While chickens are the most popular farm animals in the world and you can see them almost anywhere, they are not as easy to maintain as you’d think.
Especially if you’re thinking of building a chicken farm – it can be overwhelming to find out how many items are critical to get things running.
But don’t worry, whether it is for a new business idea, or just because you want to set up one in your house – here you’ll learn exactly what you need.
We’re focusing on the materials and equipment that you should have to build the perfect poultry farm.
So, don’t let the eggs hatch out of the eggs and take the chicken by the neck to speed up the process.
Read what we have here so you can build your farm now!
Top 10 chicken farming equipment List
The first step and material to consider is housing. There’s no other equipment that matters that much.
Here’s where the hens will lay their eggs, and where the roosters will mount the females. So you’ll want it to be as comfy as possible for them.
While many people prefer to let them roam free and sleep wherever they please, if you want a real chicken farm that produces the most eggs possible – then you’ll want to get an excellent housing option.
Among the many alternatives you’ll have, here are a few:
Concrete or Wooden House
It doesn’t have to be like a normal-sized house for humans to live in, but it should be at least enough for all your chickens to feel comfortable. Apart from that, a man should fit inside without problems (for cleaning and organizing if needed).
We say concrete or wooden because you can make either. The thing is, a house demands a lot of job and time. And if you want tons of chickens to lay eggs every day, maybe one house won’t do the job.
If you can tackle the time and money investment, then this is an excellent option for sure – especially for space and comfort the chickens will have when compared to alternatives.
While houses can be an excellent idea, you may also just go for small coops. They are very similar to houses but way smaller.
On top of that, a coop is usually made of wood. But this one is totally movable. You won’t have to build or install things around like you would need with a wooden house, instead you can just reinstall the coop in the desired place, and that’s it.
They can be a little problematic to clean due to their small size and enclosed design. But they are always useful for small flocks of about 20 chickens. You may also find smaller ones for about 5 to 10 if needed.
Cages are also perfect, especially if you like to have your chickens on open air. But of course, it is not the best ideal if you live in a place with tons of weather changes every year.
Cages tend to be a little easier to clean inside if they are large enough, but they get dirty faster than any other option.
We recommend going for cages only if you live in a weather-calm place and with tons of time to clean consistently. Also, you’ll have to make sure it fits your flock. Most cages don’t even have enough space.
If you're quite handy and would like to build your own chicken coop, here's a fantastic resource on How To Build A Chicken Coop.
Even if you get the perfect housing option for your chickens, you’ll also need to keep them safe inside and outside. For that, nothing better than a few safety materials like the ideal flooring, some fences, and a brooder guard.
Here’s more to know about each:
Fencing is about preventing the chickens from going anywhere you don’t want them to go. Most coops and cages come with their own small doors that you can just close, and that’s it.
But sometimes, you may need to separate some chickens from others, close specific areas inside, or just protect the chicken house from predators & other animals.
Of course, the best item for that is a fence. That’s why you may need to buy a few meters. We recommend getting this only once you have already built or setup the housing.
Rather than using a tiny cage, a sturdy fence is more preferable. You can do it by a simple DIY project. To get assistance, you may check the Tools Tastico blog.
It doesn’t matter if it is a coop, a cage, or a house – you’ll need a floor. This is essential for hygiene but also for safety. You won’t like parasites and germs growing inside the chicken’s place just because you were too lazy to install the right flooring.
For that, the most popular is always a wire net. But you can always set up anything from rubber and metal sheets up to simple wood. Make sure it is something you can maintain, and that won’t hurt the chickens or vice versa.
These are not essential but can be really useful inside the chicken’s coop. They are usually entire sheets or cardboard, bamboo, or metal tall enough for hens to not be able to jump over them.
What they do is separate the chickens from the others and restrict their movement inside when either brooding or laying.
This also helps new hens to get accustomed to their nests and maintain heat more effectively. As a last resort, it also helps them focus and feel more secure by blocking their sights of other birds.
Once you have the housing and the comfort for the birds figured out – you’ll want to make sure that the birds can hydrate themselves. Otherwise, you may end up with dehydrated hens that don’t want to lay eggs at all.
For that, you’ll need to think about the watering equipment. Here are a few to consider:
Pan & Jar
This is a very budget-friendly option and very easy for chickens to drink from.
You just need to place a jar filled with water over a pan, and that’s it. The water from the jar should go down to the pan. If you're looking for a good chicken waterer, check out this one from Lehman's.
Using a bell-shaped piece of plastic suspended along with a pipeline, it will drop water down on pan.
The great thing about this waterer is the little investment. With just a few bucks you can make a self-controlled system for watering that’s also reliable and very effective.
