Brooding in poultry farming is one of the most important factors to guarantee success. Some guidelines for the first seven (7) days of brooding in a poultry farm.

brooding in poultry farming

1. Early placement of chicks

Early placement of chicks in the house, and access to fresh clean water, and feed after arrival is important.

The time of transport from the hatchery to the farm should be as quick as possible. There is no need for the further delay once you have collected your birds from the hatchery/sales point.

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Brooding in poultry farming. On placement, provide an hour of clean water mixed with glucose or Vitastress, and wait to give feed until the one-hour period of water is done. This helps to avoid constipation issues in chicks!

Once again, make sure good feed and fresh clean drinking water is readily available and easily accessible to reduce the time for searching for feed and water by the newly arrived chicks. Please note that putting water/drinkers near pots or any other heat source is not good, when water is hot birds do not drink it.

Four hours after placement, randomly pick some of the chicks and check the crop fill. The target crop fill should be 85%. After 12hrs, it should be above 95%, and after 24hrs, the target crop fill should be above 98 to 100%.

2. Use of digestible raw materials, brooding in poultry farming

Using digestible raw materials in making feed for the chicks is necessary as their digestive system is not mature or always buy chick feed from reputable commercial feed manufacturers (like ethio chicken in Ethiopia).

Don’t try to produce your own feed if you are not an expert in that field, instead purchase goods and approved feed supplier within your locality to avoid stories that touch.

3. Clean materials

Place highly hygienic materials that have been adequately sanitized and disinfected in the brooding house. You should know that the chicks’ immune response is not fully developed any health compromise might be more devastating for young chicks compared to older ones.

Biosecurity measures like foot baths, disinfection of premises, and disinfection of equipment should be done using a struat and trusted disinfectant.

Don’t joke with biosecurity. If you miss it, then you miss out. Restrict access to your day-old chicks, have some workers dedicated to looking after the brooder but not allowing everyone to enter, and these workers should not be working anywhere else! all equipment should have been washed, disinfected, and sanitized with appropriate disinfectants.

A designated Uniform/clothing for the purpose of caring for your birds should be worn by the person/stockman caring for the birds.

If not, once the immunity of your birds is compromised be ready to start counting your losses from the onset.

4 . Diet

Provide breed specific diet of high quality as this will enable the chicks to consume the amount needed for adequate growth. For broilers, you should give broiler feed. Which has both a starter and a finisher.

5 . Avoid overcrowding

This leads to competition for feed and water And causes pecking in chicks. Moreover, this will lead ultimately to a high number of lighter birds that will end up being at disadvantaged when it is time for scrambling for feed in the midst of other heavier birds in the flock.

These lighter birds that you created in the brooder are the same birds you will see in your poultry house being chased around, and hiding in laying boxes and perches. Overcrowding leads to poor growth and low production percentage when birds grow!

6. Ventilation

Much as we advise that you keep the brooder sealed off from draught, we do not mean that you deny the birds air exchange. Now, do not just seal off everywhere! Leave enough breathing space in the brooder!

Do not leave ammonia to build up in the house, open it up during the day for the ammonia and dust to get out.

7. Uniformity

Try to achieve good uniformity. i.e birds falling within similar average body weight. In layers, lighter and heavier birds are difficult to design feed programs for.

You can separate them and grow each group together to allow light birds to gain weight faster and catch before laying begins. This will enable a large percentage of the whole flock to attain peak production at the same time.

Remember, the main aim is to maximize profit in poultry by stopping disease challenges, reducing mortality, reducing antibiotics expenses, and veterinary bills, and keeping them healthy and productive.

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