COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN
AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida
Florida State University and
United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperating
M. O. Watkins, Director
CONSTRUCTION and EQUIPMENT
J. S. Moore, Extension Poultr)yan
having Ihouri i piiI. of the kind described in this circular.
Gajin,-, ill.. I lknd.i
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
One of the most important items in the efficient
management of the laying flock is good hoiu,ini and suit-
able laying house equipment. The essentials of a good
laying house include the ifllow.'ing
1. Prop. r location of the house and good arrange-
ment of the equipment.
2. Economy of construction.
3. Adequate ventilation.
4. Comfort for both the birds and the operator.
5. Adequate floor, roosting, feeding, watering and
6. Easy to clean and disinfect.
The laying house equipment needs to be economical,
well arranged so as to reduce labor, durable, adapted to
the needs of the birds, and convenient for the operator.
The right equipment properly installed will reduce the
labor in feeding, watering, gathering eggs and cleaning
LO( EATING THE LAYING HOUSE
Many airii;n houses are laid out from east to west.
However, the contour of the land should be a deciding
factor in whether to run the house from east to west or
from north to south. Select a spot for the house that is
well drained, for both air and water. The amount of
i.radinr necessary to obtain a level floor should be a de-
termining factor in facing the house.
Another factor to consider in locating the house is the
convenience to the dwelling or other buildings on the
farm ith the idea of saving labor.
Another important point in locating the house is to
1, c p the laying flock isolated from the young stock. Keep
the laying houses a minimum of 300 feet from the brood-
er house and ron inp, ranPc
K ONOMY OF ( CONSTRUCTION
A good ;.l\i' house need not be expensive. Florid.
poultrymen today are constructing e,,)od houses at mini-
mum cost. A cablc-roof, open shelter type, dirt floor with
either pole-type or frame-type construction is generally
preferred. In most of Florda, it is important to construct
a house that provides comfort for the birds in warm weath-
er rather than kLpinI the birds warm in winter. Two
essentials in construction are: 1. A roof that will not leak,
with a ridge ventilator extending the length of the house.
2. A floor that can be kept dry.
Most laying houses in Florida are from 24-30 feet
in idrh, with any desired length to house a given number
\\'h..ther to use a pole-type or frame-type construc-
tion will depend upon euur prfdr..n L. mn t rLI l ai al.l-'hb
and prices. Set poles dJrcitl intri: th'- pr..und fl'r th.i pul, -
type house, but put down a :ounjdti(on oIt onirll.rit or ,l.n-
crete block, bolt the sills to the foundation iand nail th..
studs to the sills in the frame-type house. It v.rll gnrer.illi
require the services of a rood carpenter to .....'strukt thi:
frame-type house. The pole-type house will not require
skilled labor and the cost of the material wd11 be 1..-
As to plates, raftcrs and bracing. about the same
construction is used, wherh',r pole-or fraiilmi..pe
The roofing material used can influence rhe cost of
the poultry house. Three materials commiiron- l used .Ir,
aluminum, gjlianized iron, and composition roofing Com-
position roofing is the least expenslic Hov.,.'cr. It dloe
not last as well as the orh.er two imttrial Minmy poultir
houses have been construitcd ;n Florida in recent )>ar,
u.i;n 2" wire netting over the rafter and rll roofing
over the chicken wir- This type roof vi holding up cll
after five or more )Lars The wC-ll.-etablishi.- poultryman
will usually uce galkanizcd iron or aluminum .ii the roof-
ing material. The beetnntr in poultry mrlv choose the
cheaper roofing material, hanging to th: rlth, r typec- of
The height of thi house at the t-i. a, another es,,n.
tial that must be conldJered Se\cn ft.-i high at the casie
would be a minimum Eight or nine feet. 'rih the roof
:\tndinE over at Icast two fct. will add to the comfort
of the birds and the operator and at the sanie time keep
out some of the dri\int rains that oc.ur at timne;
The section of the stati ill help to 1..r,:rmine the
material to be ued on the ends and .ide ..,t the husc.
