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Chicken Rearing: Tips On Successful Brooding

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How many feeders and drinkers should I put in each brooder?

The number of feeders and drinkers depend on the size of the brooding area. However, each circular chick drinker is enough for 50 chicks. This means that if you have 300 chicks in the brooder, you need 5 drinkers. For feeders, leave a space of around 2.5cms for each chick.

Is light necessary during brooding?

Yes, it is. This is because it for example helps the chicks see the feeds and water. Light must be provided for the first 3 days of brooding. This means that as the sun goes down, light an artificial source of light and put it in the brooder area. You need at least 5 bulbs for a house with 500chicks or at least three (3) lanterns for 500 chicks.

Why a brooder must be done properly

There are two methods of brooding chicks;

 -Spot Brooding (canopy or radiant heaters, pots etc). The heat

source is local so chicks can move away to cooler areas and thus

select for themselves a preferred temperature.

– Whole-House Brooding. The heat source is larger and more

widely spread so chicks are less able to move to select a preferred temperature. Whole-house brooding refers to situations where the whole house or a defined part of the house is heated by a direct or indirect heat source and the aim is to achieve one temperature throughout the house or air space.

No matter what brooding system is used, the objective is to encourage both feed intake and activity as early as possible.

Achieving the optimum temperature and relative humidity (RH) is critical because it is this that determines the chicks feather and general growth

For the first 7 days, provide 23 hours of light full light intensity and 1 hour of dark to help the chicks adapt to the new environment and encourage feed and water intake. Light can be got from electric bulbs, lanterns or solar bulbs.

During early brooding, if a brooding ring is used to control chick movement, the area contained by the brooding ring should gradually be expanded from 3 days of age and the rings removed completely by 5-7 days of age.

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