the
work easy and efficient. The nests should be arranged so that
the hens can easily enter and the attendant can remove the eggs.
The perch poles should be removable.















Fig. 4.-Permanent laying house used by the College of Agriculture at
Gainesville. 12'x16', capacity, 100 hens.

Ventilation-Poultry can stand and need plenty of fresh air,
but it should not be in the form of a draft. An open front house
with ventilators at the rear provides a sufficiency of ventilation
and protection.
These ventilators when placed above the perches should be
high enough to be sure that the birds are not in drafts, or below
the dropping boards, or both.
Drafts directly on the birds are conducive to colds and roup.
A house that is poorly ventilated is damp, close, and unhealthy
for poultry.
Protection from heat and cold is another factor for considera-
tion. The house should be constructed so that heated and im-
pure air may escape. With brooder houses, muslin curtains
should be available for protection.
Shade should be provided in the yard so that the birds may
be more comfortable during the heat of the day.






Poultry Houses and Equipment


Rats and mice should be kept out. Cement floors or wooden
floors high enough off the ground to prevent hiding places will
keep the vermin out. If rats and mice are present, covers should
be provided for the mash hoppers.
Sanitation is essential for success with poultry. Construct
the dropping boards so that they may be easily and thoroughly
cleaned. Matched lumber is desirable so as to prevent the drop-
pings from going through the cracks to the floor. Sprinkling a
small amount of sand on the dropping boards will make them
much easier to clean.
Keep the water and mash hoppers clean and sanitary.
Properly constructed floors will assist in keeping the house
sanitary.
Sunlight in the poultry house is a good disinfectant. The
house should be constructed so that plenty of sunshine will en-
ter. This is secured by facing it to the south or southeast.
Sufficient Space.-Poultry should have ample room in the
house. It is advisable to provide plenty of roosting space and
floor space to obtain the best results. In Florida, poultrymen
are allowing from 2 to 4 square feet of floor space per bird, de-
pending on the breed and method of management. From 8 to
10 inches roosting space is ample.
Dryness in a poultry house is desirable if the health of the
fowls is to be preserved. Damp houses favor the development
of roup, pneumonia, and other diseases.
If we provide an abundance of ventilation, plenty of water
drainage away from the house, and properly constructed floors,
the poultry house should be dry.

FLOORS
The essential features of a good floor are: (1) dryness, (2)
smooth, hard surface which can be easily cleaned, (3) proof
against rats and mice, (4) economy of construction.
Floors should be so constructed that they are higher than
the outside ground.
The three types of floors used are:
1. Cement or concrete-permanent, sanitary and easy to
clean.
2. Wood-use tongue and groove lumber and have it off the
ground.






Florida' Cooperative 'Extension


3. Dirt.-Used -in some places but not as satisfactory as
either the wood or concrete. If a dirt floor is used it is advisable
to remove six inches of the surface material about every six
months and replace with fresh dirt. Avoid using sand, as it
soon becomes a good breeding place for fleas.



A- -..






















Fig. 5.-Types of roofs for poultry houses. A, shed roof; B, two-thirds
span; C, even span; D, monitor; E, semi-monitor; F, A-shaped.
TYPES OF ROOFS
Several types of roofs are being used on poultry houses. Care-
ful consideration should be given this feature of construction,
for it is one of the most expensive. The type of roof will affect
the building cost. The roofs should be constructed so that they
are water-tight.
The two most common types in use in Florida are the shed-
roof and even-span type.
Fig. 5 shows the various types of roofs used.






Poultry Houses and Equipment


POULTRY HOUSE EQUIPMENT
Dropping boards should be constructed of tongue and groove
material. The boards should be laid from front to rear to facili-
tate cleaning. The boards should be horizontal and parallel with
the floor. They should be about 21/2 to 3 feet off the ground,
and should extend 9 to 12 inches beyond the front and back
roosts.
Roosts.-Roost poles should be provided for the hens. They
should be placed on the same level (horizontal) to prevent the
birds from crowding to the top poles. Lumber 2"x2" or 2"x3"
should be used with the sharp corners rounded. These roosts
are generally placed 6 inches above the dropping boards and are
supported either by wires from the roof or by a frame resting
on the dropping boards. In the latter case, it is well to use
hinges so as to raise the perches when cleaning the dropping
boards. (Fig. 17.) From 8 to 10 linear inches are allowed per
bird for roosting space. The roosts are placed 12 to 16 inches
apart. Wire may be stretched below the roosts to collect any
eggs that may be dropped and to keep the hens out of the drop-
pings in order to promote health and cleanliness.
Nests should be conveniently located for the caretaker and
hens, economically constructed, and easily cleaned. They can
be located under the dropping boards or on the side wall. For
Leghorns and other light breeds, nests 12"x12", and for Rhode
Island Reds and other heavy breeds, nests 12"x14", are of suffi-
cient size. The nests should be 15 inches high and the front
edge board 3 to 4 inches high. Plenty of nests should be avail-
able for the birds. One nest for every four to eight hens is suf-
ficient.
In constructing nests, the bottoms are of either wood or wire.
When single tiers of nests are used 1/2" mesh hardware cloth
(fine wire) may be used for the bottom. This permits more cir-
culation of air and allows droppings and trash to be scratched
through the wire netting. This helps to keep the nest clean.
A sloping roof over the nests will keep the hens from roost-
ing on top and hinged jump boards in front may be closed to
keep hens out of nest at night.
Some poultrymen are using orange boxes and egg crates as
nests.
Trapnests are the only sure way of telling what the hens will
do. Working plans of a suitable trapnest are shown in Fig. 6.






