Yellow Door Poultry Houses



Start a chicken farming business

I want to start a poultry farming business - where do I start?

If you plan to raise chickens as a business - then read on - if you just want to chickens at home then this calculator will help. How any eggs per hen and how many hens do I need for my family?


Questions to ask?
  • What kind of farming should I do - broilers or layers?
  • Should I do intensive farming or free range farming?
  • How many birds do I want to farm with?
  • How big should my structure be?
  • How often do I want  to sell birds - every week - every month?
  • How many poultry houses do I need?
  • How far apart should my houses be?
  • What size must my land be?
  • What are my costs involved in poultry farming?
  • How much profit will I make?
  • Who will help me with my business plan and financial forecasts?







Broiler house for 1350 chickens



The first decision to make is the type of chicken farming you want to do. Do you want to farm with chickens that lay eggs, (layers), or do you want to grow chickens to sell for their meat (broilers). While there are many similarities between these types of farming, they are very different. They require different types of poultry equipment and chicken farming methods. They also need different types of chicken houses. How much space do you have? - How many chickens do you want to farm with? How much money have you raised or borrowed? These question need to be answered before you start poultry farming.


Egg farming with laying hens

Layer house cost calculator - this will help you figure out the price of a laying house and the poultry equipment costs.


In this kind of chicken farming the aim is to keep hens, and collect the eggs that they lay. These eggs are then sold as table eggs for people to eat. A hen will lay an egg every day when they are in peak production. Through the egg laying cycle (about 60 weeks) the hen will average about 0.85 eggs per day. The hens will be kept in layer cages, or battery cages - or in the case of free range eggs or organic eggs, the hens will live in a chicken house but have access to an outside range. They will need nest boxes and perches in the structure.


Chicken farming with broilers

Broiler chicken farming is raising chickens from day old chicks to 6 weeks old. After this time the chickens will be sold to a slaughter house for consumption. The growing period varies from 4 - 6 weeks depending on the end weight your customer will want the birds to be. The chickens will live on the floor of the chicken house and will be fed and watered with feeders and drinkers.

Broiler house cost calculator - this will help to get a general idea of how much a chicken house costs to build and the cost of the equipment.

What next?

How many chickens do you want to farm with? How much space do you have on your farm? Are you allowed to farm chickens in your area? These are some of the questions you will need to find answers to.

Intensive chicken farming

  • Broiler chickens - About 15 chickens per square meter (birds live on the floor)
  • Layer chickens - About 12 chickens per square meter (birds live in cages)

You will need to think about a place to keep feed - larger farms use silos to keep the chicken food in, smaller farms have a store room where they keep bags of chicken feed. Find a feed supplier near you, and a supplier of day olds or layers depending on your farming type.Egg farmers will need to think about grading and weighing the eggs every day.

Look for customers - eggs will need to be collected every day and you will need refrigeration if you plan to stock pile the eggs - or you will need to sell your crop everyday. Broiler will need to be sold at the end of the cycle - everyday you keep the chickens past their sell weight will eat into your profits. If you have a crop of 2000 broilers you need to have a buyer before you even start.

You will need water, good water on your chicken farm. Electricity, while not absolutely critical, is very helpful. Using lights in your chicken house will help with increasing production in both egg farming and broiler farming.

Broiler farmers will need heaters in the houses. Both types of farming will need drinking equipment and feeding equipment. There are many different solutions, depending on how many chickens you are farming with and how much money you have. If you have unlimited budget then you will want automatic equipment - both feeding and drinking. This will save time and labour and leave you more time and money to concentrate on other aspects of your poultry operation.

Business plan and funding

A good business plan will be invaluable - and if you plan to raise capital, whether that is through a government grant, or bank loan - you will need a poultry business plan and a set of forecasted financials. A poultry business plan will force you to think through all the variables and possibilities. These decisions need to be made upfront - chickens wait for no-one and you can't stop halfway through to fix a problem. Government grants are generally given to groups of people - while this may spread the burden it does bring it's own problems. Make sure you are very clear about what you want and need when you apply - the department of agriculture, strange as it may seem, knows little about chicken farming, and tend to buy on your behalf, often with unsuitable results. Make sure you specify a cement slab, poultry fans and heaters. Make sure that a bore hole and water tank, electricity and connection are all included. Your ground will need to be level when you build your house - the poultry house builders will not do it for you - so if your farm is on a slope - include grading and leveling in your loan application. Government grants also include your first cycle of day old chickens or layers. Remember you will need medication and inoculations for the birds - you will need food - and when they supply they bring it all at once - make sure you have storage space - rat proof and bird proof storage rooms.

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selina lebitse
0 #63 selina lebitse 2016-06-15 16:34
full information on starting broiler farming business
Chicken Man
0 #62 Chicken Man 2016-03-31 05:14
Quoting Sipho:
Where does one start to get a contract to grow broilers or supply eggs from layers?

