CD3WD Project

Back to Home Page of CD3WD Project or Back to list of CD3WD Publications

Home - English - French - German - Italian - Portuguese - Spanish
                             Poultry Raising
This chick brooder (see Figure 1) is hinged for easy access to corral and brooder.

fg1x253.gif (600x600)

The brooder has been used successfully in Ecuador and elsewhere to raise broilers
for a cash crop.
The brooder is heated by a regular electric light bulb, placed under the brooder
floor. Depending on the temperature rise required, the wattage of the light bulb
will have to be chosen by experimentation. The metal floor and roof prevent
predators such as rats from entering the brooder. If electric power is not
available, an excavation can be made for a lantern. Be sure the lantern has
adequate ventilation.
                             Tools and Materials
Small carpentry tools
Hardware cloth 1.2 x 2m (4' x 6' 6 3/4"), 2 pieces this size needed.
Aluminum roofing:
    1 piece: 1.2m x 1.6m (4' x 5'3")
    1 piece: 1.2m x 1.7m (4' x 5'7")
Wood, approximately 30cm x 2cm x 20m (1' x 3/4" x 65'8")
Steel rod 1cm (3/8") diameter x 3.2m (10' 6")
4 hinges about 8cm (3 1/8") long
Woodscrews for hinges
2 buckets clean dry sand
Nails, tacks, staples
Kreps, George. Article in Rural Missions, #122, Agricultural Missions, Inc.
This brooder has been used by more than 300 farmers in eastern Nigeria.
Nail legs to side (see Figure 2). If

fg2x254.gif (218x437)

desired, make the height of the
brooder adjustable by drilling a row
of holes in each leg and bolting
the legs to the sides.
Assemble and nail top support rails 1cm (3/8") below the upper edge of the sides
(see Figure 3).

fg3x254.gif (437x437)

Make the top of plywood, sheet metal, or wooden boards so that the top fits
inside the frame and rests on the support rails (see Figure 4). The hole in the

fg4x254.gif (393x393)

center of the top is for ventilation. A swinging metal cover regulates the size of
the opening.
A bush or hurricane lamp is placed inside wire mesh or a perforated tin can to
protect the chicks and to help radiate the heat (see Figure 5).

fg5x255.gif (200x600)

The dimensions given in the illustrations can be altered slightly to use available
The wicks of the lanterns should be cleaned daily to cut down on soot.
W. H. McCluskey, Poultry Science Department, Oregon State University, Corvallis.
This brooder (see Figure 6) is similar to the other two brooders. It can be used

fg6x255.gif (437x437)

with either lanterns or electric light bulbs. If lanterns are used, their wicks
should be cleaned daily. Construction details are given in Figure 7.

fg7x256.gif (400x600)

Stopper, W.W. "Brooder for 300 Chicks". New Delhi: U.S. Technical Cooperation
Mission to India. (Mimeographed).
This bamboo poultry house has a thatch roof and slat walls to provide good
ventilation. The elevated slat floor keeps chickens clean and healthy while the
egg catch and feed troughs simplify maintenance. It has been used successfully in
the Philippines and Liberia.
                              Tools and Materials
Thatching materials
Small tools
The house is built on a frame of small poles, with floor poles raised about 1m (3')
from the ground. (See section on construction with bamboo, p. 302.) The floor
poles are covered with large bamboo stalks, split into strips 38mm (1 1/2") wide,
spaced 38mm (1 1/2") apart. Floors so constructed have several advantages: better
ventilation, no problem of wet moldy litter during rainy reason or dry dusty litter
during dry season; droppings fall between split reeds to ground away from
chickens. This eliminates parasites and diseases normally passed from hen to hen
through droppings remaining warm and moist in litter. However, it has been
suggested that wide spacing of floor and wall slats might invite marauders such as
weasels and snakes.
Metal shields on all the support poles will keep rats and other pests from
climbing (see Figure 1a). Be sure you don't inadvertently leave a hoe or other

fg1x257.gif (540x540)

