Gas Heaters for chicken houses
Gas heaters are the most cost effective way to heat a chicken houses. When you place day old chicks in your broiler chicken house you will need to find a way to warm you baby birds. Government loans for poultry often do not include gas heaters or chicken heaters. You will need to specify on your loan application that you want brooders or poultry heaters for your day old chicks when chicken farming. Day olds will not survive at normal temperatures. Remember that a day old chicken usually has a mother to get heat from – in a broiler house there is no mother hen. The heater runs on LPG gas – and is suspended from the ceiling over the chicks. When applying for your government loan or agricultural loan make sure you list everything you need in your application – many new poultry farmers, because they have no experience, forget about critical items – and end up having to buy them later – speak with another chicken farmer or a poultry equipment supplier first -ask them to help with your poultry farm business plan!
The size of heater you use will depend on the size of your chicken house, and how many birds you have placed. The largest in the range is the G12 – and several of these heaters are used in very large houses. You will not need to heat the whole poultry house – you crowd the babies into one area and just heat that area – as the chicks grow you allow them more and more space. This usually done with what is known as a brooding curtain – which keeps the heat in one area – and save gas costs. You may just separate the area with a mesh fence – but this does not help to keep the area in which the chicks are warm.
Also known as brooders, chicken heaters or poultry heaters they work on radiant heat – with South Africa’s electricity problems it is always a good idea to use gas – even if it is as a back up – remember that day old chicks will only survive a few hours in the cold. Keep a spare gas bottle in your poultry store room – running out of gas could be fatal! The other option for heating a chicken house is to use an infrared heater. Government loans for poultry houses are available in South African for chicken farming, but you will need a good poultry business plan to get one. The loans or grants generally cover all the equipment you need, the structure and a years supply of food and chickens – if you manage to access an agricultural loan you will be well set. Before you apply make sure you have thought of everything – many new poultry farmers forget about things like where they will keep the chicken food – you will need a storeroom – a years supply of layer mash is a huge amount of food. It comes in 50kg bags and will take up a lot of space – not mention attracting every rat in your area. It will need to be kept dry. My suggestion is not to store more than 2 months worth of food – chicken feed does go off – and does go mouldy. If you can organise a silo – this is by far the best option for storing chicken food. Another challenge you will face is that at different ages the layers will need different types of poultry feed – as will broilers. Work out your quantities carefully as you do not want to be sitting on too much of the wrong type of feed! Also make sure you have electricity and running water before you chickens arrive – in rural areas this is generally the biggest problem. While your power supply does not need to be strong to run a chicken farm – lights and computers are what will need power – building a chicken hose needs a strong source of power to run the welding machines.