Brooding is a very exciting time – The chicks are just beginning to explore their new life and show and interest in their surroundings. To keep your beautiful new chicks healthy the correct temperature is paramount at this stage.
It’s vitally important to have everything ready well in advance before the chicks are hatched. Have a clean, dry and draft proof area covered with wood shavings and feeders/drinkers in place.
What type of border?
There are a variety of electric brooders systems both self-contained and ‘open’ comfort brooders. Self –contained units are perfect for classroom settings where space is an issue and cleaning and management is easier. Another major thing to consider is the size of the self-contained brooders as they are only able to hold a limited amount of chicks and they soon enough grow!!
Larger alternatives like the Chicktec comfort brooders are beneficial to chicks as they are able to remove themselves from the heat if they need to.
Which Infra-Red Bulb?
Infra-Red bulbs are different and knowing the difference plays a big part in your choices.
PAR 38 Bulbs offer excellent durability and efficiency. Hard glass are resistant to water splashes and ruby versions are more suitable to poultry as a less intense light which in turn reduces stress levels in the chicks. On top of this they do not destroy the vitamin B in the same way a bright white light does.
Ceramic bulbs offer heat but no light making them the best choice for small birds as when used in conjunction with another light source, they are able to provide 24 hour heat and normal night patterns which results in a more restful chick. These bulbs also do not destroy the vitamin B
Wood shavings are an excellent low cost option for the chicks flooring. It’s important to never use sawdust as a substitute as dust will stick to droppings; a dust free option is definitely a must.