Brooding – 2days old healthy chicks are supplied to Farmers. Soon after the hatching, ABC’s Day-old chicks are vaccinated with Chick ND & Amickacin at ZERO day. A chick does not have the ability to maintain its own body temperature without an external source of heat. Naturally brooded chicks are warmed by nestling against their mothers.
Preparing Brooder : We strongly recommend ROUND SHAPE BROODING area. Prepare the brooder house several days before the new flock arrives. Use a good, absorbent litter material for bedding for all chickens maintained on the floor. Never house chicks on smooth, slick surfaces . This can lead to leg problems. The litter should be clean, free of mold and dry but not dusty. Litter may be any absorbent material that controls the moisture in the poultry house, serves as an insulating material in cold weather, and offers good support for the birds. Pine shavings, rice hulls, peanut shells and ground corncobs are all good products. Hardwood shavings are not recommended. They sometimes produce a mold that can cause a serious infection when inhaled by chicks or human caretakers. Place a 3- to 4-inch layer of litter on a base of clean, dry sand or directly on the clean floor of the brooder house several days before chicks arrive. Add new litter as needed during brooding. During cold weather, litter may reach a depth of 8 to 10 inches. Less litter is needed in hot weather. Provide a source of fresh air by opening curtains or windows. A circulating ceiling fan also enhances air movement in large houses. Check all equipment to see that it is working properly. Operate brooder stoves for at least 24 hours before the chicks arrive. This will warm the house, dry the litter and allow you to check the accuracy of the brooder control and thermostat. When chicks arrive, be ready for them and place them near the waterers. A brooder house measuring diameter of 10 - 12 feet will take care of 200-250 chicks to 2 weeks of age. Figure 1 shows the layout of a standard brooding area. The feeders are placed in a spokelike arrangement radiating outward from underneath the outer portion of the brooder canopy. This provides chicks access to feed and allows them to move freely in and out from . the heat source
Brooder arrangement for 50 chicks.
B — brooder stove with hover.
F — feeders arranged in spokelike fashion.
W — waterers (quart size).
G — chick guard 12 inches high in 6-foot circle around brooder
The most popular brooders are infrared heat lamps, propane gas brooders and propane catalytic brooders. Your choice among these should depend on convenience, installation cost and operating cost.
Set the brooder area temperature at about 95 degrees Fahrenheit in cold weather and 90 degrees in hot weather. Make sure the temperature is adequate before placing the chicks under the hover. Maintain the room temperature for day-old chicks in a cold-room system at a minimum of 65 degrees; where an economical source of fuel or a well-insulated house is available, it is desirable to maintain a temperature of about 75 degrees.
Place the chicks under the hovers as soon as possible after they arrive. Keep chicks comfortable. Their actions provide a good guide to their comfort. Chick’s crowd together near heat when they are too cold, and they pant and gasp (often at the outer edge near the chick guard ring) when overheated. Check the chicks periodically to make final temperature adjustments. (As shown in the diagram 5)
In general, drop the temperature 5 degrees each week until the chicks are five weeks old; then maintain the temperature at 70 degrees.
The cardboard chick guard ring keeps the chicks near the source of heat the first week. Make sure, however, that there is enough room within the ring area for the chicks to move away from the heat in case they become overheated. Keep track of the temperature at chick level by hanging a thermometer inside the cardboard ring at the same height as the chicks about 3 inches inside the outer edge of the hover. Check the temperature under the hover twice daily during the first week. Continue to check it twice a day as long as the chicks need heat.
Keep litter as dry as possible. Whenever necessary, stir the litter to keep it from packing. Move feeders and waterers to new locations to help prevent the development of wet areas. As wet spots develop, remove the wet and "caked over" litter and add new, dry material Provide heat until chicks are well feathered. Birds are more likely to develop respiratory troubles if heat is removed too early. In winter, heat may be continued for six weeks to prevent waterers from freezing. Do not crowd chicks. Larger breeds and older birds require more space. Birds may pile up or smother if they do not have enough space or if they are frightened. For summer brooding, protect chicks against temperatures above 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep them comfortable.