Poultry Equipment Buyer's Guide
FarmTek offers a wide range of products to make your poultry operation run more smoothly, whether you have backyard chickens or commercial poultry houses. From poultry feeders and watering systems to housing and cages, get everything you need to tend to your flock from chicks to full-grown birds.
What types of poultry operations exist?
The poultry industry is made up of a combination of commercial farmers and hobbyists who raise chicks to be either layers or broilers. A layer is a chicken that is raised to produce eggs, while a broiler is a chicken raised for its meat. Usually, a farm will focus on one of the two types, but may have both. While a commercial farm will have tens of thousands of birds, a hobby farmer can have anywhere from a handful of birds to a few dozen.
What poultry products does FarmTek offer?
FarmTek's extensive line of poultry products includes feeders, watering systems, housing, transport coops, brooders and egg handling equipment.
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Poultry feed needs to be kept clean to prevent the spread of disease and rodent infestations among your flock. Feeders should be cleaned out daily and replaced with fresh feed. When cleaning the feeder, you should let it dry thoroughly so the new feed remains dry. Red feeders attract birds so that they feed more often, maximizing weight gain and egg production. FarmTek offers a variety of feeders such as range feeders, feeder platforms and chick feeders.
What feeders does FarmTek offer for chicks?
Baby Chick Feeder (103913): This feeder is an excellent choice, because the narrow eating area prevents chicks from dropping and wasting feed. Capacity: 100-200 chicks, 40 feeding simultaneously.
Reel Top Plastic Feeder (106139): This feeder is ideal for starting chicks. Made of plastic, it will not rust, dent or deteriorate in sunlight, and the smooth spinning reel prevents birds from roosting above the feed, minimizing contamination and the spread of disease.
What feeders does FarmTek offer for full-grown birds?
Chick-Inn Poultry Feeders (103683, 103684, 103685 & 103686): This line of feeders offers four different capacities ranging in size from 14 lbs. to 50 lbs. The 14 lb. unit is ideal for use in a small chicken pen, where space is limited, and feeds 100 chicks or 50 layers. The largest unit has a 50 lb. feed capacity, and can feed up to 100 full-grown birds, while protecting feed from rain and minimizing waste.
Range Feeder (105804): This feeder is ideal for larger birds and holds up to 300 lbs. of feed. If you live in an area where strong winds are an issue, this is the feeder for you. The locking lid helps prevent wind blow away, minimizing wasted feed.
Does FarmTek carry trough feeders?
FarmTek offers a Galvanized Trough Feeder(110087, 110088, 110089), available in three convenient sizes. This feeder has a revolving reel that keeps birds from roosting in or above the feed. This prevents the spread of disease and feed contamination.
It is critical that your chickens always have access to plenty of fresh, clean water. In order to prevent disease, the waterer should be cleaned out every day, and then filled with fresh cool water. Like feeders, red waterers encourage birds to drink more, keeping them healthy and hydrated. Special care should be taken with baby chicks from one to seven days old, as drowning can be an issue.
What types of drinker kits are available?
Super Flow Hobby Drinker Kit (103696): FarmTek carries complete drinker kits, fountains and waterers. The Super Flow Hobby Drinker Kit nipple drinker waters up to 200 birds. Drinker kits are popular among commercial growers, because the system keeps litter dry, preventing the growth of bacteria, and keeps birds healthier. There is little water waste with this system since birds must peck the nipple to get water flowing. For added protection, drip cups are available to catch excess water. Unlike fountains and waterers, drinker kits do not need to be emptied and cleaned daily, minimizing labor for the chicken farmer. Complete drinker systems are available for operations of all sizes. Custom-designed systems are also available.
Super Flow™ Hobby Drinker Kit
Poultry & Game Bird Fountain - 1 Gallon
Bell-Matic Poultry Waterer
Small Animal & Poultry Drinker - 20 Gallons
What types of fountains are available?
Poultry and Game Bird Fountains (103678, 103679 & 103680): These plastic water fountains are strong, sanitary and portable. With three different gallon capacities, Poultry and Game Bird Fountains can accommodate flocks of up to 150 birds. A Bird Fountain Heater (103682) can be used with all three Poultry and Game Bird Fountains to keep water from freezing during the winter months. The heater includes a built-in thermostat and auto shut-off function for easy use. Also available with this line of fountains is the Bird Fountain Platform Stand (103681), which is not recommended for baby chicks.
