FCE Pointers: Brooding

Emma Longley

Good brooding gets chicks off to a good start, improving later performance. Observing and reacting to chick behaviour will tell you if brooding conditions are the best they can be.


Biosecurity: Manage houses on an ‘’all-in/all-out’’ basis.  Thorough cleaning and disinfecting,  tested for efficacy, prior to chick placement, will protect the chicks and reduce the disease burden in the house. Maintain high levels of biosecurity  throughout the flock (pest control, showering on and off, clothing, footwear etc) to keep birds disease free.


Temperature: Pre-warm the house and ensure temperature and RH% maintains chick comfort.


Ventilation: Have minimum ventilation in place from chick placement.


Feed & water: Have easy and plentiful access to good quality feed and water.  Additional mini feeders and drinkers help with this.


Observe & react: Monitor temperature and RH% regularly and observe chick behaviour and crop fill. React and make changes if observations suggest brooding conditions are not correct;  high levels of empty crops, chicks huddling or looking too hot.

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