Question: Is it possible to produce broiler chickens throughout the year without electricity?
Many poultry farmers started off brooding with charcoal or gas. There is no reason why corrugated iron houses cannot be heated successfully all year round. What is important is for farmers to use their initiative and look after the broiler chicks carefully.
- They should consider the following:
The houses need to be insulated during the brooding period. Straw or bags of shavings placed on the roof will provide insulation.
- You can erect a “tent” inside the house – this will also assist in retaining heat, although there should always be some fresh air.
- Gas brooders work as spot brooders by heating up an area in the house. The newly placed chicks are held in confined areas for the first few days, after which the space is gradually opened up.
- You could use charcoal heating, a method used successfully by many farmers. Again, it is essential to ensure that there is fresh air as well as heat.
- Another option is to get farmers who have the means to brood to rear the broilers for 20 days and then sell them to those farmers who struggle to get their brooding right.
- This article was written by Dr. Mick Versfeld and first appeared in Farming SA.