Setting up the brooding area

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Using a broader guard like cardboard sheet, galvanized iron sheet or mat, isolate one third of the broiler house. The brooder guard is anchored using movable wooden or metallic pegs. The brooder ring should not be permanently fixed as the ring will be expanded every week. This prevents chicks from straying too far away from heat supply until they learn the source of heat and contains the heat within the brooder.  The brooding area should have rounded off edges to avoid crowding of chicks which can lead to deaths.

The floor of the brooding area must be covered with good quality pine/soft wood shavings. Care must be taken to ensure that all corners are blinded or rounded off. Additional curtain can be used to separate the brooding area from the rest of the poultry house.

Prior to the arrival of chicks

  • Heat source should be on at least 6 hours before chicks arrive. Distribute the heat source uniformly within the brooder to avoid hot or cold spots within the brooding area.
  • Distribute feeders and drinkers uniformly within the brooder area. Additional craft paper or gunny bags should be provided on the floor to provide easily accessible feeds for the first 3 days.
  • Fill each drinker with water to which glucose and vitamins is added and place around the heat source then. Add 2-3 drops of liquid paraffin on the drinking water in the drinkers for 7days. Liquid paraffin lubricates the chicks’ guts thus avoiding impaction. Excess liquid paraffin will lead to loose gut thus must be used carefully.
  • Addition of probiotics to drinking water from day one improves gut health, protects the chicks from bacterial infection, and improves feed conversion efficiency thus better growth.
  • Organic acids can be added to drinking water for the first two weeks and then two weeks every month. Correct dosage must be followed to ensure good results.
  • Alternate drinkers and feeders ensuring maximum distance of 1m between feeders and or drinkers.
  • Examine and count the chicks at the collection point
  • Transport in a well-ventilated vehicle direct home
  • Remove them from the cartons and place directly into the brooder
  • Allow chicks access to warm drinking water prior to feeding
  • Provide feeds in chick trays or plastic feeder bottoms for the first 4 –7 days.