Poultry, Feed Mill Equipment, Uses and Maintenance
Poultry Equipment

Poultry equipment are materials used in the poultry to raise poultry birds. E.g. drinkers, feeders etc. We will go through their various types and uses.

Poultry production in a simple term means rearing of domesticated birds, like ducks, broilers, pullets, quails, turkeys etc. and its production for human consumption. Since poultry meat is very nutritious and supplies the required protein and the birds very easy to manage, many people see it as a worthwhile business to venture into.

Also, there is high demand for animal source of protein in human diet and since this could be easily derived from poultry meat and its products e.g. eggs, there will be no loss of energy in seeking for knowledge on its rearing and management even if it is at small scale.

The following equipment, instruments and utensils are necessary in the day to day operation of a poultry farm:

  • Wheel barrow
  • Incinerator
  • Boot
  • Overall
  • Buckets
  • Egg Trays
  • Shovel
  • Feeders
  • Drinkers
  • Deep well
  • Portable Tap water or Bore hole.
  • De-beaking Machine
  • Incubator
  • Automatic syringe
  • Battery cage
  • Cooling system i.e. fan
  • Drug store
  • Egg grading machine
  • Refrigerator
  • Brooder/hover
  • Broader guard
  • Laying Nest


Feed mill Equipment comprises of the following amongst others:

  • Grinder or Hammer mill
  • Conveyor
  • Mixer
  • Weighing Scale
  • Generating set
  • Motors
  • Sacks
  • Trolleys
  • Silo

Identification, Uses and Maintenance of These Equipment:


Wheel Barrow: This is the conventional load carrying equipment used mainly in carrying feed materials and other moderately heavy objects from one place to the other in poultry farm.

Maintenance: Wash the barrow immediately after each day work with mild solution of disinfectant and allow to dry, then keep in a dry cool place.

Incinerator:  This is a fabricated metal or brick built construction with holes at the side. It is usually built to a height of 3-4m from the ground level. Farm waste and dead carcass are burnt in this structure. Make sure it is sited away from the poultry houses or cage to avoid smoke from suffocating the birds. Maintenance: Pack and turn the ashes and avoid its accumulation as often as possible.

Boot: This is a protective foot wear for all poultry workers.

Maintenance: Wash and clean immediately with mild solution of disinfectant after each usage and keep in a dry clean place.

Overall: Is a protective garment to be worn before entering into any of the poultry pen/houses. Do not enter the poultry house with your home dress as this might be a source of infection to your birds.

Maintenance: Wash with any detergent and dry before subsequent use.

Buckets: This could be plastic or galvanize bucket used for carrying feed, water or poultry products.

Maintenance: Wash with mild solution of disinfectant and allow to dry then keep in a cool dry place.

Egg Tray: This is used to carry table eggs in poultry. It could Le paper, plastic or disposable type. Maintenance: If it is plastic type wash frequently with disinfectant to avoid it being a contaminant.

Shovel: it is used to pack litter materials in the farm and in the pen. Maintenance: Wash with mild solution of disinfectant and dry it then keep in a dry place.

Feeders: Feeders are always in two categories i.e. chick feeder which is meant to be used for chicks between the day old through four to five weeks of age and on the other category we have hanging feeder, troughs etc. used for older birds. To avoid feed wastage, a feed trough should never be more than 1/3 full.

Build lips around the feeders to catch Split feed. Apart from chicks feeder/tray which is very important at the prime age, when your birds are growing old, you can build your own feeder trough with normal planks or bamboo stem and where you are using feeder your feeder should not be hanged above the shoulder so as to allow them easy access to the feed. Also there is automated feeding system i.e. chain feeder.

Maintenance: Clean Feeder daily and turn out stale feed before serving another one.

Drinkers: We have chick’s drinker for young birds, water trough for older birds and automated drinking system in large poultry farm where birds drink through the beak contact with nipples on the water line. Always provide cool clean water for your birds to improve their productivity.

Maintenance: Make sure your water line is free of any dirt that could block it and contaminate your water and or promote growth of algae.

Deep Well, Portable Tap Water or Bore Hole: This is an essential facility that must be available in your poultry farm as birds needed an ample supply of cool clean water always for successful production. Maintenance: Make sure your water source is devoid of contaminant and analyze your water frequently.

De-beaking Machine:  This machine is used to cut and cauterize outgrown beak of birds especially when vice, habits like cannibalism, egg pecking and feather pulling is noticed amongst your stock. If you have to debeak, do this either early in the morning or late in the evening. It is advisable to consult a professional animal health technologist to do this for you.

Maintenance: Wipe clean after use and keep in a dry cool place.

