Poultry houses South Africa – Solar powered chicken houses are not viable with current technology. Solar panels can easily resolve all lighting requirements but when it comes to heating and cooling chicken houses – solar panels do not have the power. The cost of the solar blinds or solar panels is the small part of the outlay – storage of energy is the biggest cost in setting up a solar poultry house. Other technologies such as pool solar panels and solar blinds are easily convertible to the chicken farming requirements.
Chicken houses in South Africa mostly rely on gas and electricity for their power requirements – coal is another cheap power source that is used in heating chicken houses. Heatcos are used for providing heat through a plastic tube that runs the length of the poultry house.
The other big power drain in a commercial chicken house (large poultry houses) is the motors that drive the automatic feeding systems – these require a fair amount of energy to move poultry feed from the silo to the chicken house and then to move the food through troughs using a chain feeding system through the house (or through pipes fro the pan feeding system).
Poultry equipment such as nest boxes, layer cages, tube feeders, bell drinkers are all static and do not require power. The poultry drinking systems work on gravity – although if the water comes from a borehole a solar pump will be needed to get the groundwater. The automatic feeding systems for chickens and the heating system and cooling system present the biggest challenge.
Small chicken houses in rural areas have the biggest challenge and would be the biggest winner if solar power, solar panels could provide power for solar powered, chicken houses. Poultry houses in areas without power (and that is a large part of South Africa and Africa) also face problems with clean water supply, electricity and decent road access. How to build a house – or poultry house is the big question – where there is no electricity available. All these small house could benefit by using the correct poultry equipment - layer cages, nest boxes, Val nipples and Impex nipples. Broiler chickens offer a great opportunity for chicken farming and poultry farming za. Power is the big challenge! Anyone out there with an idea for a solar franchise for chicken houses would make a huge difference in Africa. A good solar franchise would offer poultry business plans for the solar energy and the actual chicken business – which would help uneducated people access loans from the government.