tool leaning against the house, or the rats will climb that. (Note: A VITA grain
storage project in Central African Republic has had good results protecting
granaries-not poultry houses-with
a flat band of metal
[Figure 1b] that is simply
wrapped around each granary
support. This kind of guard is
cheaper and easier to install
and maintain than the flared
collar. Make the guard about
25cm wide and about 20 cm
from the ground. You may
have to experiment a bit to
match the size and placement
of the guard to the size and
climbing ability of the rats in
your neighborhood.)
Walls are made from vertical strips of bamboo 38mm (1 1/2") wide, spaced 6cm to
8cm (2 1/2" to 3") apart. This also allows ample ventilation, needed to furnish
oxygen to the chickens and to allow evaporation of excess moisture produced in
the droppings. In the tropics the problem is to keep chickens cool, not warm.
Using a dosed or tight-walled poultry house with a solid floor would keep them
too warm and result in lowered production and increased respiratory problems.
Shade over and around these houses is very important. If the ground around the
houses is not shaded, heat will bounce into the houses.
The roof must protect the chickens from the weather. In Liberia thatch roofing
keeps the birds cool, but it must be replaced more often than most other
materials. Since it is cheap and readily available to the small farmer or rural
family, it is most likely to be used. Aluminum, which reflects the heat of the sun,
and asbestos, an efficient insulator, are desirable roofing materials in the tropics.
Zinc, which is commonly used to roof houses in Liberia, is undesirable for chicken
houses because it is an efficient conductor of heat.
Whatever the roofing material the roof must have an overhang of 1m (3') on all
sides to prevent rain from blowing inside the house. It may be desirable to slope
the overhang toward the ground.
Feeders and waterers are made from 10cm to 12.5cm (4" to 5") diameter bamboo
of the desired length (see Figure 2). A node or joint must be left intact in each

fg2x258.gif (600x600)

end of the bamboo section to keep the feed or water in. A section 7.5cm to 10cm
(3" to 4") wide around half the
circumference of the bamboo,
except for 7.5cm (3") sections on
the ends, is removed to make a
kind of trough. All nodes between
the ends are removed. These
feeders must be fastened at the
base, to keep them from rolling.
The feeders are fastened to the
outside of the walls about 15cm
(6") above floor level. The hens
place their heads through the
bamboo strips to feed or drink,
thus conserving floor space for
additional chickens.
The demonstration nests are 38cm (15") long, 30cm (12") wide, and 35.5cm (14")
high (see Figure 3). The strips used on the floor of the nest are about 13mm
(1/2") wide, spaced 13mm (1/2") apart, and must be very smooth. The floor slopes
13mm (1/2") from front to back, so that when the eggs are laid they will roll to
the back of the nest. An opening 5cm (2") high at the back of the nest allows
the eggs to roll out of the nest into an egg catch (see Figure 1). This type of

fg3x259.gif (600x600)

nest results in cleaner eggs and fewer broken eggs. It also yields better quality
eggs because they begin to cool as soon as they roll out of the nest. In addition,
the eggs are outside the nest where egg eating hens cannot reach them. Placing
the egg catch so it protrudes outside the wall of the house allows the eggs to be
gathered from outside. Placing the nests 1 meter (3') above the floor conserves
floor space and permits more laying hens to be placed in the laying house. One
nest is put in for every five hens.
In laying houses, nests are also constructed of split bamboo for unobstructed
ventilation. Conventional lumber nests are hotter; this may cause hens to lay eggs
on the floor instead of in the nests. This means more dirty eggs, more broken
eggs, and more likelihood of the hens eating the broken eggs. The only way to
cure a hen of eating eggs once the habit is formed is to kill her. In addition, as
the hens enter the nests they sit on eggs laid previously by other hens, keeping
them warm. The quality of eggs deteriorates very fast under these conditions.
USAID, Monrovia, Liberia, described in OTS Information Kit, vol. 1, No. 5, May
      Ingredients--Ceylon           Percentage required for Layers
Sorghum                                                   42.0
Rice bran                                                 19.5
Fish meal                                                  8.5
Coconut meal                                              18.5
Gingelly (sesamus indicum) cake                    2.0
Cowpeas                                                    3.0
Shell grit                                                 6.5
Salt                                                       0.5
                      TOTAL                             100.5
Added per 100.5 kg:
Potassium Iodide (g)                                       0.145
Choline Chloride (21.7%)(g)                              540
      Ingredients--Congo            Percentage required for Layers
Maize ground                                             20.0
Millet, ground                                            18.0
Rice, husk, ground                                        10.0
Fish meal                                                  4.0
Meat meal                                                  5.0
Groundnut cake meal                                       25.0
Lucerne meal                                              12.0
Dicalcium phosphate                                        2.0
Oyster shells                                              3.0
Salt                                                       1.0
                      TOTAL                             100.0
      Ingredients--Uruguay          Percentage required for Layers
Ground maize                                              40.0
Ground wheat                                               5.0
Sorghum                                                    3.0
Ground barley                                             20.0
Bran                                                      10.0
Meat meal                                                  7.0
Ground sunflower cake                                     10.0
Oyster shells                                              4.0
Salt                                                       1.0
                      TOTAL                             100.0
Compiled by Harlan Attfield, from Poultry Feeding in Tropical and Subtropical
Countries, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.