In most cases the ends of the house are board.,d up. Iea\-
ing a 10' space for doors in each end so a, to. enter the
house with a truck for case in removing litr,.r and cquip.-
ment at time of caning \\'re nLtting i. gin.:rally us-d
for the sides of the houses In South Florida in addition
to the wire nrtting, hinged doors are orsndrii, used that
can be lowered in jase of storm, or hlowmin: rijm. Manj
houses in North and W\\et Florida uie onl\ tl. ire net.
ting as sides for the hour. During the ainritr months.
feed sacks are s'ncme-timc used to i.lo. uLp th. north and
west sides. Since there is more \rarm '.eathLr than cold
weather in Florida. the house that can be oFpL n.J up to .al
low for proper .irLulation of air is prefirrid
\'hcre the drainage of land on \l1i 0h the lI.m n
house is to be placed is good, dirt floor, ar.- used ThI
floor should be higher than the surroundings .ir..a in orJc-r
to get good drainage and keep thb. dirt floor lIry.
ADI IUATE VLNTILATION.-A ridge ventilator
c.ti-idirn the Ikn.rh of the house, is one very important
i,:n,iJeration in constructing a poultry house. This venti
lator not only tends to keep the house cooler and adds t<
the comfort of the birds, but it also makes for better venti
nation throLuehout the house.
COMFORT FOR BIRDS AND OPERATOR.--I
constructing the '.laing house, consider all points that wil
add to the economy of construction, yet xill not detrac
from its durability and from the comfort of the birds ant
FLOOR SPACE.-General recommendations for floo
space are three square feet for' light breeds and foui
square feet for general purpose breeds. If the birds an
.1lliLd the use of outside runs, the space allowed car
be reduced by about 25 percent. Overcrowding the bird:
in the laimng house never pays.
ROOSTING SPAC.F -\'hl:n roosts are used, provide
.ix inches of r:. 1- space for light breeds and ti.'hr inche:
for heavy breeds. Space the perches 12-14 in..h..., .-nte:
to center. This allows 50-75 feet of roosting space per 10(
layers. Some poultrymen have JdlLLontrnucd the use ol
roosts in the laying house allowing the birds to roost or
NESTING SPAC F -Where individual nests are used
provide one nest for every five birds. \Vhr.n a community
type nest is used ,two nests 2 X6 fCr -hould [e the
minimum illowa.ine per 100 birds. The number and loca.
tion of the nret, affect egg breakage, shdll Jlanhlin..i and
the labor required to eLthcr and clean the eggs Th. re iar
:certain ftatturc- that should be considered in the ..onritrui
rion of the net to reduce egg breakage and soiled eggs,
1. \\ell ventilated, yet as dark as possible.
2. Sturdy, <..il' accessible and attractive to the hen
3. Faj, to clean.
4. Proidi cai way to g.ther eggs.
5. Can be easily and quickly closed at night to keeF
hens from roosting in them.
FEEDFRS AND II HIDING SPACE.-The f-.dJinU
equipment used in the laying house is n-ijort.rlt Feeders
that work mechanically, self-feeders that will hold a two
or three days' supply of feed, or feeders in which the
feed has to bc sup-pliR.d .,ily may be used. The f..cding
equipment should b- dur.ihk, convenient both to the bird
and to the operator, and provide sufficient feeding space.
If a mechanical feeder with a continuous feed trough is
sed, it will require from 30 to 40 running feet of feeder
space, d&pendin on the width of the trough for each
00 hens If regular feed troughs are used, it will require
our 5-foot troughs that feed from both sides for each
00 hens. This will .it a f.cding space of 5 inches per
WATER Ri AND WATERING SPA( F -A con-
.tant supply of i-lean water is tsprLially important for the
>irds. R gardkl, of the size of flock, running water is
ost satisfactory in supply and in labor involved. One-
undred hens will use 6 Lcllons of water daily, dqp. ndini.
n weather conditions, feed consumption and egg produc-
ion. If running water is available, one trough 6 feet long
where the hburd can drink from both sides will be ade-
uate for each 100 hens.
