Broiler Rearing System: Making The Choice…8+2 or 4+1?

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In this quick guide, I’m going to show you the benefits of choosing the right broiler rearing system.

Choosing a system occurs after you’ve decided on the breed of broiler you are going to use.

Once settling on the kind of broiler bird you’ll raise, the next factor which will impact production the most is:

Your broiler rearing system.

So, what is a broiler rearing system?

The broiler rearing system is the mechanism of poultry husbandry by which you will raise the broilers from 1 day old chick to mature and market ready.

The rearing system importantly dictates the:

  • quantity
  • frequency

…of produce delivered by your start-up poultry farm to market.

This powers your business model.

It is the principal underpinning of your enterprise. It controls production.

Said another way…

The projected sales and profit of your poultry business will be determined by how many broilers you have available for sale at any given time.

How do broiler rearing systems work in practice? Please explain.

It’s like this…

Broiler rearing systems are defined by the arrangement of poultry houses within your farm.

Let’s take an example…

Example 4+1 broiler rearing system

In the broiler rearing system: 4+1…

The farm operates 5 broiler houses simultaneously with staggered production intervals.

We’ve put together a quick broiler rearing system diagram, shared below, to illustrate:

4 + 1 Broiler Rearing System
4+1 Broiler Rearing System

In this case, as detailed in the infographic above…

Every 2 weeks, your 4+1 broiler farm would have one marketable batch of chickens…

Ready for sale.

Depending on your batch number, each fortnight (2 weeks) you will have ‘x’ number of chickens to deliver to market.

Say, your batch number was:

10,000 chickens…

You would be looking forward to receiving the proceeds of selling 10,000 birds every 2 weeks (fortnight).

This would be the expected production output for your farm should you adopt the 4+1 broiler rearing model.

But what about alternative broiler rearing systems?

Let’s take another common commercial broiler rearing system…

Example 8+2 broiler rearing system

Following the same naming convention…

This system relates to 10 broiler houses (8+2) being managed simultaneously within your farm.

The corresponding rearing system chart for how it works in practice would look like this:

8+2 Broiler Rearing System
8+2 Broiler Rearing System

In this case, your broiler farm would be producing a batch of birds ready for market once every week.

This is twice (2x) the output potential of the alternative 4+1 rearing system

But with the additional start-up capital expenditure of the 5 extra poultry houses.

Where does that leave you?

To decide what would be the most profitable solution for you…

Simply analyse the:

…once per week vs. once every 2 weeks.

This should inform your investment decision of whether to adopt 4+1 or 8+2 rearing system.

Want to evaluate the benefit vs. cost of broiler rearing system options for your own poultry project?

Ask a question + get in touch.

Have your own experience of rearing broilers and practical advice to share with your peers?

Make a comment.

2 thoughts on “Broiler Rearing System: Making The Choice…8+2 or 4+1?

  1. Hi, I’m about to start rearing day old broiler chickens/ 2000 birds, can you please illustrate the 4+1 and 8+2 system for 2000birds. My farm is in Abeokuta, Nigeria. I would also need your technical assistance.

  2. Actually this type of rearing system is not too great, although economically this looks great,it didn’t.
    The issue is from biosecurity point of view, it will make you vulnerable against viral and bacterial attacks due to biosecurity control problem.
    With this systems, you will have different vaccinated flocks in different houses with different immunity level and different diseases in same farm . Eventually the older houses will infect the new one which lead to lose your money more than you will gain .
    All in All out system is the best rearing system in one farm, that will make you easily apply your biosecurity programs and level immunity titers of the flocks,Which eventually lead to a successful cycle.

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