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close this bookPractical Poultry Raising (Peace Corps, 1981, 225 p.)
close this folder6. Housing and equipment
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentFree - range
View the documentContained, with limited range
View the documentContained systems
View the documentBuilding a chicken house
View the documentMaking wire cages
View the documentUse of cages
View the documentEquipment

Making wire cages

In many poultry producing areas, artisans specialize in making entire cages, or they may provide just the front, the most complicated part. Colony cages (up to 20 birds per unit), which use less material, cost less than double (two - thirds) cages, but egg production may be lower. Layers placed in cages should be debeaked severely (see page 77). If you would like to make your own cages, you can use this relatively simple design. More elaborate designs use dropping boards or rolls of tarpaper to catch droppings.


Wire mesh A - Wire with diameter of 2 mm (1/8 in.) welded into mesh spaced 2.5 x 5 cm (1 x 2 in.). This mesh is used for all parts of the cage except the front. Wire mesh B - Same diameter wire welded into mesh spaced 5 x 10 cm (2 x 4 in.). This is used for the front. Wire - Any heavy gauge but pliable wire, to be used to join cage parts.

A Wire Mesh Cage Form - The 2.5 cm (1 in.) spaced wire should be inside the cage so that the eggs will roll out.


Cut a piece of wire mesh A 3.66 m x 150 cm (12 x 5 ft.) and bend it as shown.

Sides and Dividers

Cut pieces of wire mesh A 40 x 45 cm (16 x 18 in.). Use four such pieces, spaced 122 cm (4 ft.) apart, for colony cages; use 17 spaced 22.8 cm (9 in.) apart for double cages. Secure the sides and dividers to the form with wire every 15 cm (6 in.) on the three sides that touch the form.


Cut a piece of wire mesh B 38 cm x 3.75 m (15 in. x 12 - 1/4 ft.). Use the protruding wires on the sides and top of the front to join it to the form. Secure the front to the cage dividers with wire.

Door Opening

At the center of each cage, cut a door opening 15 x 30 cm (6 x 12 in.). Sliding Door - Using wire mesh B, cut a piece as shown by the darker lines. Bend the horizontal wires of the door opening, as shown below.

A Sliding Door

Feeders and Waterers

Feed and water troughs made of sheet metal and mounted with wire hangers run the length of the cage. If possible, the waterer should be secured on the opposite side of the cage from the feeder. Split bamboo can be used for feeders. Roth feeders and waterers should be hung as high as possible on the cage to reduce feed wastage and splashing of water onto the feeder and poultry house floor, certainly not higher than the chicken can reach. A good rule of thumb is to place equipment no higher than the tail feathers of the chicken being put into the house or cage.

Feed and Water Troughs