This depends on how many broilers you plan to farm with. The contractors will generally only contract with quantities of 25 000 birds and more. (Open houses 25 000 birds, closed environmentally controlled houses 40 000 birds). Rainbow farm and Kroons are just 2 of the companies that engage in contract growing.
+2 #61 Sipho 2016-03-29 19:48
Where does one start to get a contract to grow broilers or supply eggs from layers?
Tilly Mabuza
+1 #60 Tilly Mabuza 2016-03-22 22:18
I want a small broiler house with everything for 500 birds. please give me a qoute.
Tanya Russell
0 #59 Tanya Russell 2016-02-23 08:01
Hi there,
I want to start a small scale free range chicken farm for my 11 year old. I would like to buy a coop for the chickens. we plan to have 100 laying hens to start with and need advise on the size of the coop required.
Can you pls advise and let me know the cost?

Kind Regards
Chicken Man
0 #58 Chicken Man 2016-02-19 09:25
It depends how close the cages are. Usually you would only fit one row of cages with 0.9m between the cage and the walls. – this would mean 360 hens in a single row of 3 tier cages.
If you want to decrease the spacing from the walls and the space between the cages to 0.5 you could fit in two rows – you will need to decide if half a meter is enough space to work in. 720 hens will fit in two rows of 3 tier cages.
You will need to measure the height of your house – it needs to be at least 2.5m at the eaves, and should be insulated – otherwise 3 tier cages will be too close to the roof.
Nomfundo Zwane
0 #57 Nomfundo Zwane 2016-02-19 08:37
Kindly give me a clue of how layers will I have on my 6m by 11m structure and the quotation for all the cost
Bamidele Kehinde Olu
0 #56 Bamidele Kehinde Olu 2016-02-18 15:02
I will like to be a poultry farming, i need help to become a successful farmer. thank you
Ivan Vaaltyn
0 #55 Ivan Vaaltyn 2016-01-16 05:59
Good day, I want to start with 5000 layer hens aged 18 - 24 weeks. Could you kindly provide a quotation for the following.
Layer house 7 meters x 90 meters
Nest boxes
Bell drinkers
Chick feeders
Gas heaters

If theres any of the equipment not included by me please quote.

Beste regards.
Chicken Man
0 #54 Chicken Man 2016-01-04 09:18
Hi Hunadi,
Broilers take at least 28 days to grow (depending what weight you want) and then you need another 14 days to clean and rest your house.
Different aged broilers cannot be in the same house.
If you wanted broilers ready for sale every week you would need 7 houses.

You will need 260 hens to get 200 eggs per day. They will stay in the house for about 60 weeks – you will then sell the hens for meat and place new hens.
-1 #53 Hunadi 2016-01-02 15:24

Kindly assist me with a budget for starting a chicken farm, together with selling eggs... I'm planning to sell 200 eggs a day and 100 chickens a day.

What budget am I looking at, with all the equipments as a start. I already have a place for that.
ramza mixed farming
0 #52 ramza mixed farming 2015-11-19 12:19
i am a emerging farmer in eastern free state qwaqwa and my aim and vision is to farm with poulrty especially broilers as thier market is a bit larger, please assist me with different qoutations of houses, equipment, and everything needed inside the house. i am thinking of a house capacity of -+ 500 to 1000 chickens or more or two structures handling 1000 chickens inside.
Tracey Chikamba
-1 #51 Tracey Chikamba 2015-10-05 15:04
I urgently need a quote for a fully automated layer farm for 26000 birds.
Ganesh Bharade
0 #50 Ganesh Bharade 2015-08-23 06:18
Dear sir
I want to quotation of chicken farming house
10000 chicken
+2 #49 Beauhania 2015-06-09 23:23
Good day,

Please provide a quotation for the following:

1. Chicken house - 2 x 40 000 chickens houses - semi environmentally controlled

1. Chicken house - 2 x 40 000 chickens houses - environmentally controlled

Farm located within Brits area, approximately 30 kilometres from Pretoria


Beau - 082 771 0418

TooBlessed Group (pty) ltd
0 #48 Isaac 2015-06-03 14:45
-1 #47 Michael 2015-01-29 22:26
Please quote me on a broiler house for about 500 chickens
0 #46 Morne 2014-12-22 10:11
really cool
Thabang Mbande
0 #45 Thabang Mbande 2014-07-03 20:50
[quote name="Makau"]Pl ease advice for the following:

We looking to start commercial business, we've been growing one day old chicken for more than 2 years in a low scale, now we want to do the business in an intensive way
We want to do
1000 broilers
500 laying chickens starting from day one old

Now if you can provide us with a training to raise chicks from day old to fully grown chicken on a shortest period
and another Training that can help us.

We also looking for a quotation for the following

King regards
Thabang Mbande
-1 #44 nomsa 2014-06-29 13:18
we not started can you provide us with a training to raise chicken from starter to grower until to finisher
we looking for a quotation for the folowing
feed costing monthlycertific ate

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