Brooder For Fowl


A clothes storage box like the one pictured below was obtained from a local discount store. Size of the floor, the height of the box, and the construction material were considered in making the selection. In addition to the size, this particular box was deemed even more appropriate because light could pass through the walls and the smooth plastic construction would aid in keeping the box clean.

CLOTHES STORAGE BOX
16.5 INCHES WIDE, 22.5 INCHES LONG, AND 9 INCHES TALL

The cover of the box was placed on a hard surface. A view of the construction indicated that the plastic top had essentially two framed panels. A one inch border around each panel was marked with a pencil. An Exacto knife was used to cut along the marks, thus allowing the creation of two windows in the box cover. The windows would allow for air exchange without weakening the box cover. The cover was turned upside down. A piece of 1/4 inch hardware cloth was cut 13 inches by 19 inches in size. It was situated to cover the two windows. Holes were drilled in the plastic box cover which were 1/4 inch in diameter. The wire was then secured to the box cover by 1/4 inch bolts approximately 1/2 inch in length. Washers were placed on both sides of the plastic cover to keep the bolts or nuts from cutting through the plastic.

BROODER COVER FROM TOP AND BOTTOM

The only fixture to be placed in the new brooder is a water bottle. Two kinds are shown in the picture below. The one on the left has a very small trough, thus it would be hard for quail-size fowl to drown in the waterer. The one on the right is so large that marbles should be placed in the trough for very young or small fowl to help in the prevention of drowning. Both units are completed with regular "fruit" jars. The water should be changed daily. Even clear looking water may have an awful smell because of the feed lost in it while the babies are drinking.

TWO TYPES OF WATER BOTTLES

The floor is covered in the picture below with Bounty paper towel. It is imperative that the surface be absorbent and that the babies are able to stand up. Newspaper is too slick and the legs may be damaged when the babies try to stand. Another good surface is green "in door, out door" carpet. It is easy to stand up on and it can also be washed. While one piece is drying another can be in the brooder. Notice the feed is placed on the floor initially. Some babies are difficult to teach to eat. Those first few days they may learn to eat by pecking at a lot of things, one of which is their food if it is placed on the floor. Later it can be placed in a jar lid or a feeder.

INSIDE OF BROODER SHOWING WATER, FEED, AND GUESTS

In the name of recycling, the heat source is an old bed light in which the clamp is broken. A 75 watt light bulb produces the heat and light for the brooder. Do not use a larger bulb. Always place the lamp on the hardware cloth, never place the lamp on the plastic.

BROKEN BED LAMP WITH 75 WATT BULB

A thermometer can also be placed in the brooder. If the babies are comfortable they will be quiet and scattered out over the floor of the brooder. If they are too cold they will be huddled under the lamp. If they are too hot they will be as far away from the lamp as possible. You can help control the temperature by moving the brooder to a warmer or cooler room and by covering or uncovering the hardware cloth surface around the lamp.

BROODER IN OPERATION, GUESTS AND ALL


For more information please contact the CE/CE:

      Maurice Houston Field, Director
      Center for Environmental and Conservation Education
      The University of Tennessee at Martin
      Martin, TN 38238  mfield@utm.edu