Title: simple farm brooder
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00084500/00001
 Material Information
Title: simple farm brooder
Series Title: simple farm brooder
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: O'Steen, A. W.
Mehrhof, N. R.
Publisher: Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida
Publication Date: January 1943
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00084500
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 225866578

Full Text

(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
WILMON NEWELL, Director O '\50 U .O


By A. W. O'STEEN and N. R. MEHRHOF *
Poultrymen, Florida Agricultural Extension Service

A farm brooder which is practical and economical and will
accommodate from 50 to 75 chicks until they are five or six
weeks old is easily constructed. Designed primarily for Florida
general farms, where poultry is a sideline, the brooder to be de-
scribed here may be used to advantage where broilers and fryers
are raised on a small scale for home use or market. It may be
used by junior poultrymen (4-H and FFA) for their own broiler
projects or to produce pullets for their laying projects.

Fig. 1.-A complete farm brooder 3' x 10', including brooding and
sunporch units. Note lamp, feeder and waterers.

The authors are indebted to O. K. Moore, Assistant Professor of
Poultry Husbandry, for his suggestions in the preparation of this circular
and for making the photographs.

Circular 64

January, 1943

Five or six brooders of this type will be needed on a broiler
plant if 50 or 75 chicks are to be started each week. When the
chicks are five or six weeks old they should be moved to fattening
crates to finish them for market.
A brooder of this type will enable the producer to raise broilers
or pullets at any season of the year without having to wait for
a hen to go broody before he starts his chicks. One brood started
with 50 or 75 chicks should give 20 to 25 good pullets. The chicks
may be started early in the spring so the pullets will come into
production in the fall when egg prices are high.
The brooder described in this circular is divided into two sec-
tions: BROODING unit and SUNPORCH unit. The brooding
unit provides the heat for the chicks, while the sunporch unit
allows the chicks to get out in the sunshine.
The brooding unit is divided into four separate sections desig-
nated as: (1) Bottom section; (2) floor section; (3) hover sec-
tion and (4) top section.
The bottom section is 4' long, 3' wide, and 16" high. A door

Fig. 2.-Brooder unit, including bottom, floor, hover, and top sections.


Fig. 3.-Bottom section of brooder unit, 3' x 4' x 16".
on one side 8" x 10" in dimension is made through which a lamp
may be inserted. Six 1/2" holes are evenly spaced on the two
sides, 2 inches from the top, to provide oxygen for the lamp and
to allow fumes to escape.
Bill of material, Bottom Section-
2 pieces 1" x 4" x 34%" (end)
2 pieces 1" x 12" x 34%" (end)
2 pieces 1" x 4" x 48" (side)
2 pieces 1" x 12" x 48" (side)
2 small hinges
1 hasp

Fig. 4.-Floor section of brooder unit, a 3' x 4' wooden frame
covered with sheet metal.


The floor is made of galvanized metal attached to a frame made
of 1" x 4" boards. Shingle nails are used to fasten the metal
sheet to the wooden frame. The metal surface of this floor is
placed above the source of heat on top of the bottom section to
reduce the fire hazard.
Bill of material-
2 pieces 1" x 4" x 48" (side)
3 pieces 1" x 4" x 28%" (end and center brace)
1 piece 26 gauge galvanized metal 3' x 4'


Fig. 5.-Hover section of brooder unit, 3' x 4', 12" high in front, 8" high
in rear, window 8" x 10".

The hover is 3' x 4', 8" high at the back and 12" high at the

One window 8" x 10" may be inserted on the front side to per-
mit light to enter the hover, so the chicks can see to eat and
drink for the first few days.

The front has a 1" x 4" strip across the top and to this is
attached a cloth curtain 8" wide to keep out the cold air.
Bill of material, Hover Section-
1 piece 1" x 8" x 34%" (back)
1 piece 1" x 4" x 34/2" (front)
2 pieces 1" x 12" x 48" (side)
1 pane of glass 8" x 10"
1 curtain 8" x 36"

The roof is 5' long and 3' 4" wide. The roof is made of wood
and covered with metal. If metal is not available, heavy roofing
paper may be used.
Bill of material-
1 piece 26 gauge galvanized metal 38" x 60"
5 pieces 1" x 8" x 60"
3 pieces 1" x 4" x 34%" (cross braces)
A low type brooder, bracket or wall lamp may be used to supply
the heat. The top of the chimney should be about one inch below
the bottom of the floor section. The lamp should be located half
way between the sides and about 14" from the rear wall.
The wick should be cleaned once a day.
The four separate sections of the brooding unit are fitted to-
gether easily. This makes it easy to clean and possible for one
person to move it to a new location.


Fig. 6.-Sunporch unit, 3' x 6' x 28", including bottom and
sunporch sections.

The sunporch unit, which is 3' x 6', is divided into two sec-
tions designated as: (1) Bottom frame section and (2) sunporch

Fig. 7.-Bottom frame section of sunporch unit, 3' x 6' x 16",
top covered with 1%" hardware cloth.

The bottom frame, 6' long, 3' wide and 16" high, is constructed
of wood to correspond with the bottom section of the brooding
unit. The top of this frame is covered with 1/2" hardware cloth.
This forms the wire bottom of the sunporch. The hardware
cloth allows the droppings to fall to the ground and makes the
sunporch more sanitary.
Bill of material-
2 pieces 1" x 12" x 72" (side)
2 pieces 1" x 4" x 72" (side)
4 pieces 1" x 4" x 341/2" (ends and braces)
2 pieces 1" x 12" x 34%" (end)
1 piece /%" hardware cloth 3' x 6'
The sunporch is 6' long, 3' wide and 12" high. The framing is
made of 1" x 4" material and the sides, top and one end are
covered with poultry netting. A door is placed in the center
of the top part of the sunporch so that feed and water may be
placed on the wire floor. The door also makes it possible to catch
the chickens.