What types of waterers are available?
Small Animal and Poultry Drinker (106141): This 20-gallon capacity drinker has six openings for multiple birds, and is easy to clean and refill. Erosion and rust are not an issue with the Small Animal and Poultry Drinker, which can water up to 200 hens.
Bell-Matic Poultry Waterer (105802): This waterer is designed for use with birds of all sizes and types. With very few components, the Bell-Matic Poultry Waterer allows for easy cleaning and maintenance. Supplying water for 20 full-grown birds, the high sensitivity of this waterer allows for very accurate water level control with little to no spillage.
Even though chickens can live outside most of the time, they do need shelter to protect them from the elements and predators. A common method of housing chickens on a hobby farm is to give them a fenced-in area with a run-in shed attached. The shelter you provide should be well ventilated, and be able to provide warmth if needed. A rule of thumb for housing chickens is that each bird should have 3 to 4 square feet of indoor space and 8 to 10 square feet of outdoor space.
If the housing is for layers, nesting space should be available; one nest box should be provided for every four birds, and placed somewhere the birds feel comfortable. It is recommended that the nesting spaces be on a slant, so freshly laid eggs will roll away from the chickens, keeping them clean and protected. Easy access to the nesting spaces is important, as it will make egg collection easier and minimize broken eggs.
When you are caring for both chicks and full-grown birds, it can be beneficial to keep them separated until the chicks reach six months old. Chicks have much weaker immune systems than mature birds, and are more susceptible to any bacteria or viruses mature birds could be carrying.
What poultry housing options does FarmTek provide?
FarmTek has a variety of poultry housing options available. The perfect solution for each poultry farmer depends on the size of the flock, available space and budget. It is recommended that fencing be put up around the shelter in order to keep predators out of the area. If you are unsure which type of housing fits your needs, Contact Us for assistance.
ClearSpan Pastured Poultry Chick-Inn Coop (104298 & 104299): These easy-to-relocate shelters are constructed from USA-made, triple-galvanized structural steel and 12.5 oz. white fabric covers. Pastured Poultry Chick-Inn Coops are available in two sizes, and can stand alone or be mounted on lumber.
ClearSpan Chick-Inn Hutch (104214, 103738, 103697, 103698 & 103699): Chick-Inn Hutches provide a healthy and safe environment that promotes free-range exercise, while keeping birds safe from predators. The white fabric cover lets in an abundance of natural light, enhancing egg production and bird health. With five available sizes, these shelters can accommodate many flock sizes.
Chick-N-Coops (110490, 110491, 110492 & 110493): Chick-N-Coops make raising a small flock of birds easy and affordable. Available in four styles, these coops can accommodate up to nine chickens, keeping them safe and healthy. Chick-N-Pens or Yards are excellent add-ons that offer safe, free-range environments for your flock.
Proper egg handling is crucial to running a poultry operation. Eggs need to be checked for quality, kept safe and secure to avoid breakage and cleaned thoroughly before they are sold or consumed.
What types of laying nests does FarmTek offer?
Chick-Inn Laying Nests (103674, 103675, 103676 & 105356): Laying Nests provide private, comfortable nesting spaces, which promote poultry health and egg production. Available in four sizes, these nest boxes have easy-to-clean removable inserts, minimizing the spread of disease and keeping eggs clean.
10-Hole Front Rollout Nest (103919): Rollout Nests offer easier egg collection and minimal breakage. Since eggs roll out of the nests, collection will not disturb chickens and eggs will stay cleaner. One Rollout Nest is recommended for every forty hens.
FarmTek's Nest Pads can be placed inside of the laying nests to protect freshly laid eggs. The pad allows the egg to roll out of the nest with minimal contact, preventing manure from contaminating the eggs. It is recommended that nest pads are purchased for all laying nests.
How do I clean my eggs?
When it comes to cleaning eggs, there are a few things you can do before you even gather them to make sure they are as sanitary as possible. Each time you collect eggs, clean out the nest boxes completely and replace the hen's shavings to ensure the next eggs are laid in as clean an environment as possible. If you are using nest pads, cleaning the nest boxes is much easier, as you can simply remove the pad, clean it off and replace it. Once an egg is laid, gather it quickly to prevent it from being damaged by a hen or getting dirty. If you plan to sell the eggs produced, it is important to check with your local USDA office for state or local regulations about the cleaning process.
