What temperature should my chicken house be?
The temperature in a chicken house depends on the type of chicken farming you are engaged in. Broiler houses and layer houses have different needs, and the age of the chickens in a broiler house determines the optimum temperature. To measure temperature in a chicken house you will need a Min/Max thermometer. The other critical factor which many small poultry farmers forget about is the relative humidity in a poultry house. Chicken farming is a science, and as such, emerging farmers would do well to learn about relative humidity and the correct temperatures for chickens. A Wet/Dry thermometer is used to measure humidity.
This is a chicken thermometer designed to assist the poultry farmer in regulating the poultry house temperature. This clever piece of poultry equipment records the highest temperature you house has been since you last reset the thermometer – and the the lowest temperature your chicken house has recorded. Getting the temperature right is one of the keys to correct growth rates. A chicken will not eat if the chicken house is too hot. When you place day old chicks in your broiler chicken coop the temperature should be 32 degrees C. After the first 2 – 3 days you will need to gradually drop the temperature to 21 degrees C until the chickens are 21 days old. Day 0 – 32 degrees C – to day 21 – 21 degrees C. For hens in layer cages you biggest factor and challenge will be keeping the hens cool. They will be crowded into a cage along with 4 or 5 other hens with no way to move around. they will also be surrounded by hundreds of other caged hens – this makes for a very hot environment. If you can keep the temperature of the layer structure down to 22 degrees Celsius you will be OK – but this is sometimes impossible. Throughout most of the year, in South Africa, you will keep your curtains open all the way to the floor for maximum ventilation. If your layer house is built properly there should only be a very low wall or sheet on the long sides of the poultry structure – if they are more than about 50cm then it is most likely that the chicken coop was designed for broilers, not layers for egg production.
In a layer house, the temperature should be maintained between 21 and 23 degrees C all the time. Remember that the thermometer works at the height that your chickens are – so hang it at the same height as the chickens or layer cages. You will need to warm the broiler house a day before you place your baby chickens in – the shavings should be at 32 degrees before you place.
This is a thermometer to measure the relative humidity in a chicken house. If there is too much moisture in the air the chickens will not eat – even if the temperature is low. High relative humidity can even kill the chickens. The humidity in a poultry house should never go above 80%. You can use fans or good ventilation to keep the humidity, and the heat, down in your hen house. The curtains should run on both of the long sides of your structure – and should be winched – meaning you can easily roll them up and down. The fan, or fans, should be placed to draw air from the sides of the chicken run – they should not blow directly on the birds. These fans are designed to move large volumes of air – not to create wind. If you can put some kind of insulation in the roof of the steel structure it will help tremendously. If your structure is still too hot the last option is to place a water sprinkler on the roof of the house and cool it that way.
Keeping the day old chickens warm is critical and the min max thermometer, and the wet dry thermometer are chicken thermometers for maintaining and seeing what temperature day old chickens should be kept at – use one when asking what temperature should my chicken house be.