Brooding is the art of rearing baby chicks in the absence of brooding hen. Newly hatched chicks cannot regulate their body temperature efficiently, Because
- The thermoregulatory centre in the hypothalamus is not completely functional.
- They lack feathers which act as excellent insulators, therefore newly hatched chicks have to be provided with artificial heat during initial stages duration of which depends on the environmental temperature.
Arrangements to be made before the arrival of chicks
- The arrangement should be made before the arrival of chicks
- About few days before clean, wash, and whitewash the brooder house.
- Brooders feeder’s waters etc. should be washed with disinfectants
- Put right kind of litter over the floor up to 5-8 cm thickness.
- Spread newspapers over litter and under the brooder to avoid chicks eating litter material by any chance.
- Arrange chick guards 2-3 feet around brooder to a height of about 18 inches.
Arrangements to be made after the arrival of chicks
- Vaccinated against Marek ‘s diseases on the day of the hatch in the hatchery.
- The chick feed should have been supplemented with coccidiostats.
- Follow the vaccination schedule for the chicks strictly.
- Block the corners of the brooder room after removing chick guard.
- As the chicks grow change the size of feeders and waters accordingly.
- Properly maintain a photoperiod of 23-hour light and 1-hour darkness.
Behavior of chicks under brooder
- Under ideal temperature, the chicks will be moving freely and distributed uniformly under the brooders.
- If the heat is insufficient the chick will huddle together under the brooder.
- If the heat is more than the required level, the chicks will be moving away from the heat source.
Types of brooder based on source of heat
- Hover Brooder
Hover Brooders are more widely used in India. Wherever electricity is available. they maintain uniform temperature convenient for operation and require very little attention.
- Infra-red Brooder
In this type of brooding infrared lamps are suspended 20-25 inches above the litter. Infrared brooder does not heat room but warm the chicks. A Single 250
- Battery Brooder
The battery brooder must be kept within a room perfectly at a temperature of 21-24degree Celsius. Battery brooders are being extensively used for experimental purpose.
- Gas Brooder
In gas brooders commonly liquefied petroleum gas is used in producing heat. The cooking gas is connected to gas brooder which hangs 3-4 feet above the chicks. Both liquified petroleum gas (LPG) and biogas brooders are available in the market. The main advantage of the gas brooder is that it can be taken to any location even where electricity is scarce.
- Kerosene or Charcoal stove
Kerosene or charcoal stoves are used to provide supplementary heat to chicks where electricity is not available. The stoves should be covered with plate or pans to dissipate the heat.
Different type of Brooding
Whole house Brooding
The most important aspect to whole-house brooding is to produce an environment without temperature gradient.
Partial House Brooding
Partial house brooding is commonly used as an attempt to reduce heating cost. By reducing the amount of space dedicated to brooding, one can conserve the heat required and reduce energy cost.
Battery cage brooding
Battery cage brooding is done in cages. Commonly practiced breeders and layer chicks.