Florida Cooperative Extension


CONSTRUCTING A THREE-COMPARTMENT NEST

Cut four /8-inch boards for ends and partitions, 12 inches
wide by 181/2 inches long, enough 1/-inch boards 391/2 inches
long, laid lengthwise, to cover the top, back, and bottom, and
two strips, 391/2 inches long and 11/ inches wide for the front of
the nests and for the front extended rail. Cut three pieces of
1/-inch boards 12 inches long and 3 inches high to insert in the
nest to hold the nesting material away from the door. The total
quantity of material needed will be one 7/8-inch board, 12 inches
wide by 8 feet 2 inches long for the ends, partitions, and front of


In FRONT VIEW
J ,I ,z----y-----
,1^^ ^ ^


------ 15 -------- 5" -- >
CR0,55 SECTION
Fig. 6.-Details of trapnest construction






Poultry Houses and Equipment


the nest; and two 1/2-inch boards 10 inches wide and 10 feet
long for the top, back, bottom, and front rail of the nest. If wire
is used on top of the nest an equal number of square feet of
/-inch lumber can be subtracted from the amount stated.
Nail the top, back, and bottom to the ends and partitions (see
Fig. 6), insert the 3-inch strips in the nests, and make the guard
(b), nailing it to the left side of the nest. Bore a hole in the
catch (a) large enough so that the catch will move freely when
screwed into position on the side, and use a washer on both
sides of the catch. The catch should be made of hardwood, so
that it will not wear readily around the screw which holds it in
place. The catch is made of material 1/-inch thick and is 11/2
inches wide at the upper end and 3-inch wide at the lower end.
Place a screw at the lower edge of the catch to stop it when set,
so that the catch will just hold the door.
Make the doors (c) of 7/8-inch material, 12"x6", and cut a tri-
angular notch in the center 4 inches wide. Put two screw eyes
in the top of the doors and bore holes in the front of the nests
2 inches below the top (inside measurement), through which a
3-16-inch wire is run to support the door.
Attach a narrow strip to the front of the nests for the hens
to jump upon when entering the nests. Place a button or block
of wood on the front of each partition to hold the door when the
nest is closed.
If the nests are to be placed directly below the dropping
board, a wire top should be used on the nest, except for a 5-inch
strip of wood on the front edge of the top to stiffen the nest.

SOME NEEDED EQUIPMENT

The water fountain is a fixture to which careful consideration
should be given. It should be so constructed that it can be easily
cleaned and disinfected, is easily accessible for the poultry, and
is protected from contamination. Water jars should be placed
on stands near the mash hopper.
To make the feeding of the flock less burdensome, it is advis-
able to keep mash, oyster shell, charcoal, grit, and water before
the birds at all times.
Mash Hoppers are essential in all phases of poultry manage-
ment. They should be constructed so as to be clean and sanitary,
and non-wasting. Some poultrymen prefer the open type while
others like the force feed type. Fig. 7 shows a home-made range







Florida Cooperative Extension


hopper which is
giving satisfac-
tion. It is desir-
able to have the
mash hoppers off
the ground at
least 18 inches.
S If any of the
mash hoppers are
to be left out-
doors they should
be so construct-
ed as to keep out
43: rg -. the rain.
Fig. 7.-Mash hopper for use out in open Oyster s h e Ill
and grit hopper
should be provided. Fig. 8 shows a suitable type of hopper which
will hold large amounts of grit and oyster shell. This material
should be kept before the laying and growing stock all of the
time.
BILL OF MATERIAL (Figure 8)
1 pc. 1"x12"x14'-backs, ends, partitions and fronts.
1 pc. 1"x8"x6'-top and front of trough.
1 pr. 2" butt hinges.


Fig. 8.-Oyster shell and grit hopper.






