In livestock farming, floor space is very important. For instance, floor spacing is one of the factors or things that affect growth performance as well as the general welfare of livestock animals. Broilers, for example, will perform poorly if they are kept in overcrowded pens or houses. For laying birds (layers), the growth, laying and health performance would be greatly affected.
So a farmer or keeper needs to put the space requirements into serious consideration when planning the design and size of the pen where your flock will be kept, especially broilers.
Problems of Overstocking or Overcrowding
Other problems associated with inadequate floor space for broilers include:
- Unequal feeding and deprivation of the smaller or weak chickens
- Stunted or poor growth
- Poor health
- Poor feed conversion
- Mortality due to heat stress
- Increased cases of bullying and cannibalism
- Rapid disease spread
- Incessant wetness of the litter and ammonia build-up
- Stuffy or smelly pen
Now, it is important to list the importance, benefits or advantages of knowing the floor spacing of chickens.
Importance, Benefits or Advantages of Knowing the Floor Space Requirements for Broilers
- It helps in determining the holding capacity of a particular rearing pen and avoiding overstocking or understocking
- It helps to prevent space-related losses
- It enhances the welfare and performance of the flock
- It eases planning such as pen design plan and feeding plan
Having listed the salient points above, I will like to do mathematics and the answer to the popular question: what is the floor space requirement for broilers?
The ideal floor space requirement per broiler chicken is 1-2 sq ft (0.09-0.18 sq m), 1.5 sq ft (0.14 sq m) on an average. However, going as high as 2.5 sq ft/bird (0.23 sq m/bird) is not bad, especially during the very hot seasons. Don’t forget this value is for adult birds (around 8 weeks), therefore, if you are looking at raising younger broiler chickens like 0-4 weeks old, then you can go for a lesser floor space such as 0.75 sq ft/bird
On the other hand, you can also calculate the stocking density or floor space based on the live body weight of the broiler chickens. You can check the table below.
|Floor space (ft2/bird)||Floor space (m2/bird)||Mature body weight of bird (kg)|
For example, based on the table above, if you intend to raise 100 broilers and your target weight is 2.3 kg, you will need 97 square feet or 9 square metres. This is how to do the calculation.
Floor space for 1 broiler at 2.3 is 0.97 sq ft (0.09 sq m). Therefore, for 100 broilers is 0.97 X 100 = 97 sq ft. It’s as simple as ABC.
You can also use the floor space calculator below.