The World Poultry Foundation has developed this Brooding Manual to assist in the proper care and production of healthy dual-purpose chicks.

The first 10 days of a chick’s life are the most important as to organ development and in building a robust immune system. Newly hatched chicks are unable to regulate their body temperature for the first 3 days and must rely on a supplemental heating source to prevent chilling. Chilling of young birds can negatively affect gut development and also result in respiratory problems that can lead to stunting or even death. As the caretaker of the flock, you are assuming the role of the mother hen and the chicks will depend on your care to properly grow into healthy adults.

A brooder unit enterprise is not a hobby and requires a commitment to manage the birds correctly, and to establish and grow a network of small-scale producers to purchase your stock. Data from thousands of farmers has shown that the brooder unit operators who run the enterprise as a business, and are committed to its success, have the highest financial returns. The objective of this manual is to assist you in providing an environment where the chicks are maintained in a zone of comfort and given the attention needed to grow into a healthy and productive bird.

This training manual has been developed to guide and assist in the proper management and care for flock of day-old chicks. It has been formatted in Chapter form to make navigation of the manual user-friendly. Each chapter is designated for a specific management category, although there will be some overlap among the chapters.