Eggs have pores in their shells that will take in the bacteria from the shell if submerged in cold water. If possible, it is better to clean your eggs with no water at all. If water is necessary to get the eggs clean, make sure you use water that is warmer than the egg in order to keep the pores closed. Eggs should never be left to soak. Instead, a quick run under the faucet and a pat down with a clean paper towel is the best method to clean an egg with water.
For a simpler solution to egg cleaning, FarmTek offers an Egg Brush (110295). The soft plastic sponge is covered in sandpaper which removes dirt from the egg with ease.
What products does FarmTek offer to help me check the quality of my eggs?
When producing eggs to sell, it is critical that the eggs are checked for quality and size before they are offered to the public. FarmTek has a variety of products that can help with this process. The Egg Candler (110082) can carefully check eggs for fertility or hairline cracks. Easily mounted on a table, the Candler shines a light onto the egg highlighting cracks on the surface or abnormalities inside the egg.
After checking the egg, it should be weighed. FarmTek carries two scales for weighing and grading eggs. The Escali® Pocket Scale (111585) is a convenient, lightweight scale that allows you to weigh your eggs anywhere. To grade your eggs, FarmTek offers the Jiffy-Way Egg Grading Scale (110083). This sturdy scale weighs eggs and classifies them as small, medium, large or x-large. After cleaning and grading your eggs, it is time to package them.
What types of egg packaging does FarmTek offer?
FarmTek carries three types of egg packages depending on your individual needs and the size of your eggs. All egg cartons are biodegradable and compostable. Egg cartons are available in regular and jumbo sizes, each holding a dozen eggs. Full Filler Flats (110222) are also available. These 5 x 6 flats hold 30 eggs, but have no lid like traditional cartons. Egg Tray Racks and Egg Cases can make egg handling easier and minimize breakage. They are both reusable and easy to clean.
Does FarmTek offer incubators?
Incubators are important in helping chicks hatch if the eggs are taken away from the hen. The conditions inside of an incubator mimic the temperature and humidity an egg would experience under a brooding hen. FarmTek has two incubator options to keep eggs warm until the chicks are ready to hatch. The Hova-Bator Incubator (111987) is ideal for the small-scale poultry farmer and offers two windows for easy viewing. The Genesis Hova-Bator Incubator (111986) is ideal for novices, experts, classrooms and laboratory settings. Add an Automatic Eqq Turner (111988) for easy egg turning during incubation. Both incubators hold over forty eggs.
What do brooder lights do?
Once chicks are born, a brooder light should be used to keep them warm and healthy until their immune systems have fully developed. Besides the heat from the lamps, the light from the brooders helps the chicks grow as well. Chicks need around 23 hours of light per day to encourage proper eating and drinking, facilitating growth and weight gain. FarmTek offers a variety of brooder lights from standard to heavy duty, depending on the number of hatchlings in your flock and your individual needs.
How can I transport my chickens?
Safe transportation is crucial to the health and well-being of your flock. On long trips, fresh food and water should be provided to keep birds calm and healthy. When transporting chickens, keeping stress levels to a minimum is key. Stressed-out broilers reduce the quality of the meat, and stressed-out layers tend to produce fewer eggs. In either situation, the health of the bird is affected, and so is the quality of your product. FarmTek's Poultry Transportation Coop (103921) is a safe and cost-effective way to transport up to fourteen full-grown birds.
What type of flooring can I use for my chickens?
When deciding on flooring for your chicken coop or house, you will be faced with many options. The cheapest of these options is packing dirt down to create a sturdy base. Unfortunately, not only are these floors difficult to clean, but they attract rodents, exposing your flock to bacteria and disease. Beyond the sanitation issues with dirt floors, they also do not keep the building well insulated during the winter.
Another poultry flooring option is concrete. Concrete requires much less maintenance, as it can be washed down periodically, leaving little to no dirt or bacteria behind. There is also no way for rodents to nest in concrete, and it provides more insulation than dirt. This option, however, can be very costly.
FarmTek offers another type of poultry flooring that benefits not only the birds, but the farmer as well. PolyMax® Poultry Flooring(HA2217, HA2215) improves the health and productivity of your flock, while maintaining a cleaner and drier environment. This option alleviates foot and breast problems in your birds, and inhibits bacteria growth. This long-lasting and affordable flooring is easy to install in your existing coop or house, and comes in overlapping and nonoverlapping styles.
Visit our Poultry Equipment section to see our full line of poultry products including lighting and fencing.