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Poultry equipment helps those who raise birds that are kept for human needs. Chickens are the most widely recognized type of poultry, but the category also extends to turkeys, ducks, guinea fowl, geese, and sometimes to larger birds such as ostriches, emus and rheas. Some of these birds are killed for their meat and feathers, while others are primarily used for laying eggs.
A chicken feeder is a basic device for storing chicken feed. This is poultry food that comes in small pellets, usually the size of grain, and can feed many types of birds. Some chicken feeders are built to only disperse a select quantity of food at a time, in order to control the birds’ diet. Others are made to withstand the strong winds and rain of the outdoors, while bowl-style chicken feeders are sometimes used for feeding young chicks.
Poultry coops are another type of poultry equipment. These are typically confined spaces where birds are kept, and can differ in shape and design depending on the type of poultry they house. Nest boxes are usually installed in coops for egg-laying birds, such as chickens, and the floor is often covered with wooden chips or straw to make for easy cleaning. Coops can also encompass entire backyards, sometimes surrounded by a fence, where the birds are given more freedom to roam.
Poultry heaters, also called brooders, are heating devices generally used for keeping birds warm during cold weather. Heaters can be installed at various places where birds are kept, but are most often placed in poultry coops. They are sometimes shaped like large light-bulbs and radiate heat that keeps water and eggs from freezing. The right type of heater can both increase the longevity of birds and yield more eggs during the winter.
Proper egg handling is important to preserve quality and quantity. The poultry equipment used in this process can include chicken nest pads, which are soft laying areas that invite birds to nest their eggs. The eggs are often stored inside incubators, which are closed trays that maintain ideal temperatures and keep the eggs clean and safe. Salter balance machines are usually small devices used for accurately measuring the weight of an egg.
Special human clothing worn when working with birds is also sometimes considered poultry equipment. Boots, disposable sleeves, hair caps and coveralls that cover the entire body are often used in dirty or dangerous environments. These items protect people from possible bird diseases, maintain hygiene, and can prevent bird injuries.