Poultry curtains with winching system – the easiest way to control the temperature in your chicken house – watch the video of a winching systems for poultry curtains. All chicken houses have some kind of curtain system on the two long sides of the chicken house. They are there so that you can control the temperature – which can get very high when there are many chickens in the house.
Suggested temperatures in a chicken house
- Day old chicks in a layer house – 33 degrees C – 34 degrees C
- Broiler house – 24 degrees C – not always possible – but not more than 28 degrees C
- Layers in an egg house – 24 degrees C to 28 degrees C
You will use your curtains and poultry fans to keep the temperature down – in very hot places you may have to put extra fans in the coop. Some farmers will run a water sprinkler on the roof of the hen house to lower the temperature. In a closed environment poultry house there are no curtains and cooling systems similar to air conditioning units are used. Every chicken coop should have a min max thermometer (used for measuring the lowest temperature and the highest temperature in the period), and a wet dry thermometer (used for measuring humidity). In cold climates the curtains are wound up, and a poultry heater – usually a gas heater, is used to maintain the correct temperatures.
The chicken house should face north to south so that the sun does not shine into the house, that is, into the sides of the house where the curtains are. They allow the wind to blow, or the air to move through the poultry house and keep the temperature down – of course if it is too windy or cold they can be rolled up. A cheap poultry house will not use a winch – which makes it very difficult to roll the curtains – especially a long house. Watch this video and see how easy it is to roll up a long poultry curtain.
A good chicken curtain or poultry curtain is made from thick (550 GSM) material. The cutain material should also be UV treated so the sun does minimal damage.Automatic curtains have a winching system using a big gear winch, or small gear winch (depending on the length and weight of the curtain) that winds curtains up and down. Under the curtains, and attached to the coop should be chicken mesh (wire netting) – this is to keep birds and rodents out of the run.
Strong, well made pulleys must be used – if you use cheap pulleys the system will fall down after some time. The curtains and winching system must use galvanised steel cable – 3mm and 5mm cable are good sizes.The curtains should be tight across the length of the chicken run when they are wound up. Running on the outside of the curtain system are the Z ropes – these are there to stop the curtains from flapping when the wind blows too hard – without them the system can be damaged – and the loud flapping sound will frighten the broilers or the layers. The curtain should be able to wind all the way down to the lowest point on the poultry house wall. On a broiler house this is usually about 700mm, and on a layer house about 300mm.
At the top of the poultry curtain runs the pelmet – the curtain should wind up and run in behind the pelmet – this will keep the wind out and help with the flapping. On each side of the main curtain are the side covers . These will allow the curtain to run straight, and also keep the curtains taught and the wind out. Automatic curtains just means that they use a winching system – that is the winch will make it easier winch curtains up and down – have a look at the chicken curtain video to see a quality system in action. Putting up chicken curtains for a poultry house is not difficult – but you do need to know what you are doing. If you have not done an installation of curtains before, or do not have a system to copy, you would be well advised to let an installation company help you. Small chicken houses, that is houses no longer than 6 meters can use a manual system – the bottom of the curtain has a rod running through it and you just hook the curtain to the height you want – in longer houses this is not an option – the curtain is pretty heavy. The curtains should be green, yellow curtains can upset the birds – blue is also OK – in a broiler breeder house the chicken farmer will use black curtains – or “black out curtains” – when closed the coop is totally black inside – this is used to control how much light the birds get – which really helps with getting the chickens to the correct weight at the correct time. Another method which emerging poultry farmers can use to help with better weights and better egg laying rates, are poultry lights – not infrared lights (they are used for heating a poultry house) but normal fluorescent or low energy white lights.