When we design a house, either for broiler breeders or for any other poultry species, we want to be sure that the birds can perform all the necessary behaviour aspects, needed for optimal production. To be able to do that, we have to pay attention to the actual size of the bird.

A basic rule of thumb is that an adult broiler breeder measures 15 x 30 cm, with its wides point at the shoulders/wings. We can use this rule to determine how an actual set up of a house design should look like.

First of all, if the bird is 15 cm wide, we need to give each bird 15 cm of feeder space to allow all birds to eat at the same time. That means that on a feeder through that can be used from both sides, a meter length can feed approximately 13-15 birds.

A pan feeder doesnt need to have 15 cm of rim space for each bird, because the widest point of the birds is roughly 10 cm outside of the feeder pan. This means that if a pan has a diameter of 60 cm, the circle at a distance of 10 cm away from the rim should measure 15 cm for each bird.

If the diameter of the pan is 60 cm, the eating diameter is 60+2 x 10 = 80 cm. A circle with a diameter of 80 cm measures 80 x 3.14 (the famous numper Phi) = 251 cm, which can cater 16-17 birds if all birds occupy 15 cm of space at shoulder width.

If the bird is 30 cm long, we can also determine how far the lines of chain feeders should be minimum apart. As we want the birds to pass eachother to find an open space, we need 2 x 30 cm for the eating birds, and 2 x 15 cm for the passing birds, so the feeder lines should be minimum 90 cm apart.

If a feeder line is placed on a slat, the line should be minimum 60 cm from the edge, so that a bird can eat and at the same time two birds can pass eachother between the eating bird and the edge of the slat.

For a pan feeder, the minimum distance between the rims doesnt have to be 90 cm but minimum 75 cm, as the birds dont need to pass eachother between the pans, but just have to go through and then will move sideways. The same holds for bell drinkers.