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close this bookThe Intensive Poultry Farming Industry in the Sahelian Zone (CDI, 1996, 56 p.)
close this folder2.1. Preliminary remarks
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View the document2.1.1. Housing
View the document2.1.2. Environmental requirements
View the document2.1.3. Poultry farming equipment
View the document2.1.4. Biosecurity
View the document2.1.5. Staff training

2.1.1. Housing

Choice of site

An open, well-ventilated area, where the wind blows moderately but continuously. Avoid places liable to flooding. Availability of drinking water and electricity. A place accessible to motorized vehicles (feed, chicks, litter, hens, eggs, etc)

Avoid areas where there is a heavy concentration of livestock activity. If this is not possible, choose a place swept by the prevailing winds before the latter reach other farms, or an abattoir, hatchery or feed factory.

The best locations are reserved in descending order for: layer breeding stock, future laying pullets, layers, broilers.


In the Sahelian zone, poultry houses will be open and placed so that their axis is perpendicular to the prevailing winds and facing East-West. The roof will have a large overhang to prevent penetration by the rays of the sun. (See diagram).

The lay-out of the houses must be such that the winds which have swept one building cannot sweep others. The houses will be surrounded by open, preferably grassy spaces, planted with trees with nothing to obstruct the passage of the wind (hedges, mounds, other buildings and so on).

The houses will not be more than 10 metres wide in order to ensure that the poultry have the most effective natural ventilation.

The litter will preferably be composed of dried grass or waste paper, about 5 cm thick. It will be spread over a concrete screed 5-6 cm thick (see diagram). Do not forget the drainage channels under the slope of the roof to carry away run-off water in the event of heavy rain. The roof should preferably be made of white painted steel sheeting to reflect the sun's rays. Inside the building, insulation of the roof with local materials such as those used for housing will help to reduce the inside temperature by a few degrees.


Spacing between buildings: 30 to 50 m for buildings housing similar birds and a minimum of 500 m for buildings housing different birds.

Building lay-out: so that prevailing winds sweep all of them together and not one after another.

Capacity: for a building 10 m width:

1) Broilers: maximum 10 fully grown individuals per sq metre; a 30 m long house may contain 10 x 30 x 10 = 3,000 individuals 8 to 9 weeks old, which is a reasonable number for a poultryman to care for;

2) Layers (“heavies” and “middleweights”): maximum 3 individuals per sq metre; a 30 m long house may contain 3 x 30 x 10 = 900 heavies and maximum 4 individuals per sq metre for lights, i.e. 1,200 individuals per 30 m long house.