Breeding facilities


7 Years
Sep 2, 2012
Has anyone seen some really good examples of breeding setups for something on the larger scale, perhaps a well-known breeder, hatchery, or farm?

Looking for some ideas of my own. Anything helps!
Are you asking in regards to pairing, or housing? In both cases hatcheries and breeders (whether well known or not) will differ, as well as differing from farm to farm.

Simply put, my birds are kept primarily in 4X5 pens. I keep only one pair of birds to a pen for single mating purposes and mark the chicks after hatching with the toe punch method to ensure parentage. In the case that I have limited cock's and a surplus of hens I want to breed I keep one hen to a pen and alternate the cock between pens regularly to ensure fertile eggs. Leg and or wing bands may also be applied for identification purposes.

My Leghorns on the other hand, they're in fenced in area that is about I'd guess 30X60 or more; they're not necessarily being bred either though as they're just egg layers so I have two cull Kraienköppe hens and two geese in there too with the 6 Leghorns.

Most breeders I have seen use a method similar to the first I described, some single mate, some flock mate. Flock mating can work well but I personally much prefer single mating as if anything negative crops up in the gene pool you can narrow down who's throwing it much easier, same can be applied to birds who throw exceptional fowl which may give you a key into what to look for in exceptional brood fowl. Also, it's nice not having to wonder when possibly pairing offspring together "are these two full brother and sister, or half brother and sister? (or in the case of multiple cocks) or are they siblings at all?".

Hatcheries have large buildings birds are kept in, the birds are separated from other breeds and depending on hatchery size may have anywhere from about a hundred hens or so to 10 or more cocks in one large enclosure. Farms, most "farms" just let the chickens run together and what they do is what they do assuming it is just a farm and not a farm that a breeder maintains.

God bless,
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Thanks for the help Daniel! Looking for mainly layouts, types of buildings they use, etc. I currently have my own barns but am looking for some newer ideas that might work better. Here is a picture I found online, cannot remember source, but it of a large gov. poultry breeding farm. Just thought it would be interesting to share!
SF, my pens are simply constructed. The 4X5's are just made from 2X4's for the base and dog wire for the sides, door, and roof with a tin/tarp (or anything else solid) cover to block sun and rain. It makes the pens light weight and easily moveable to ensure the birds can remain on grass limiting their chances of getting worms as can happen on dirt floors as well as being healthier for them in my opinion. In times when grass grows slowly or is dead (I.e. during winter) I just rake leaves up and fill the pens unless someone has hay or other material free. For single birds, like say I have some spare cockerels I want to keep in pens, I have some round pens that are just solid dog wire. Basically speaking, many of my pens are what most would refer to as "Chicken tractors" minus the wheels and fancy nests a lot of them have. For nests, I use 2.5 gallon buckets that have had the tops cut open about half way to allow the hens to climb in but the eggs can't fall out. For larger birds, like the Shamo I've even used milk crates/old coolers that had no top with success.

The pens I have are old, they were built primarily by my grandfather/father probably I'd guess easily 20 years ago, maybe more. But, they still get the job done so I use them. Other pens we have in the barn and haven't been used in years (falling apart now) and is a common type of pen around here is a frame constructed of 2X4's that are 3' wide, 4' deep, and about 6' tall. The bottom half is covered with sheets of tin with the top half (door included) being made from wire. These were breeding pens as well, usually holding a pair or trio of birds. Haven't got photos, but hope by my description you can understand; I thought there was a thread on here already somewhere about pens. We've even had pens made out of pallets people throw away and you can find on craigslist, do a search for "pallet pen/pallet coop" and you'll probably find some of those if interested.

God bless,

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