Having seen the first part of the brooding period (7 days), we now want to understand basic essentials in the entire brooding days (14 days) Brooding days are foundational days of day old chicks. They are days when chicks are tenderly care for and prepared to withstand adverse environmental conditions in order to achieve maximum output. What are the dos and don’ts in the brooding days?

Brooding days demand maximum concentration and attention. Brooding days demand best housing, feeds, water and general managerial practices. Make maximum preparation and provision prior to brooding days. Critical factors as discussed in the previous chapter during the brooding days include:







The atmospheric condition (local weather) of your location at the time of brooding is one of the fundamental factors during brooding exercise. This tells us that the mode of brooding in terms of heat application during wet season will be different during dry season and vice versa. Also the mode of brooding in farm A will be different from farm B due to weather differences. Therefore, it’s catastrophe and suicidal trying to imitate other farmers’ mode of brooding without paying attention to your local weather.

Weather is the chief guide of heat application to your brooding room. Weather has influence on room/pen temperature and relative humidity of your brooding house, telling you how much additional heat needed to meet the body temperature required by the chicks for proper brooding. To effectively manage your local weather, you need a thermometer.

Average temperatures during the brooding days are:

1st day: 38-39 oC

2nd day: 36-37 oC

3rd day: 36 oC

4th day: 34- 36 o C

5th day: 32 oC

6th day: 31 oC

7th day: 30 oC

8th day: 30 oC

9th day: 30 oC

10th day: 29 oC

11th day: 29 oC

12th day: 29 oC

13th day: 28 oC

14th day: 28 oC


Brooding house is not a completely enclosed space as thought by many farmers. It’s a well lighted, ventilated with heat emission outlet for release of excess heat and intake of fresh air. Completely enclosed room makes birds to suffocate.  It’s very essential that brooding room is well lighted. It foundation should be strong and raise above ground level to prevent runoff water into the room. The wall should be free from cracks. 


Brooding house should not be sited so close to the main rearing pen. In a standard farm, distance of about 100m should be allowed. It is very important that you have pen solely dedicated for brooding purpose. Converting rearing pen back to brooding pen is not the best practices in modern farm. Converting rearing pen to brooding room can leads to disease transmission to the young chicks.

Never allow visitor(s) into your brooding house.

Brooding house should be out of bound to visitors. Your birds are tender and are susceptible to lots of pathogen which could be transferred by visitors from other farms. Brooding pen is expected to be well restricted to visitors.

Keep off rodents and other reptiles as much as possible

Rodents are carriers of many diseases – fumigation must have been carried out prior to this period to ward off rodents. You can also apply poison to kill rodents but you should have done that not less than a week to the arrival of your chicks. Never carry out any spraying of chemical(s) or fumigation in or around the brooding house while the chicks are stocked.

 Never allow local or wild fowls in or around your brooding house.        

This will saves you the risk of lice infestation capable of retarding the growth of your birds, weight loss and mortality. Destroy nest of wild birds in and around your pen.

Never run out of water and feeds.

If you ever plan to ration feeds for your birds that should not be during brooding days. Brooding days are foundational days.  You must serve feeds and water all through the brooding days. Serve clean natural water. Lack of water will cause dehydration, poor digestion, and poor growth. Provide adequate number of feeders and drinkers. Never substitute or exchange the required feed. Day old chicks are fed thus:

0-28 days: broiler starter or super starter

Avoid use of moist feed – it causes fungi infections.

Avoid moldy feeds – it causes bacterial infection 

Avoid weevil infested feeds – your birds are eating imbalanced feeds.

Avoid roof leakage and overcrowding.

Roof leakage will encourage lots of diseases like coccidiosis. Avoid over stocking. Overstocking can cause stampede resulting to high mortality. Overcrowding can retard the growth of your broilers. Overcrowding encourages pecking and cannibalism. Brood according to your available space; avoid overcrowding.

Never brood chicks of different breed or age together.

Chicks of different ages or breed may cause lots of social vices such a cannibalism and pecking. Also never help any farmer to complete his/her brooding by transporting or mixing other chicks with your own from other farm.

Never borrow any equipment e.g. feeders or drinkers from other farm.

Make adequate provision for necessary farm implement. Use what you have. Using implement from other farms without proper disinfection will cause diseases transmission.

Prevent darkness by constantly lightening the brooding house.

Brooding house should be well lighted always. A dark period in brooding days is a minus to the overall development of your chicks.

Prevent dust and smoke in the brooding house

Source of heat must not emit fumes or smoke to prevent chicks from being suffocated.

All foreign objects causing competition among chicks should be removed.

Remove all threads from the brooding house. It encourages early cannibalism and also causes suffocation because some chicks will attempt to swallow them. Remove all red foreign objects.

Never remove the door-mat soaked with disinfectant.

This ensures the continua safety of the brooding house from disease transmissions.


