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5 Brooding Secrets Any Poultry Farmer Should Know

What is Brooding in Poultry?

Brooding is specified as the management of chicks from one day old to about 8 weeks of age, and it includes the arrangement of heat and other essential care during chicks’ early growing duration. Brooding units are created to house chicks from one day old up until they no longer require extra heat (0-8 weeks). Growing pens are utilised from the end of the brooding duration up until the broilers are sold or the pullets moved into long term laying homes (approximately 20 weeks). Laying pens or cages are utilised for pullets and hens from the time they begin laying until they are chosen or culled and sold at the completion of the laying duration (as much as 78 weeks).

Natural Brooding

The natural technique of brooding is utilised on farms where just a few chickens are raised each year. Depending upon her size, a hen will brood 15-20 chickens. The broody hen will supply all the heat needed by the chicks. Before putting the chicks with the hen she would be checked for her health and devoid of lice, tick and other ectoparasites.

Artificial Brooding

Artificial brooding can be defined as the handling of recently born chicks without the help of hens. It is achieved by means of a temperature-controlled brooder (foster mother). Synthetic or artificial brooding has a number of benefits over the natural approach, which are:

  • Chicks might be raised at any time of the seasons.
  • Countless chicks might be brooded by a single person.
  • Hygienic condition may be managed and controlled.
  • The temperature may be controlled and regulated.
  • Feeding might be carried out according to planned.

 

Brooding temperature level is the temperature level inside the poultry where the chicks are wandering. It is really essential variable that every poultry farmer must look closer as it could affect the development and health of the chicks. To minimise tension or stress and mortality, the brooding temperature level must be inspected constantly so that we will know if the temperature is simply enough for the chicks. This article will guide you to have a better understanding whether you have actually given the ideal environmental temperature for your chicks.

 

brooding of chicks
Why brooding is important

The essentials of a good brooder are:

A dependable mechanism for controlling temperature and regular supply of fresh air, dryness, adequate light, space, easy disinfection, protection against chick enemies, safety from fire, and economic in construction.

Management of Chicks in the Brooder

  • Adjust the temperature as per requirement of the chicks. In case of oil heating, see that there is no defect in the stove or lamp. Chicks should not have access to the heated parts of the lamp at any cost.
  • Avoid a damp poultry house. You can use a deep litter system.
  • Discourage litter eating by the chicks, scatter mash over egg case flats when the chicks are first taken out of their boxes.
  • Provide balanced standard mash.
  • Keep provision for the entrance of fresh air.
  • Provide clean, fresh water in front of the birds at least twice daily.
  • Chicks, after 3 weeks old may be provided chopped green grasses (to increase Vitamin A intake)
  • Clean the brooders including feed hoppers daily.
  • Follow a regular vaccination program.
  • Avoid overcrowding as this will lead to slow growth and mortality.
  • Keep the brooder in such a place that cold wind and rain does not get in.
  • Daily inspect the condition of birds and their faces for any sort of abnormality.
  • Keep in touch with any veterinarian for the help at the time of need.
  • It is always advisable to check the fittings, temperature control, feed and water trough arrangement before shifting the chicks in the brooder.

How To Know If Your Brooding Temperature is Optimal

The best indicator how to monitor the perfect temperature inside the brooding area is easily known by the behavior and movements of the chicks with regards to heat.  A general indication that the conditions in the brooding area is optimal is when you see that the chicks are scattered evenly and comfortable. Thus, you will not need to alter the temperature and humidity.

Below are illustrations on the chick behavior according to the brooding temperature conditions:

perfect brooding chick behavior
Chick behavior on perfect environmental conditions. Note that the spacing between them are uniform.

 

brooding chicks behavior when the environment is too cold
Chicks form in cluster of groups when environmental conditions are too cold.
The behavior of chicks when environment is so hot
The behavior of chicks when environment is so hot. They will spread out away from heat source and will be panting.
chick brooding temperature
Chick brooding temperature

 

 

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