FEED ROOM AND FEED 'TORAGF-Since most
f the work in the fI-cding and care of the birds will start
rom the feed room, the location of the feed room is
important. The feed and storage room may be located in
he middle of, or at the end of, the house, d'-p endingg on
he relation to dritri..% other buildings, slope of the land,
tc. The size of thL Ilc-d room will depend on the size
f the house, the number of birds and the amount or type
f storalcc required. Ior 1,000 birds a 10-foot section
f a 24 to ii-.rfot. uldc house should be sufficient.
LIGHTS.-One light outlet with a 12" or 16" wide
ngle r,.fletor for c,.Lr\ 200 square feet of floor space
should give good results. Lights should be hung so that
hey are 6 Icct above the floor. If the .,irng house is
nl\ 24 feet wide, locate the lights about midway between
:h front and back walls. If a wider house is used, use
wo rows of outlets spaced at equal distance from the
ront and back walls.
SIZE OF BIlI.B- \\'her, morning or nling light,
re used, start out with 40-watt bulbs. If more Int.-nity of
light is needed, the bulbs can be increased to 60 or even
75 watts. If all-night liiht, are used, use the same re-
flector and outlets, but use 25 watt bulbs instead of 40
lMi icll.in -.u, l:-qulz,1iipnr Needed
1. Cajt hinii hooks.
2. Cit hing crates.
3. Broody coops.
4. Hoppers for grit and oyster shell.
LOCATE LQUIrPMf NT FOR EASE
IN .LEANING AND DISINFECTING
In locating the equipment in the laying house, keep
in mind th. iomnort of the birds, also the comfort of the
operator and the saving in time and labor in finding.
watering, gp.thtring eggs and cleaning the house.
The ..i. air generally placed in the center of the
house, runrnin lengthwise of the house. Rather than a
continuous ros.t. s,'ctions 10 feet long with an aisle be-
tnc.Ln cach s tL.ton will make for ease in moving about in
the house jnd. A.,I in moving the cquipm-ntr when clean-
in is neiCeNjr)
In houi' laid out to run from east to west, the nest
an bh, plaLt.J onr the north wall. If houses run from north
to south, pljt.. the nests on the west wall. Nests can be
used in one row or they nma be placed one above the
other in tl.r, Placing the nests along one ,id. of the
houe make f r .esier .kaning and easier gathering of
Place the it,.lers between the roostS and the side
,all Spaci the ftiders in such a manner that they %ill be
Lvnl\. distrihutCd over the house. By pliaing the feeders
in rows, fh..ing % ill be made easier.
If running a: ter is not available and the birds are
at. ri d v ith n ii able vessels, space the water vessels even-
I throughout the house, prlain.c them b(twc-n the side
.alk and rh,.i: Ifi troughs and between the feed troughs
and the rout,
\'her.- running water is available, two type of me-
thanldcl want rir, may be used, the continuou, flow and
the flow controlled by floats or valvte. Open trnu,.h, may
he controlkid by either method. Cup.type- waterers are con-
trolled by 'ali.s The open-type troughs and the cup
wat-rers ni. tK placed in the same position as movable
wja r vessLI. ThL trough with a ,ontinuous flow should
be placed ,,n the side wall, in ordcr to pipe the overflow
'jat[r to thL utitide of the house. Where this type nat%.tr
is used, it ...Ill be a-ll to place trough.; on both walls of
th.- house .u th.it the birds -ill not hjae to travel mcori
than 10 It..l t, iget water.
Hopp,' holdd be provided .ilrng the side alls to
h.ld the n ...r.. r grit and shill
(AGE LAYER HOUSE
A hou.tc similar to the one d,,crihbed in this -lealet
ntia be construct.ed as a cage layer house. In a house 24
to 3O feet .M ide, three double rows of cages may be substi-
tuted for tlie equipment used for birds on the floor. Out-
Ilt, for II'htii, should be installed over each double row