Brooding management determines the success of broiler performance. 10 grams of excess body weight during brooding period will result in an extra body weight of 50-70 grams at harvest time. Therefore, intensive handling during the brooding period is needed.

The Importance of Brooding Period

The brooding period is a determinant of success because during the brooding period there is a very fast process of cell multiplication (hyperplasia) and cell development (hypertrophy) in the important organs. During the brooding period, the thermoregulation system (body temperature regulation) was not fully developed.

Several things that experienced rapid development during the brooding period:

  • Development of the immune system and digestion of the chicken body.
  • Development of body temperature regulation system
  • Growth and development of the skeleton and muscle mass.

Good Principles of Brooding Period

Good brooding period is reflected in the fulfillment of all the basic needs of chicks, which is:

  • Secure: The cage does not leak and there are minimal challenges for germs.
  • Comfortable: optimal condition of husk, air circulation, and temperature.
  • Full: rations and clean drinking water always available

Remember! Chick which age is up to 2 weeks cannot regulate their body temperature properly, so a heater is needed to help warm the chick body. During the brooding period, must pay attention to room temperature, chicken body temperature, and husk temperature

To ensure a comfortable space, the density of the brooding period must also be considered. The density during brooding period in closed house cages is shown in table 2.

The Right Heater

A successful brooding period will be achieved by using a proper or right heater. Optimal temperature conditions (29 – 32oC) will increase eating and drinking activities, so the feed intake can be achieved and the chicken will grow optimally. There are 2 types of heaters that are commonly used for closed house, which is Infrared – Gas Brooder Medion (IGM) and Central Heater

A. Infrared – Gas Brooder Medion (IGM)

IGM is an artificial heater for chicks that uses gas fuel (LPG) where the heat produced is infrared emission. Infrared waves are easily absorbed and provide optimal heat to the chicks. The capacity of an IGM can warm 750-1,000 chickens.

B. Central Heater

Central Heater is a space heater which is using LPG gas fuel and equipped with a fan to circulate warm air. Central heater requires a 250 watt power supply. A central heater is able to warm up to 10,000 DOC. Generally, the central heater is placed at ¼ of the entrance or in front of the brooding area.

Chick In Preparation

Before implementing chick in, the cage facilities must be clean and free from germs. Cage cleaning must be done thoroughly and make sure all electrical equipment is in the “Off” state. After cleaning, continue to rest the cage for 14 days.

After the cage rest period, the next step is to prepare the brooder area, which begins with the spread of husks as thick as 7.5 to 10 cm. For the beginning chick-in, for the base for the husks can using newspaper or chick paper. The function of chick paper is to prevent chicks from eating the husks.

For closed house tunnel-type, the brooder area is placed in the middle of the cage with a rectangular shape extending towards the fan. A rectangular brooder area can contain up to 2,000 DOC. Automatic and manual eating and drinking tools are used in the brooder area. 2 hours before chick in, turn on the heater so that the room temperature reaches 29 – 32oC.

Husk Examination

Check the temperature & humidity of the husks regularly. Keep husk temperature between 29 – 32oC during the brooding period. Also make sure the husks are not wet during the brooding period.

Checking the husk temperature can also be done by looking at the condition of the DOC foot. If the husks are too hot, DOC feet will be red and look cracked, especially on the nails and soles of the feet. DOC that experience this will usually gather away from the heater. Otherwise, if the husks are too cold, the DOC feet will feel cold (compared to our body temperature). This will reduce the chicken feed intake. Make sure that the chicks look agile and active, the chick’s feet are wet and the body is warm.

Ventilation Management

Closed house must be able to provide good air circulation for chicken. Chicks which age up to 7 days should not be exposed to gust of wind and minimum ventilation requirements must be fulfilled. The definition of minimum ventilation and the amount of fan needed can be seen in Closed House Flash News Edition 2.

Rations & Drinking Water Management

Since the beginning of chick in, chicken have used automatic drinking & feeding containers. A nipple drinker have a capacity of 10-12 chickens. Meanwhile, a automatic feeding (pan feeder) has a capacity of 45 chickens.The limitation of area during brooding period cause not all nipple drinkers can be accessed by the chicken, so in the brooding area at an early age a manual drinking place must be added.

Along with widening of the brooding area, manual feeding and drinking containers were thinned out, until 14 days age all manual feeding and drinking containers had been completely eliminated. Guidelines for the height of the nipple drinker (water line drinker), the ball’s height on the water regulator, and maintenance of the drinker system can be seen in Closed House Flash News Edition 3.

Rations and drinking water should be given immediately after DOC arrive because it is useful in accelerating the absorption of the remaining egg yolk which is a temporary source of nutrition and immunity (maternal antibody) of the chicks. To replace the lost energy during transportation, give 2-5% sugar water and a multivitamin (such as Vitachick) in drinking water.

At 2-3 hours after chick in, do a crop’s (crop fill) check up. Ration consumption is good if at least 75% of the DOC crop’s sample is springy and soft, which indicates that the chicken has consumed enough rations and also drinking water. If necessary, the farmer can do another check up 24 hours after giving the ration with an indicator of 95-100% of the chicken crop must be felt springy and soft.

(a) If the temperature is less hot → close to the heater

(b) If the temperature is too hot → move away from the heater

(c) If the temperature is optimal → evenly distributed

*Source: Cobb-Vantress, 2010

Strict Bio Security

Outside the management component to support strict bio security, it is necessary to implement these following programs:

  • Perform vaccination program according to area condition
  • Perform cleaning program (prevention), which is gives broad spectrum antibiotics to prevent disease infection before germs enter the chicken’s body.

Giving multivitamins (especially vitamins C and E) will increase chick’s endurance.

  • Perform a routine environment disinfection
  • Restriction people and vehicles who entering the cage area.


[1] The Importance of Chick Start. Cobb-Vantress. 2016

[2] Broiler Management Guide. Cobb-Vantress. 2010


[4]Brooding Guide for Optimum Breeder Development. Cobb-Vantress. 2013

[5] Info Medion Edisi Mei 2017: Masa Brooding di Kandang Closed House.

[6] Membangun Kandang Closed House. CPI PE. 2016.

[7] Rekaman data Closed House MBLC Medion 2017

Broiler Brooding Management
Subscribe To Our Newsletter
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
WordPress Popup Plugin