You’ll need the piece of plastic, a valve with spring mount, and plastic drinkers. It takes a little time to assemble, but it is well worth the investment.
You can use this one for almost any type of housing, including cages and coops. It is pretty easy to assemble too but may demand a bigger investment than the previous options.
It’s just a nipple that lets water out consistently throughout the day in small portions. This water drops onto a cup or jar so chickens can drink from it.
People use it on all types of birds and other animals, but it’s the most effective in small spaces like chicken coops.
It is very similar to a Jar & Pan drinker, but this one comes fully assembled and ready to let chicks drink water.
You won’t need to do anything more than just placing the drinker on the place and let them come and drink.
The best thing about this piece is that you can pick bright colors like red, blue, or yellow that chickens love to get close to.
You can find them in several sizes as well, so you can get multiple ones or just one depending on your needs.
On top of all that, giving vitamins and medicine to the chickens is a piece of cake with this piece.
Related Accessories: Reviews of Good Chicken Plucker For The Money
4. Feeders & Troughs
After getting the right product to hydrate your chickens, you’ll have to get an item that helps them eat more easily.
And for that, there’s nothing like a well-made feeder or through for poultry. With one of these, you’ll just need to deposit the food and let the birds eat. It’s as simple as that.
Care to know about the different types you can get? Here they are:
There are many models of linear feeders to go, but they all have the same mechanism.
It is comprised of a horizontal piece of metal or wood, usually strong and durable enough to handle all kinds of situations. Often, it should be at a low enough height for chickens, chicks, and roosters to eat from it without problems.
Some models come with guards that separate each bird when they’re eating. Others come with a totally exposed surface for easy access.
There’s no need to buy one of these if you can make it yourself, especially if you just need a small one.
This one is pretty similar to a manual drinker. It focuses on a centerpiece of plastic where you place all the food. The pellets, grains, or maize will immediately fall down to refill the plate when needed. It may have some grills or separators to keep the chickens eating individually.
You may also find some that hang from the roof or wall and pour the food on an uncovered plate. These are perfect for large flocks.
Most circular feeders can hold dozens of pounds of food. Others are tiny for just a few pounds, ideal for small flocks.
Some of them may last 7 days, others you may need to refill every 2 days or so. It also depends on how many birds you have.
Lehman's have some good examples of circular chicken feeders. You could try the traditional jar feeder, or if pests are a problem in your chicken coop, you might want to try the PestOff Chicken Feeder.
Shell Grit Box
This is probably among the most popular out there, but it only works as a temporary or casual feeder.
It is usually used with calcium-rich foods outside the coops so chickens can eat while they’re not mating.
This helps them grow larger and feel healthier over time, which eventually helps to produce more eggs.
This is the one you’ll find on industrial-scale chicken farms. If you’re trying to build one of these, an automatic feeder is your best bet.
It typically uses an auger or similar product to deliver the food directly to the chicken’s nests. But of course, it demands a lot of electricity and usually cost a lot of money to set up and operate.
And that’s without mentioning the amount of space they need to be installed. But overall, these are the most effective & less time-consuming option
Now it’s the time to go over the different materials that matter the most to keep your hens cozy while brooding.
This happens after they’ve successfully laid some eggs. Hens will want to keep them safe and will probably put more eggs in the process.
But overall, a brooding material just helps to keep the chickens comfortable with the right temperature and light.
Here’s how each one of the alternatives for brooders works:
You can pick either a charcoal or a kerosene stove. They save a lot of money on electricity, keep the level of temperature very well, and typically don’t have any drawbacks.
But they don’t work for large houses or coops. You will only find stoves useful in small cages and coops where there’s enough space for the furnace to heat up the entire place.
This was the most popular among farmers a few decades back. It is comprised of a heating element connected to a methane or natural gas line. This heats up the element and produces warm to the chickens.
It is usually hanged at about 5 feet over the nests for better results. Some people tend to attach reflectors to the heating element for more efficiency.
These are the most popular nowadays, for their affordability but also because they’re surprisingly effective.
Industrial chicken factories use huge 250-watt bulbs to heat up about 200 chickens. But smaller ones also work to heat up small flocks.
Similar to lamps, they produce heat by heating up an element inside a lamp. However, these are made to produce three times the same heat an ordinary lamp produces.
You may find reflectors with thermometers so you can know how hot the lamp is. Most farmers with reflectors have at least 3 or 4 per coop. And you may find about 20 in big chicken houses.
Finally, you’ll find popular heaters. These are probably among the most popular nowadays, especially in large industrial settings.
These are placed either over the nests or around. They come with heating elements or coils, just like any other heater.
You may even find some with adjustable temperatures, especially useful to keep the chickens as comfortable as needed at any time of the year.
