8 Critical Questions to Ask Your Poultry Building Suppliers
When buying all-steel poultry buildings, there's definitely no shortage of willing suppliers. In today's market, there are dozens of poultry building manufacturers who say their structures are the best in the industry, and the perfect match for your poultry operation.
But they can't all be the best. How do you decide which poultry building is right for you?
The key to choosing the right poultry building is to research both the quality and integrity of your potential suppliers. Don't just take them at their word. Do the research. Make sure the company you choose emphasizes customer service and will be around for years to provide service and support.
Ask to speak to the company's dealers in your area. Better yet, talk to some previous customers to find out about their experiences. Taking the time to investigate your potential supplier before making your final decision will save you considerable time, money, and problems later on.
Next, make sure the quality their buildings meets your standards. Ask the right questions during the sales process, and don't buy solely on price. Very often the lowest-priced building is the one that ends up costing the most in terms of higher installation costs, increased maintenance expenses, and lower productivity from your poultry operations. The purchase price may be low, but the cost of ownership is much higher.
Here are some other questions to consider for your new poultry building.
1. How Easy is Your New Poultry Building to Install?
How well a poultry building fits together is critical. A well designed and engineered structure will last longer, be much sturdier, and require less ongoing maintenance than a poorly crafted (i.e. less expensive) building, and will save you time and money during the build process.
Another way to determine how easy a building will install is to ask if the supplier provides detailed construction drawings, and if their building components are labeled and well identified. Quality companies will normally provide their customers with this level of detail, which helps make the building process go faster with lower installation costs.
2. Are the Buildings Welded or Do They Bolt Together?
Most poultry professionals agree that a bolt-together building is superior to one that requires welding. A bolt-together assembly is more accurate, and makes it easier to replace any components damaged during clean out, catching, or routine maintenance functions. In addition, welding destroys any surface coatings, which leads to fast corrosion.
3. Are the Bolts and Screws Coated?
It may seem insignificant, but coated bolts and screws are extremely important. If they're not coated, corrosion of the bolts will immediately begin corroding the adjacent material. Also, non-coated bolts make removing damaged components much more difficult and time consuming.
4. Does the Supplier Offer Efficient Insulation Options?
There are numerous insulation options available, and your best option will depend on your operation requirements and local climate conditions.
If you're considering mass insulations, such as fiberglass, cellulose, or foam board, be aware that the costs to ship it to your site is much higher due to greater bulk. Mass insulation also provides an attractive nesting ground for rats and other indigenous pests.
Blown-in insulation has the risk of insulation migration and the inability to maintain a uniform depth throughout the structure. Batt insulation has fewer migration problems, but is very bulky.
Radiant barrier has the fewest migration issues of other insulations while providing good insulating values. It's also less expensive to ship, and rodents and birds don't like to nest in it.
Finally, ask each prospective supplier if they provide sealing strips that conform to the corrugation, and how tightly the components fit together.
5. Can I Purchase Insulation Locally?
If mass insulation is your best choice, purchasing it from a local source will save a great deal in freight expenses. Your building supplier should not only allow this, but should help guide you in choosing the best insulation for your situation. They should encourage you to purchase materials that are manufactured locally if it will save you money without negatively impacting the building's quality or performance.
6. What Building Dimensions Do They Offer?
The poultry industry is trending towards larger buildings, as they typically cost less per meter and offer the opportunity for more efficient and profitable turns. Most qualified building suppliers should offer building widths from 10M to 16M, with virtually unlimited length options.
7. What Materials and Coatings Are Used?
The strength and quality of the materials used, as well as the type and quality of coatings, will go a long way toward determining the anticipated life of your building(s).
Always ask about the type and quality of materials used in their buildings. What type of material coatings are used, and are there options to choose from? Ask every potential supplier for a list of the materials and coatings used. Ask if your building frame is black iron, red iron, galvanized, or painted. For building panels, ask whether they're galvanized, galvalume, or painted.
8. Can They Accommodate Your Poultry Equipment?
Does the supplier work with you to accommodate equipment from you preferred equipment supplier? Can they make adjustments to place supports or purlins for this equipment? Are framed openings manufactured to the exact dimensions of your fans? What about the cooling chamber? Can they modify dimensions to allow for your preferred cooling system installation?
If you would like more information about buying your own poultry buildings, please contact us and let us know what you're looking for.