Incubator: This is important equipment in the hatchery section of a poultry farm. Inside this machine, hatchable eggs are set in for a period of twenty one days when chicks are produced. The internal environment of an incubator is automated and is thereby regulated to provide all necessary conditions favorable for successful development of the embryo to chicks. Incubator are in sizes depending on the desired target of the owner, this ranges from a few hundred capacity incubator to hundreds of thousands egg holding incubator.

Maintenance: Incubator and hatchery should be handled by a professional to avoid damages and malfunctioning, there should be ready supply of electricity i.e. power surge should be avoided as much as possible, the hatchery and the incubator environment should be  Well sanitized and possibly fumigated before setting and after hatch.

Automatic Syringe: Automatic syringe is used to vaccinate and or inject drugs into birds especially when the number is enormous. Using this instrument is faster and accurate than the normal disposable syringe and needle.

Maintenance: Wipe clean after use and keep in dry cool place.

Battery Cage: Cage houses birds and there are different types i.e. we have 2 tier, 3 tier cage system. Their comparative advantage over deep litter system is in control of disease outbreak.

Maintenance: Effect immediate repair on damaged part and periodically coat with silver paint to avoid rust.

Cooling System (Fan): Provision of fan in your poultry house is very essential especially in a hot tropical climate. This is to cool down your birds’ temperature to minimize loss due to excessive heat and probably increase their production.

Maintenance: Clean your fan blade regularly to free them of dust and oil the movable or rotating pivot.

Drug Store: This is where drugs are stored.

Maintenance: Maintain proper sanitation of the store and the stored products.

Egg Grading Machine: It is very important to grade your eggs according to sizes either for commercial purposes or for setting into incubator as the case may be. Eggs are graded into extra-large, large, medium and small and each grade attracts different market value accordingly. The equipment used in carrying out this exercise is the grading machine.

Maintenance: Wipe clean after use and keep in a dry cool place.

Refrigerator: This is used to keep drugs, dressed chicken and other biological materials in the farm.

Maintenance: Change any naked wire and prevent power surge which might damage the compressor by using voltage regulator.

Brooder/Hover: This device is very important in the brooder house during the brooding period. It is mainly the source of heat supply to the chicks in the first few weeks of life.

Maintenance: Avoid or change any naked wire, wipe clean after each period of use and keep in a clean dry place.

Brooder Guard: This is usually made with a fairly long stretch of thick cardboard; it is used to guard and confine the chicks within a specific area during the brooding period so they may be easily directed to the feeders and drinkers and also towards the range of the heat supplied by the brooder.

Maintenance. Clean after each brooding period and dry well under sun the keep in a dry cool place for further use.

Laying Nest: Laying nest is used under deep litter system where layers will easily perch inside and lay their eggs. This is made of long planks divided into cubicles and arranged beside the wall of the poultry pen.

Maintenance: Clean box regularly


Grinder or Hammer Mill: The grinder or otherwise known as hammer mill is a very important equipment in the feed mill. This machine is used to crush hard feed ingredients like maize, PKC, Bone, oyster shell etc., into smaller sizes suitable for ingestion by the birds. Sizes or fineness of this feed materials depends on the age and type of birds this feed is intended to be fed to and this directly correspond with the size of sieve that is placed inside this machine prior to commencement of milling.

Maintenance: Clean the machine of all dust after each milling and avoid water spillage on the equipment especially the driving motor. Replace any naked wire on the equipment to avoid shock hazard.

Conveyor: This is a long tube like equipment that carries grinded feed materials from the grinder to the mixer.

Maintenance: Clean machine of all dust after each milling and avoid water spillage. Replace any naked wire on time.

Mixer:  Mixer is big cylindrical structure equipment that receives grinded materials from hammer mill through the conveyor. Inside this equipment feed is thoroughly and evenly mixed with all the micronutrients and additives in the feed equally distributed. Feed mixed inside this machine have a large comparative advantage over mixing done by hand or on the floor. They usually come in sizes i.e. we have capacities of two tons, five tons and so on.

Maintenance: Replace naked wire promptly and clean of dust and cobwebs.

Weighing Scale: This could be manual i.e. Avery or electronic. This is used to weigh feed ingredients and finished feed prior and or after milling and bagging.

Maintenance: Dust the equipment clean when necessary and oil the lubricating parts as at when due. ‘

Generating Set/ Generator: To avoid power failure disturbance when milling operation is going on in the feed mill. A generating plant should be available.

Maintenance: Service at appropriate time.

Motor: Electric driving motor is attached to each of the grinder, conveyor and the mixer to power them. Maintenance: Service at appropriate time.

Sacks: Used to bag finished feed.

Maintenance: Where sacks are reused clean and keep in dry cool place.

Trolleys:  This is used to carry feed ingredients and materials of various weights in the feed mill. Maintenance: Clean as at when due and lubricate movable parts.

Silo: This is a storage structure used to keep feed ingredients especially grains prior to use.

Maintenance: Keep silo clean and make sure it is both airtight and rodent free.

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