While most people don’t like incubators, it is the most effective and inexpensive way of hatching chicken eggs while the hens are still mating and laying.
Usually, an egg demands lots of care, warm, and the perfect environment to develop and eventually hatch properly. But sometimes, hens just don’t want or just can’t take care of them as needed.
In these cases, using an incubator is the best choice. Here are some alternative to think about:
This machine maintains the egg with the right humidity and temperature to help the eggs incubate for the first 19 days after they’re laid. A turning mechanism is also common in these.
Usually, they are small. You may incubate from 5 to 15 eggs per setter. But other models may be gigantic and hold no less than a 100 eggs.
These are the largest ones and can be used for both incubating the eggs in their last few days or just work as hatchers for when the chicks are born.
In contrast with setters, these don’t have a turning mechanism, and the trays will hold the eggs and the chicks after they are born.
There are many types of both hatchers and setters, though. You may find thousands of options vertical fan incubators, tunnel-type, and even walk-in models that are as large as an entire room.
You can even get a kerosene powered egg incubator and it's made in the USA!
7. Egg Laying
If you want your hens to feel comfy and lay as many eggs as possible, then you’ll need an egg. It should look and feel as natural as possible. For that, there are two options you can choose:
Look like basins but feel like beds. Laying nests are usually made of odorless and uncolored materials such as metals or woods. They look like pans and need to be covered with hay or any similar material to add the perfect coziness level for the birds.
You may produce your own laying nests if you want. But it can be hard to make hens use them if you don’t know how.
They keep the chickens in the most comfortable place possible but caged. For industrial purposes where it is essential to keep the production stable, nest boxes offer the best results.
Some nest boxes can also be individual, especially useful in small flocks. But you may also find large communal and trap nest boxes.
8. Egg Handling
Apart from housing, feeding, watering, incubating, and just letting the chickens produce some eggs – you may also need some materials for handling them. While a simple glove may work, sometimes it just doesn’t. So, you may need to know about a few other handling tools:
Egg Handling Nest
Once the eggs are ready for eating or distribution, it is time to get them out of the nests and sail them out of the farm. For that, you’ll want the best possible handling nest to prevent any broken piece.
The nests handle each egg individually in a small port. They usually come with silicone, rubber, or cloth material to handle the eggs gently.
Before you place the eggs in a handling nest, you’ll have to get them off the laying nest. Most farmers do this with gloves, and it can be sufficient. But for industrial purpose, it is always better to get an egg grabber.
These can handle up to 30 eggs depending on the model without causing any damage. But of course, they can be pretty expensive & difficult to maintain. So they’re only useful for large farms.
Whether it is measuring the eggs or the chickens, it is always useful to check the overall health of the flock and production. You may find two different measuring items for chicken farms:
Useful for both weighing roosters and chickens, they help to keep the flock healthy and to know the overall laying-egg capacity according to their weight.
Some small scales can also be useful for eggs. These are useful to know the overall weight of entire productions before selling them – especially useful in industrial spaces.
These are the small tools that are used to measure the size of eggs. They help to find out if the egg production is stable and to know which chickens are producing the largest or smallest ones.
Coops, cages, and chicken houses may lose the comfort they offer if they get too dirty or too hot. To maintain them at the perfect state for chickens to breed and lay eggs, you should have some of these materials:
Whether it is litter, hay, or residues from food and so on – a rake helps to get everything off without having to any hands.
It is a manual way of cleaning, especially useful in chicken houses and cages where other systems may not work or are not available.
While sprinklers are mostly used to keep chickens fresh, they can also help to clean entire farm buildings if needed.
They let water out gently, which falls directly on the chickens to refresh them every afternoon. You could say the work like irrigation systems that help to do some cleaning as well.
These are even more irrigation systems than sprinklers. Some are like hoses that you can carry around the cage, coop, or house to clean.
Others are automatic and let water out in specific places to clean every few hours or days. You can use sprayers along with sanitizers and disinfectants to clean entire housings.
While this is only common in a commercial environment, it is the most effective way to get rid of parasites and other things that grow in unhealthy flocks.
As the name says, a flame gun powers up with gas or kerosene to heat up or burn unwanted visitors. They can be pretty dangerous, though
Set Up your Chicken Farm Now!
You already know every single piece of vital equipment to build your farm – so there’s no time to lose.
Remember that you don’t have to get every single material on this article. You just go for whatever meets your needs and requirements, depending on the size of the farm you want to start.
Still, we recommend always starting with the basics: housing, safety, feeders, waterers, and brooders. You can leave the rest for later once you’re ready.
Remember, if you need advice and help to build a magnificent chicken coop for your chickens, check out this handy guide.
Do that, and you’ll have the perfect farm in no time. But don’t waste any, chickens are waiting for you!