Poultry equipment are tools that are used to run poultry operations involving the feeding of birds and protecting them from hazards or ailments.
It is a must-have for farmers restricting or holding their birds in coops or hen houses.
A farmer practising free-range has no need for poultry equipment but a farmer restricting his or her birds, this article is meant for you.
To run a poultry farm requires a systemic arrangement of a feeding system that goes with a poultry cage system. This is to ensure that feed is evenly distributed throughout the hen house to prevent a situation whereby the bigger birds feed and smaller birds starve.
There is a large array of poultry equipment which may make it difficult to make a choice. However, this article will guide you on chicken feeding equipment and other essential poultry equipment, as well as help you easily make choices on equipment to use for your poultry farm.
So if you are thinking about starting poultry or you have just started, this article is, specifically, for you.
Poultry equipment for chicken
Get a feeder that is cylindrical with a partition to minimise wastage. If you are putting a feeder outside, make sure it has a leak-proof hat to protect it from weather conditions that may destroy it.
The feeder should be raised, so it should have a stand or raise with a couple of bricks. However, some feeders come with legs or you can simply hang the feeders up.
The following are the most reliable poultry feeders you can purchase for use:
Farm Tuff 6-Pound Capacity Plastic Poultry Feeder – $45.56
Farm Tuff 6-Pound Capacity Plastic Poultry Feeder Farm Tuff 6lb capacity; 5 different feed flow rates; pan is plastic; handle and clips are lPolypropylene5 different feed flow rates 6lb capacity, 5 different feed flow rates, pan is plastic, handle and clips are l 5 different feed flow rates no assembly required polypropylene.
Harris Farms 4217 Hanging Metal Poultry Feeder, 12-Pound – $57.50
There are plastic and metal feeders. They are both good but metal feeders are more durable. Plastic feeders are okay for first-time poultry farmers keeping just a couple of hens or cocks.
Go for quality and not cheap price. Simple feeders don’t have enough room for even distribution of feed and lightweight feeders get knocked over or broken easily.
It is advisable to have a sizable feeder that will carry enough feed daily. For big poultry, get two or more sizable feeders to prevent feeding squabbles.
Make sure you ration their feed in a way that allows for fresh feed daily instead of excess feed lasting for days in a feeder.
An easy-to-fill drinker is convenient especially if you are keeping multiple birds. Most tower drinkers have their centre section turned upside down for filling, it is reattached to the base and set upright for the birds to drink from.
Note that there are drinkers with locking bases and push-on bases. Most cheap plastic drinkers come with push-on bases. They can be difficult to fill, and they get easily blocked leaving the birds thirsty.
15 Pack Chicken Water Drinking Cup Immediately Bowl Self-Waterer for Poultry Chicken Hens Birds Hencoop – $28.60
You can use either a plastic drinker or a metal drinker. Metal drinkers are more durable while plastic drinkers are less expensive.
The drinker should be placed above ground level and kept away from direct sunshine to prevent algae and to keep the water cold.
Ensure you get a suitable drinker and ensure a steady supply of sufficient clean water.
The henhouse floor should be covered with a dust-free material such as dust-extracted wood shavings, hemp, and chopped cardboard.
These materials absorb water, provide insulation and make cleaning of the hen house easier.
Naturally, chickens bathe in the dust to clean their skin and feathers. Free-range chickens handle their dust-bath themselves but for the caged birds, you will have to arrange for them.
You can use any material that can hold sand. It may be a sandpit tray, washing-up bowl, or plastic box. These materials can serve as dust-baths for the birds to bathe in.
Do not use a cardboard box because it will decompose and the birds will eat it.
Feed storage bins
Having storage bins that are dry and protected from rodent infestation helps to keep feed fresh. So get airtight and sizable bins to store fresh feed and leftover feed. Either metal bins or plastic bins will suffice.
Although, rats can eat through plastic bins; this makes metal storage bins the best option.
First aid kits should be readily available to treat ailing birds or birds showing symptoms of ill-health. Birds are prone to hosting intestinal worms. This can cause severe sickness and eventual death if not treated.
Having a first aid kit for prompt treatment and frequent deworming is strongly advised. The first aid kit should contain approved medication that can be mixed in feed or water for the birds to consume.
Also, traditional herbs can be used, but ensure that they are effective and safe.
However, first aid must not be a replacement for veterinary check-ups or medication. For symptoms that persist, do well to invite a vet to check on your birds for diagnosis and better treatment. This will help prevent a case of mortality.
You need a cleaning kit containing cleaning items such as a brush, shovel, bucket, scraper, rubber gloves, and so on.
The hen house can get messy and you have to keep it clean by shovelling or scraping droppings, changing wood shavings, washing drinkers and feeders, and so on.
A clean hen house will help prevent diseases but a messy place will encourage infestation and spread of diseases.
It is important to have essential poultry equipment as mentioned above. This will keep the birds comfortable and healthy. Also, this poultry equipment will keep you happy as it will make the work of rearing the chicken easier.
Imagine keeping poultry of many birds without drinkers. This will make the even and timely distribution of water arduous. So, with the poultry equipment mentioned above, you can be assured that there are tools in existence that will make you run a smooth and less tedious poultry farm.
Note that your choice of poultry equipment depends on the size and nature of your hen house. For example, a small hen house of a few birds does not need sizable feeders. Therefore, familiarize yourself with the various poultry equipment and make choices that befit your poultry.
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