Selecting a site for a poultry farm is not a challenging task as long as you understand what an ideal business location is all about. However, you need to remember that your poultry farm will host birds that can be a nuisance to your neighbors.
Therefore, there are certain factors to consider when choosing a location for your poultry farm. In this blog, we’ll look at some of the key considerations to make when choosing a location for your poultry farm. Note that this article is a continuation of our series of publications on “How to start a poultry farming business –a beginner’s guide to successful poultry farming.”
In general, selecting a site for a new poultry farm requires you to consider the neighborhood, utilities and infrastructure, future expansion plan, site topography, drainage, wind direction, safety (disaster and security), waste management, and setbacks.
1. Neighborhood consideration
Have you ever been to a poultry farm and had that experience of noise and strong offensive odor? Imagine your neighbor kept thousands of birds an inch away from your home and you and your family have to endure the noise and disturbing smell every other day. What would be your reaction?
Nobody wants to experience that kind of nuisance. So, distance from the neighborhood is another factor to consider when choosing a location for your poultry farm.
Therefore, the moment you locate your poultry farm close to a residential site, chances are that you soon have to start dealing with complaints from your neighbors. The moment complaints start coming in, it’s a sign that your time to relocate is up.
Unfortunately, moving a poultry farm to a new setting can be extremely expensive. Therefore, since your plan is to go commercial, it goes without saying that farmland is your best option when it comes to selecting a site for a poultry farm.
The advantage of choosing farmland is that your farm will be set in the same location as other farms that won’t mind the odor and smell your birds produce.
2. Access to utilities and infrastructure
For your poultry farm to run efficiently, you’re going to need an adequate supply of water and reliable electricity as well as other utilities. Let’s begin with water.
Chickens consume a lot of water. A flock of 12 will drink an estimated 6 liters of water every single day according to a study. That means if you’ve 100 chickens, they will need about 50 liters of clean water for drinking. Also, you’re going to use plenty of water in cleaning and washing.
Therefore, when selecting a site for a poultry farm, make sure you take the availability of water into consideration. And I cannot forget to mention the cost factor when talking about water supply to a poultry farm! My strategy has always been to keep expenses and operation costs as low as possible. If you can, find a place with free water such as from a borehole, rainwater tanks, etc.
Your farm will also require a sufficient supply of electricity for the lighting system as well as for running electrical equipment like brooders and egg incubators. Therefore, unless you’ve alternative sources of power in place, consider selecting a site with a reliable supply of electricity.
Finally, your poultry farm should be located in a place with good road networks. This will not only aid your farm’s marketing efforts but also provide ease of accessibility for visitors within your business network. On the contrary, bad roads can damage the progress of your business in ways such as discouraging customers from visiting to buy your poultry products.
3. Future expansion plan
While starting your new poultry farming project, it is critical to think long-term. Even if you’ve chosen to start small to reduce the financial impacts of unforeseen risks on your new business, fix your eyes on future successes.
Look beyond today. Of course, your poultry farm may be small now with just 500 birds or even less. With hard work, discipline, dedication, and endurance, you’re going to surplus that level. Tomorrow is sure to reward you with huge business accomplishments. That’s why you should think long-term.
Be clear on your future plans and align those plans with your choice of the site. The point here is that when selecting a site for a poultry farm, make sure the location offers sufficient space for future expansion.
Remember that future growth will come with the demand for additional structures where you can keep and manage litter and waste materials. Most importantly, as your flock continues to increase in number, you will need a bigger coop or poultry house than the one you’ve at the start.
For example, it is not possible to keep 3000 chickens in a coop originally designed to accommodate 500 birds. More birds more space otherwise you’ll have to deal with expensive and costly diseases that never fade away.
By the way, your expansion plan should be well-articulated in the poultry business plan we discussed here.
4. Topography and drainage
It is a good practice to construct your poultry house on a well-leveled ground. A place with gentle terrain is obviously ideal for easy construction. Good typography will help you to reduce the setup costs.
Also, make sure the site has an efficient drainage system to avoid erosion and flooding. Chicken, especially in their age years, are allergic to extreme cold that may come with a flooded area.
In addition to increasing the risk of disease outbreaks, an area with inadequate drainage may be used by disease-carrying insects such as mosquitoes as a breeding site. Chickens are extremely vulnerable to biting insects.
Therefore, ensure that your selected area has a good slope for water to flow off the coop area.
5. Wind direction
As we saw in our first point above, a poultry farm should never be located within or too close to residential places. One way to estimate the ideal distance from residential homes to your new poultry farm is wind direction.
The direction of the prevailing wind influences the potential impact of the odors on your neighbors’ residences. Your objective is to keep the bad smell from the poultry farm away from residential places. Use your knowledge of wind direction as the mitigation strategy.
6. Disasters and security
How prone is your selected site for the poultry farm to natural disasters? How secure is the location?
Conduct an initial assessment to understand both the potential risks of disaster and the security status of your target area before you finally select the site for a new poultry farm. Avoid areas, which may be prone to wildfire, flooding, storm, earthquake, or other natural disasters.
You also want to be sure that your farm is not located in an area where thieves may break in to steal your birds and assets.
7. Waste Management
Your birds will be generating a lot of waste matters especially as their number grows. Wastes may range from droppings to dead birds. Most of these wastes are very useful manure if managed properly.
Therefore, make sure the site provides enough space for waste management activities such as the collection and processing of chicken droppings.
8. Local laws
Local laws are another category of factors to consider when choosing a location for your poultry farm. There are always guidelines and rules relating to land use. If you’re unsure of what local laws say about locating a poultry farm, just visit your local town planning office for guidance.
Additional Tips for Site Selection
The site for a poultry house should have the following characteristics
- Dry and flat
- Proper drainage –avoid poorly drained sites
- Secure –away from predators and thieves
- Free from reptiles and rodents