North Carolina Poultry Farmer Selects DURA-SLAT to Maximize Return on Investment
When Gary Thomas of Thomas Farms, Sanford, N.C. decided to get into chicken farming in 2000, he determined he would build the most modern facility he could afford. As a contract grower for Gold Kist Inc. (one the nation’s leading poultry processors), Gary sought the advice of their experienced veterinarians.
“If you’re going to invest $200,000 in a hen house, you want to make sure you’re building it smart, and building it to last,” said Thomas. One step he took was to build his two hen houses with DURA-SLAT flooring. “I wanted a flooring system that was easy to install, durable and affordable. The veterinarians also assured me that DURA-SLAT would be easier on the hens, reducing injuries that could kill the birds or cause them not to lay.”
Thomas got into chicken farming to diversify his farming operation, which since 1973 had grown a number of different crops. He currently has 24,000 hens in production, and hopes to build two more hen houses to increase his capacity to 50,000. “We’ve had one generation go through the two hen houses with the DURA-SLAT flooring and we’ve been very impressed,” said Thomas, who has five full-time workers on the farm.
Since Thomas started his operation with the DURA-SLAT flooring, he doesn’t have direct experience with any other kind of flooring systems, but reports from Gold Kist indicate that his farm is experiencing significantly better mortality rates with its hens, and Thomas believes he knows why. “Some farmers will pick up 30 dead birds per day. Last year, I averaged about 3 dead birds per day. I don’t know to what degree I could attribute that to the DURA-SLAT flooring, but the veterinarians with Gold Kist visited the farm regularly to inspect the hens and evaluate the flooring system. They believe the use of DURA-SLAT has a direct relationship to our success rate with the hens. Based on the data, it looks like we’ve had minimal problems with hen deaths and injuries. That’s a real positive for me. I think the flooring system has helped me protect the investment I’ve made in the hen houses as revenue generators.”
Thomas said the DURA-SLAT flooring is easy to clean using a pressure washer and the high-density plastic DOESN’T ROT LIKE WOOD – it also DOESN’T SWELL AND SPLINTER. “I think the hens are happier, although it’s hard to be certain. However, if I were building or replacing a floor in a hen house today, I would recommend the DURA-SLAT system. It’s making a difference for us.”
For more information on the DURA-SLAT flooring system, contact us at 800-527-0657 or visit duraplasinc.com.