Three Important Pieces of Poultry Equipment
All chicken housing for laying chickens should have the proper poultry equipment including; feeders, drinkers and perches. In addition, you can also add a electrical lighting and a system to collect manure.
In general, you do not need feeders in chicken houses with runs, as the chickens find their own food. However placing an extra feeder in chicken runs can increase production, especially at times when there is less food available outside. For all other types of chicken coops the feeders are necessary. You may lose a lot of feed if you scatter it in the ground. If you raise only a few chickens then the hand-filled feeders are the best.
In tropical regions it is very important to supply chickens with enough quantity of water that is clean and fresh. When installing a drinker, make sure that the water is always available. Moreover the water should be fresh and cool as possible. Clean the drinkers daily. Make sure there is enough drinking space available. A metal feeder with tray of 40 cm in diameter is sufficient for 8 chickens. In small cages, place the drinkers on a small platform of chicken wire to prevent the spill of water by chickens and thus wetting the coop.
Chickens, like all birds, have tons of natural instincts and behaviors that play an important role in their general happiness and well-being. One such behavior is known as “roosting” or perching. Chickens have a very strong instinct to roost, especially at night. Chickens like to spend the night on perches. The more nervous birds can also quickly find shelter there during the day. You will need a space under the perches to catch the bird droppings. Like this, the litter will not get so moist and it is also easier to collect it.
The natural desire to roost comes from the desire to socialize and to allow less dominant birds escape from more dominant ones. These are defensive behaviors designed to protect the chickens from predators, pests and more dominant colleagues. Chickens will enjoy using a perch during the day frequently, they primarily use them at night when the risk of attack is higher. The height and grouping helps avoid attacks from natural predators such as foxes, weasels, and snakes. It also keeps the birds off the ground where they are more likely to pick up pests such as mites or lice.