Brooding in Poultry | Reason, Types of Poultry Brooders

brooding in poultry

When a hen lays eggs, it is natural for the hen to brood eggs. In simple terms, hens, after laying eggs, sit on their eggs to provide an optimal environment for the developing chick. This behavior is called brooding, and it’s a key component of ensuring healthy development and growth as well as a solid bond between the mother and the chick. The brooding period is about 21 days. After 21 days, the chicks hatch from the eggs.

With the advancement in the veterinary industry, It’s the utmost desire of every poultry keeper to obtain maximum eggs from a hen, so they reduce the brooding behavior of hens by placing the eggs in an incubator. The incubator works similarly in providing optimum temperature to the developing chicks. If you are interested in how an incubator works and what it looks like then you can check it out.

Now, when chick development is completed either in an incubator or under the mother’s body, the chicks have to send to a house for optimum environment. This type of house is called a brooder. You might be wondering why it’s necessary to put the chicks in the brooder. The answer is, the chick has just arrived in this world. It needs optimum environment and temperature just like in an incubator or like its mother. So in order to adapt to the environment, you have to provide optimum conditions in poultry brooders. You can get your desired answer later in the article.

Types of Brooding in Poultry

There are naturally two sorts of brooding: one is carried out by broody hens using the natural technique, and the other is prompted by industrial and farming settings using the artificial method. 

  1. Natural Brooding
  2. Artificial Brooding

Natural Brooding

The broody hen rests on her newly produced eggs and offers warmth when brooding naturally. Evn after hatching of chicks mother hens brood the new born chicks up to 3-4 weeks of age.

Artificial Brooding

Artificial brooding is done in the absence of brooding hens. For artificial brooding, we need a piece of equipment called a Brooder. The main components of a brooder are the heating source, reflectors, brooder guard, water and feed trough, and ventilation source.

  • Whole House Brooding.
  • Partial House Brooding.
  • Colony Brooding.

The entire house is being used for brooding, with chicks dispersed everywhere. In partial house brooding, half the space is often used in the summer and one-third in the winter. Brooding is accomplished in colonies in colony brooding type.

For artificial brooding, we need a piece of equipment called a Brooder.

What is Brooder?

A brooder is a piece of artificial equipment that mimics a broody hen and, when set to the right temperature, gives chick broods warmth, food, and shelter.

Why There is a Need for Brooding in Poultry?

During the early stages, chicks are unable to effectively control their body temperature due to:

  1. Excessive Heat loss because:
  • A larger metabolically active body.
  • The bird has a higher body temperature than an adult.
  • The absence of feathers
  1. The hypothalamus is not entirely operational. The following systems were not turned on when the chicks hatched:
  • The immune system.
  • The digestive tract.
  • Thermoregulatory mechanism.

Low body temperatures cause the three aforementioned systems to develop more slowly and increase the susceptibility of chicks to various diseases.

Purpose of Brooding of Chicks:

  • For Proper growth of body tissues.
  • The better immune system development
  • Good body framework.
  • For activation of the endocrine system.
  • Good feather cover.
  • Well-activated digestive system.

How to take care of Baby Chicks From Day one to till Maturity

Types of Poultry Brooders

There are different types of brooders. They are mostly classified on the basis of heating sources. These are:

Gas Brooder

This rectangular brooder operates at a temperature of 33 degrees Celsius. Use of a high-pressure regulator is advised. Each component is made of stainless steel. Natural gas, LPG, or methane are used as fuel sources. Such a brooder doesn’t need a filter. It is easy to use and inexpensive. There is a 600-chick heating capacity. It should be mounted at least 110 to 120 cm above the ground.

gas brooders for poultry birds

Conventional Hover Brooder

This can be a sizable cardboard or plastic container with spaces of six square inches each for each chicken. This space is useful for the first two weeks, after which it needs to be expanded once the eggs have hatched. The box offers the chicks a cozy and welcoming habitat. Such brooders utilize electric light bulbs as the heat source.

hover brooder for brooding in poultry

Radiant Brooder

In this form of the chicken brooder, infrared radiations are employed to produce ideal conditions for the development and growth of the chicks. 18 inches or so are provided between the infrared bulb and the litter. Up to 200 chicks can be brooded using one 250-watt bulb. Even though there may not be many chicks, it is a good idea to use at least two bulbs in case one break. The chicks are directly exposed to ideal high temperatures; they do not only warm the air.

radiant brooder

Electrical Brooders:

A thermostatically controlled brooder with an electric heating lamp as the heat source reduces the risk of overcrowding of chicks under the heater, especially in the winter. 300–400 chickens can be heated in this kind of brooder.

electrical brooder for poultry birds

Pancake Brooder:

A small amount of heat is delivered to the air in the convective form in a pancake brooder, also known as a jet-type brooder. As a result, the air where the chicks live warms up, enabling healthy growth.


Brooding is a key component of ensuring healthy development and growth as well as a solid bond between the mother and the chick. There are various types of poultry brooders and such classification is mostly on the basis of heat sources. Brooding in poultry birds is necessary for proper immune system development and growth of body tissues.

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