The main activity on the seventh day in broilers enterprise is the first vaccination called gomboro. (gomboro vaccine).Vaccination is very important in animal production. It is a way of defense against outbreak disease particularly viral diseases. Listen to me because your success is determined by your action or in-action here. Gomboro disease or infectious bursal disease is one of the most deadly viral diseases in poultry industry worldwide. It is common in young birds of ages 1 – 4 weeks old. The target organ of gomboro is the bursal part which is the major and important immune developing system in birds generally.


The feather around the vent is usually soiled with feaces. Other symptoms includes: diarrhea, depression, ruffled feathers and very high mortality within a very short period (1-3 days) there is no cure for gomboro disease. It is best prevented through proper vaccination. Gomboro outbreak has no cure. No known drug is potent enough to prevent outbreak of gomboro. It’s best prevented through proper vaccination. The vaccine is called gomboro (i.e. against gamboro diseases) the vaccine is in dosage as follows:

100 doses for 100 chicks

 200 doses for 200 chicks

500 dose for 500 chicks

1000 dose for 1000 chicks


You buy according to the number of your chicks. Never under vaccinate your chicks in order to prevent vaccine failure. That means you must never buy dosage below the number of your chicks.

Now if you have 150 birds, (you are not likely to see 150 doses) therefore, you have to buy at least 200 doses, if you have 400 birds you buy two sets of 200 doses or buy 500 doses. Never buy vaccine doses below the number of your birds.

In a situation above, where you buy 200 doses for 150 chicks, the method of administration is as follow:

Take for instance; you are to vaccinate your chicks against gomboro on the seventh day.

Estimate the water intake for 200 chicks (because you are dealing with 200 doses) on the seventh day.

10mil water intake per bird, therefore 10 x 200 (number of bird) = 2000 mil (that is the total quantity of water for 200 birds)

But you don’t have up to this number of birds (all you have is 150 birds). The estimated water intake for 150 birds at the seventh day = 10mil (water intake per bird) x 150 (number of birds) = 1500mil (1.5L)

Subtract 2000mil (2L) from 1500 mil (1.5L)

2000 (2L) – 1500 (1.5L) = 500 (0.5L)

Therefore you will use 1500 mil (1.5L) to vaccinate your 150 birds while the excess (500 mil, 0.5L) will be properly discarded (buried away from the pen or flush through the toilet)

Follow the same rule for other cases where you have vaccine doses higher than number of birds.

The guiding rule in oral vaccination of broiler is the water intake of the bird which is greatly influence by age of bird and the prevailing weather condition at the time of vaccination. These are your guide in water estimation during vaccination. Estimated water intake for broiler chicks during brooding days (14 days) could be as follow (this may be influenced by your local weather)

7th day: 10 –15mil of water per bird

14th day: 20 – 25mil of water per bird


Vaccination is one of the essential routine management meant to prevent outbreak of certain diseases especially viral diseases.

You will ready for the first lasota vaccination this day.  It is an oral vaccination (administer through water). This is against outbreak of new castle disease (NCD)

New castle disease (NCD) NCD is a viral disease associated with nervousness.


Gasping and coughing.

Twisting of the legs and neck

Greenish watery diarrhea

Cycling and complete paralysis



It’s best prevented through proper vaccination of the chicks following strict schedule

Antibiotic drugs like intergendox, Tiviral granules, admacine, can help in older birds.

The same rules that govern gomboro govern lasota vaccination in term of application and administration.

Note: we have different opinion on which vaccine should come first due to prevalent outbreak in certain locality. The attention/advice of your local vet officer should be sought to clarify this.


Newspaper material is a good litter material during the first seven days. Discontinue this from the seventh day. It becomes extremely difficult to manage newspaper as litter material after seventh day old of chicks. Use wood shaven from the eight day old. Use of saw dust should be avoided during brooding days.


Use feeding tray during the first seven days old. Change to galvanized/plastic cyclone feeders from the eight days old. This prevents feeds wastage and early infection. Make provision for adequate feeders. Provide adequate number of feeders. Chicks should not struggle for feeders.

25 day old chicks = 2 feeders, 1 drinker

50 day old chicks = 4 feeders, 2 drinkers

100 day old chicks = 6 feeders, 4 drinkers

Use the above as guide to calculate for higher number of feeders/drinkers during the entire brooding days (1-14 days)


Pay more attention to your biosecurity. Use mild antibiotics. Over dose of antibiotics during brooding days could retard the growth of your birds. Always follow manufacturer’s prescription on all drugs.  All left over drugs of the previous days must be discarded.


The right feed is broilers starter or super starter. Quality feeds and water must be available all through the brooding period.


Average weight at the end of the fourteen days is 300-350g. Many shooters among your chicks will be more than this under good management. Poor weight gain during brooding days is a bad signal that the batch may not attain target weight. (See gallery)

Getting the best during brooding entails:

  • Obtain best breed (see chapter one)
  • Maintain suitable temperature
  • Maintain constant lightening
  • Use quality feeds and water
  • Provide adequate feeders and drinkers
  • Proper vaccination
  • Adequate floor spacing and good ventilation
  • Avoid over dose of antibiotics
  • Maintain neat litters

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