Chick Brooding: Ensure 90% Survival Rate

Best Practices When it Comes to Chick Brooding

Chick brooding is one of the trickiest parts when it comes to chicken farming. A lot of chicks will be lost during the brooding stage if the right conditions are not met. It is important to make a round brooder.

Chicks tend to hurdle in corners of brooders with sharp edges and this is one of the most common causes of chick deaths. A round brooder doesn’t have those constraints.  Your brooder should have the following:-

  • Have a jiko or infra-red heat source. A single jiko is enough heat source for every 300 chicks during the first three weeks of their lives. If the temperature is ok and the chicks are warm, they will move around the brooder. If the temperature is not sufficient and the chicks are cold, they will huddle in the corners or under the jikos. If temperatures are too hot, they will move away from the heat source into colder areas of the brooder.
  • Have a single feeder per 30 chicks
  • Have one drinker for every 50 chicks
  • Put some wood shaving or sawdust on the floor

Caring for Your Chicks

The feed the chicks as much as chick and duck mash as possible. In the first week, you can give them water which has vegetable oil or some little liquid paraffin in order to assist them with the digestion of food. You can put a single drop of these in each drinker. When the chicks arrive in the brooder for the first time, you can mix glucose and a packet of vitamins with some water in one drinker and give to them.  The glucose and vitamins generally come with box of day old chicks from Kenchic.

Appropriate Chicken Houses

An ideal chicken house must be secure, clean and also dry. The house that will house your chicks and chickens must have good ventilation on both the North and South-facing sides. Additionally, it should be orientated in the East-West direction. The East and West sides should be closed off in order to stop the draught and the wind.

The open sides of the house should have curtains and these should be closed at night so to stop the draught and the wind and keep the chickens warm at night. Make sure the house has at least a single feeder and drinker for 50 chicks although the more feeders the house has, the better.

It will ensure every chick, including the weak ones is able to get enough water and food and the chicks will roughly grow at the same speed.

Space Requirements

Every chicken should have 1 square foot of space inside the chicken structure. So if you are planning to keep 500 chickens, you will need a house that is ideally 500 square feet.’

Good spacing inside the house will stop antisocial behavior inside the chicken house such as henpecking and it also reduces incidences of injuries inside the poultry house.  It is important to always keep the house cleaning and cut down any bushes which are growing around the house in order to stop rats and mice. Rats and mice generally transmit fatal diseases to chickens.