Poultry Houses and Equipment









END ELEVATION JI5D ELEVATION


Fig. 9.-Open non-wasting mash hopper ~L
DRY MASH FEL,..
BILL OF MATERIAL (Figure 9)
4-2"x2"x18". 2-1"x6"x4". 3-1"3 1/"3 /".
2-1"x2"x24". 1-1"x12"x4'. 4-plaster lath.
2-1"x4"x4'2". 2-1"x12"x8'6". 2-21%" No. 10 screws.
6-1"x2"x4'2". 2-1"x1"x18". 1/2 Lb. 6d. box nails.






Florida Cooperative Extension


BROODER HOUSES

Well constructed brooder houses are essential in raising and
managing baby chicks.
Brooder houses are generally of two types, stationary and
portable. The average size is 10'x12' to 12'x14'.
A concrete or cement floor is desirable for a stationary house
while a wooden floor, using tongue and groove lumber, is desir-
able for a portable house.
Portable houses should be constructed on skids or runners.
The walls should be tightly constructed, using drop siding or
tongue and groove material. Some poultrymen are using rough
lumber and ceiling the cracks.



















Fig. 10.-Brooder house, 10'x12', capacity 250 or 300 chicks

The roof should be made waterproof, using either roofing
paper or shingles.
Ventilation in the brooder house can be secured by having an
opening in the front of the house. The opening will vary with the
brooder house. Windows in the front will help in furnishing
light and ventilation.
A ventilator in the rear of the house near the plate is also
desirable and can be opened or closed depending on weather con-
ditions and age of chicks.






Poultry Houses and Equipment


Fig. 11.-Interior of brooder house. (Courtesy U. S. D. A.)


LAYING HOUSES

Laying houses should be constructed on the same plan as the
brooder houses. Small portable houses should be placed on run-
ners so that they can be moved from place to place.


Fig. 12.-A long, open-front, shed-roof laying house with drip. This house,
which is of the intensive type, is 16'x60' and has a capacity of about
400 hens. (Walton County.)





Florida Cooperative Extension.


The floors in the laying house may be dirt, wood, or cement
or concrete. Wood or concrete floors are better.
Laying houses do not need to have any glass in front. They
are generally open front. Some have a 4-foot opening while
others have the entire front open.
This will allow plenty of sunshine and ventilation for the
house. Ventilators should be placed in the rear of the house just
under the plate or under the dropping boards or both.
The sides of the house should be tightly constructed so as
to prevent any drafts on the birds. In central and northern
Florida the houses are constructed more tightly than in south-
ern Florida. An abundance of fresh air in poultry houses is
essential.
BUILDING SUGGESTIONS
The following suggestions are given to assist in the construc-
tion of a poultry house.
Suggested Dimensions of Shed-Roof Type Poultry Houses.
Height in Feet
Depth, Ft. Length, Ft. Front Rear
12 10 7 -71/2 41/2-5
14 12 71/2-8 5 -51/2
16 16 8 -81/2 5 -51/2
20 20 81/2-9 5 -51/2

Overhangs or drips are suggested on shed-roof type houses.
The drip should be 2 feet to 21/2 feet at an angle of 450. (See
Figs. 12 and 16.)
Even span houses are constructed so as to have a front and
rear height of 7 to 8 feet and the peak 10 feet. The depth
ranges from 16 to 18 feet and the length from 32 to 48 feet.
The fronts are boarded up 21/2 to 3 feet and the remainder
screened with wire.
Rear ventilators just below the plate are 6 to 12 inches wide
and hinged. Ventilators under the dropping boards are fur-
nished by means of glass windows 2'x2' which can be slid back
and forth and 1-inch mesh wire is also used. Openings in either
end of the even-span house near the peak are sometimes found
to secure greater ventilation.
When a wooden floor is used the house should be erected off
the ground about 10 to 18 inches.











1W tP.L I.A. O N








MRONT LLEVATION .




----LA. VLW"TIU AT&L


TEPNJVIEJL E. ACTIONN
Fig. 13.-Plans for 18'x32' even-span laying house. (See Fig. 14.)
















1 II I II I I 1 1 II
I I I




rya
I n








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FLQO O PLAN
Fig. 14.-Floor plans for 18'x32' even-span laying house.







Poultry Houses and Equipment



Iwo[ w L0^ wIrc.ow b
MUJ./LI J H
fLOO. PLAH FOL J A/H FLOnT
TYPE I


F~ONT LLEVATION SECTION FOE
TYPE- I JA/.J fLBONT
5BROODEi. ilOUJf_ bOODE-. HOUL
Fig. 15.-Plans for 10'x12' brooder house.


TY PL T:
Fig. 16.-Front plans for 10'x12' shed-roof laying house with drip.
(See Fig. 17)








Florida Cooperative Extension


FLOOR PLPN
'r 1.c zr


TD.. /VL P./L J.CTION
LFYI G HOUJE-
Fig. 17.-Plans for shed roof laying house, 10'x12', with drip. (See Fig. 16)




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