Fig. 8.-Sunporch section, 3' x 6' x 12", with a door in the top.
Bill of material-
4 pieces 1" x 4" x 6' (side)
3 pieces 1" x 4" x 34%" (end)
2 pieces 1" x 2" x 34%" (brace)
3 pieces 1" x 2" x 22%" (door frame and brace)
2 pieces 1" x 2" x 13%" (door frame)
1 piece 1" x 2" x 222" (door stop)
4 pieces 1" x 4" x 16" (corner posts)
1 piece 1" mesh poultry netting 2' x 15'
1 piece 1" mesh poultry netting 12" x 36"
The sunporch unit may be constructed on legs rather than on
the bottom frame. If constructed in this way, it may be neces-
sary to enclose the sides of the sunporch with feed bags or other
material from the wire floor to the ground to help keep the chicks
more comfortable. This is especially true when the brooder is
to be used during the winter or early spring.

Dry sand should be placed on the floor of the brooding unit
deep enough (1" to 11/2") to cover the wood frame. The lamp
should be in operation at least 24 hours before the chicks are
started to insure sufficient heat to keep the chicks comfortable.
If the sand is not thoroughly dry, several days will be required
for the heat from the lamp to dry it enough that the chicks may
be started safely. DON'T PUT CHICKS ON WET OR DAMP

The sand in the hover directly above the lamp may be too hot
for the chicks at times, but there is sufficient room elsewhere
for the chicks to find the correct temperature. The temperature
may be controlled by the size of the flame in the lamp and by
adjusting the curtain in the front part of the hover or the roof.
The chicks should be confined to the hover for the first 24 to
48 hours to teach them to find the source of heat.
Feed and water vessels should be placed inside the hover at
first. As soon as the chicks are allowed the use of the sunporch,
remove the feed and water vessels from the hover and place them
on the wire floor in the sunporch.
As soon as the weather will permit, the chicks should be out
in the sunshine. After they are three or four days old they
should not be confined to the hover but should have the use of
both the hover and the sunporch until they are placed in the
fattening pens or given free range.
Heat should be available for the first four or five weeks so the
chicks can be kept comfortable. The chicks will not get too hot
unless they are confined in the hover.

It will be necessary to clean the floor of the brooding unit
from time to time. To clean, remove the roof and then with
a small broom or rake remove the droppings with some of the
sand. Add more dry sand to cover the wooden frame. DON'T

A complete ration should be fed these chicks, since they are
raised in confinement. The chicks need a ration containing all
the essential vitamins. Use a well balanced chick or broiler mash
while they are confined.
After the chicks are five or six weeks old and are removed
from the brooder to the range, the ration can be changed to
home-grown grain, green feed, and sour milk. A ration of this
type will produce good gains if the chicks have access to range.
Provide sufficient feeding space so that all chicks can eat at
the same time. Allow about one inch of feeding space per chick
for the first two weeks. Add more feeders as the chicks become

Two /2-gallon fruit jar water containers should be provided
for the young chicks. In two or three weeks the 1-gallon water-
ers will be found more practical, with one in either end of the
Baby chicks will consume about one pound of feed during the
first four weeks and another pound during the fifth and sixth
A broiler will consume from eight to nine pounds of feed
during the first 12 weeks.

It will be found desirable to have two or three wide boards,
or a piece of metal, to place on top of the sunporch to protect
the feed and chicks on rainy days. During the summer months
place the brooder where there will be some protection from the
sun during the hottest part of the day.

Fig. 9.-A home-made fattening pen for broilers and fryers.

After the chicks are five or six weeks old they should be either
moved to the range or confined to a broiler or fattening pen.
A pen 10 feet long, 3 feet wide and 15 inches high is satis-
factory for 25 or 30 broilers. The framework of this pen is made
of 1" x 4" (or 1" x 6") material and the floor is covered with
1" hardware cloth or 1" heavy poultry netting. The top, sides
and ends are covered with 2" poultry netting or slats 11/" apart.
A door 18" wide, either hinged or sliding, is placed in the center
of the top.

A temporary cover may be made of wide boards or a piece of
sheet metal, to protect the birds from the heat of the day and
from getting wet during the rainy season.
The feeders and waterers are fastened to the outside. Use
two 6-foot feeders on the sides and one 3-foot waterer on the end.
The pen should be placed on blocks about four to six inches off
the ground.
Place the fattening pen in a semi-shaded area for protection
from the sun in the'summer months.
Bill of material-
4 pieces 1" x 4" x 10' (side)
8 pieces 1" x 4" x 341" (end and brace)
6 pieces 1" x 4" x 19" (corner posts and brace)
5 pieces 1" x 2" x 18" (door)
1 piece 1" hardware cloth or 1" mesh heavy
poultry netting 3' x 6'
1 piece 2" mesh poultry netting 6' x 8'
1 hasp
1 pair small hinges
For more detailed information on brooding write for Exten-
sion Bulletin 94, Growing Healthy Chicks and Pullets, and Ex-
tension Bulletin 77, Poultry Houses and Equipment.

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