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Brooding Chicken: Guide on Equipments and Procedure

In this article, you will get complete guide on brooding chicken and brooders used in various brooding methods. Also we have explained difference between natural and artificial chicken brooding.

So, let’s proceed to the step by step guide on brooding chicken.

What is Brooding Chicken in Poultry Farming?

Brooding is a technique or procedure in which baby chicks were kept in heat or temperature after hatching for their excellent growth and survival. It is it’s easy definition.

Usually a hen keeps her chicks below inside her wings to give them heat for survival and growth. But in poultry industry growing baby chicks without hen, is impossible without artificial brooding.

Importance of Brooding Chicken

Farmers and Industries give artificial brooding by using different types of brooders. Chicken brooding is done by various types of lamps, lights and professional equipments. We will discuss more about these equipments further in this article.

Brooding chickens is most important part of poultry business. Wrong and inadequate chicken brooding can cause early mortality, growth retardation and diseases in poultry flocks. Underdeveloped chicks cause direct loss in chicken farming business.

Baby chicks required immediate warm temperature after hatching. This initial heat provide them cozy living and internal growth for survival.

Chicken brooding is must important for or starting few weeks. Depending on environmental temperatures brooding period may be shorter or longer. In winters chicken brooding is much longer as compare to summer season.

So, we can say brooding helps chicks for complete development from internally and externally. Brooding chicken is not a big deal but understanding the proper procedure is most important.

Natural Vs Artificial Chicken Brooding

Complete Guide on Brooding Chicken in Poultry Farming
Natural Chicken Brooding

Brooding chicken is mainly classified into two types –  natural and artificial. I have already told you about the natural type of chicken brooding in which a hen gives to her baby chicks by giving them support and heat below her wings during the first few weeks after hatching.

But if you are buying chicks from a local hatchery for growing large number of chickens then you need artificial chicken brooding methods.

Space Requirement for Brooding Chickens

Artificial chicken brooding is done inside a portable chicken coop or house if you want to give brooding to large number of poultry flocks. But if you are a small farmer or you have few chicks you can give heat in chicken brooder box. This type of boxes also known as the breeder pen.

Brooder Box

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For brooding your chicken flocks in summer, use 1/2 area and in winter use 1/3 area of brooder house or coop. It’s because in winter you need more heat which is easy to give in a small area and in summer chicks not require that much heat as compared to winter.

In cold and freezy areas doing proper brooding is very important. Otherwise, your chicks will not survive and you may face early mortality in cheats

Methods and Equipments Required in Brooding Chicken

Now let’s understand various practices and methods required in brooding management for chicks.

Brooder Guard for Chicks

Brooder guard is a tool for guarding baby chicks in a particular area or space. It helps in preventing chilling and pilling to newly hatched chicks. Always make sure your brooder guard is made up of good material, properly sterilized, and build with good quality plastic.

It keep your chicks in a particular area so that they stay near the source of heat. The height of a brooder guard must be between 16 to 18 inches so that chicks don’t jump out and it will save them from wind and cold.

It is the chicken brooding coop in early days of chicks. Before growing of few feathers chicks were kept inside this brooder guard and artificial heat is given using brooding light.

Farm Innovators Model 3700 Baby Chick Starter Home Kit

Farm Innovators Model 3700 Baby Chick Starter Home Kit

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The source of heat is the chicken brooding lights and lamps, which provides temperature regulation in the brooding area.

Brooder and Equipment used for Brooding Chicken

Different types of chicken brooding equipments are available in market today. Some are traditional and some are advanced equipments.

  1. Brooding with light or bulb
  2. Brooding with a gas brooder
  3. Brooding with chicks heating plate
  4. Brooding with forced air heater

1. Chicken Brooding Lights and Bulbs

Lights and lamps are one of the best and traditional way for brooding chickens. In this method reflector is used in which a light is attached. Most of the brooder lamp contain steel reflector. It reflects high heat from its bulb, which is attached to the center of the reflector. Most of the farmers used infrared lights for better emission of heat.

Woods 0169 SPT-2 Aluminum Clamp 8.5-Inch Reflector,150-Watt, 18/2-Gauge 6-Foot Cord with Polarized Plug 

Woods 0169 SPT-2 Aluminum Clamp 8.5-Inch Reflector,150-Watt, 18/2-Gauge 6-Foot Cord with Polarized Plug

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You can easily hang them above the area of brooder guard where you keep your chicks. These come with various power of brooder bulbs 150 watts, 250 watts, or above.

TheraBulb NIR-A Near Infrared Bulb – 300 Watt – 120 Volt

TheraBulb NIR-A Near Infrared Bulb - 300 Watt - 120 Volt

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The best type of bulbs you can use in brooding lamp are infrared lamps because they provide very high temperature as compared to normal bulbs which we use in our home.

2. Gas Brooders for Chicken Brooding

The second most useful brooder is a gas brooder. It is very effective in village areas where there is a lack of electricity or more power cut.

The gas supply is connected through a pipe to the burner. A reflector is attached with the burner to reflect the heat from the burner. Gas brooders are best backup for high power cut areas.

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Alke Poultry Gas Brooders for Livestock

Alke Poultry Gas Brooders for Livestock

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If you are living in a place where there is no electricity, or you are facing multiple time electricity power cuts then you can use a gas brooder. If you only depend on electricity in village areas lack of heat cause all the chicks to come closer to each other which results in overcrowding in a particular part of brooder guard. This may leads to mortality in chicks.

Gas brooder provides non stop heat supply to chicks without any power failure. Gas brooder needs LPG gas cylinder for gas supply.

3. Heating Plate for Brooding Chickens

Chicken brooding with heating plate is one of the popular type of equipment. You can use it for your baby chicks but this is used in small scale chicken business. It is available for maximum 70-100 baby chicks. Heating plate is best for brooding 1-2 weeks small chickens.

It is very easy to use. Just connect the heating plate with the power source and switch it on. the heating plate become hot in few minutes. Chicks will go below the heating plate and they get require heat. When they feel hot they will come out from the plate.

In these heating plate in which small baby Chicks stay warm by direct contact with the underside of the plate, and when they get required heat, they get out of them for feeding. Mostly poultry farmers use this heating plates in small scale business.

These chicks heating plates come with different sizes in length and breadth. You can also adjust the height of the heating plate according to your chicks size.

RentACoop (16″ x 24″) Chick Brooder Heating Plate – Warms Up to 50 Chicks – 66 Watts

RentACoop (16" x 24") Chick Brooder Heating Plate - Warms Up to 50 Chicks - 66 Watts

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4. Air Heater Brooder for Large Scale Chicken Business

All the above brooding equipments are for mostly for small to medium scale chicken farms. But Air Heater Brooder is required for large scale poultry farms. Forced air brooders can easily provide heat upto 1000-5000 sq. ft poultry sheds.

Its comes with value BTUs (British thermal unit). Blower which power is about 50000 BTUs can easily give heat to 1200-1500 chicks easily. It comes with both Electricity and Kerosene powered. You can checkout one of the best air heater brooder.

Dyna-Glo LP Forced AIR Heater, 300,000 btu’s

Dyna-Glo LP Forced AIR Heater, 300,000 btu's

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Selecting Best Location for Chicken Brooding House

It is the most crucial question where to build a best chicken brooding house. The brooding house must be away from other chicken houses to keep your newly hatched chicks safe from crows and diseases.

The minimum distance of a brooder house from the main chicken farm must be about 100 to 200 meters. Small baby chicks are very sensitive to foreign infections so they must be kept in a safe, fresh, and well-sterilized room. 

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Also, it is very much essential to make your poultry houses to construct in East to West direction so that fresh air can easily pass from it and starting sunlight every morning directly into the homes.

All poultry houses are fitted with galvanized hardware cloth for safety of baby chicks from outside animals like dogs and fox. Below are some galvanized welded nets which are used in poultry.

Amagabeli 48×50 Hardware Cloth 1/2 Inch 19 Gauge Square

Amagabeli 48x50 Hardware Cloth 1/2 Inch 19 Gauge Square

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Preparation of Chicken Brooding House Before the Arrival of Chicks

These are some important tips for preparation of brooding house before arrival of baby chicks-

  1. Prepare your chicken brooding house before one week of the arrival of chicks.
  2. Clean your brooder house before one week.
  3. If litters of old chicken where present, then remove and clean all the litter from that room.
  4. Clean the floor and 1-2 feet wall height of brooder room. Also, sterilize brooding equipment with a disinfected solution. 
  5. Use a high concentration of formaldehyde gas for better disinfection. You can find easily find formaldehyde in your nearest chemical shop or veterinary medicine shop. Keep the room airtight during the use of formaldehyde and keep for 24 to 48 hours then allow to dry out completely.
  6. Use the formula 35 ml of Formalin and 17.5 gram of Potassium permanganate to disinfect 3-meter cube area.
  7. For the first three days use paper above The Deep litter floor system and spread chicken pre-starter feed above them. After three days, remove papers from floor and use a deep litter system.
  8. Deep litter system is very much important. You can use paddy husk, or wood shavings, ground maize cob, chopped straw, sawdust,  groundnut shell, dried crushed sugar can pulp for deep litter system. Keep the little depth for about 6 to 9 cm in Winter season and 3 to 4 cm in the summer season.
  9. Always attach and check the proper working of your brooder system before the arrival of your chicks. And always keep your brooder ON before 24 hours of chicks arrival, so that to make the environment warm.
  10. Use at least one 12kg capacity feeder and one 3 liter capacity drinker for every 100 chicks inside the Brooding area or Brooder guard.
  11. When chicks arrived, keep them inside your brooder guard as soon as possible.

Chicken Brooding Temperature Adjustments for the Brooder House

MARATHON BA030001 Vertical Outdoor Thermometer – 16-Inch

MARATHON BA030001 Vertical Outdoor Thermometer - 16-Inch

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For the first 24 hours keep the temperature at 95°F (35°C) at the edge of brooder above 2-3 inches. Then lower the temperature of brooder every week by 5°F (2.8°C) until it reaches 70°F. Too low and too high temperatures cause weak growth of chicks.

Conclusion

In this complete guide on brooding chicken, we have explained almost every basic tips and steps to follow for effective care of flocks. Also we have given some unique information on various equipments used in chicken brooding.

Hope this guide help you to give excellent brooding to you chicken flocks.

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