Kienyenji chicken brooding is easier now, thanks to modern brooding systems. Unless you don’t mind at all, you don’t have to wait until one or more of your hens turn broody. There are ways to maintain a fertile egg at a controlled temperature and humidity for around 28 days. And as soon as your chicks hatch, you can nurture them for weeks inside an artificial brooding house. Note that a brooding house is not the usual chicken coop. It is a separate structure used only when caring for young chicks–even one-day old chicks. When interested in raising and selling your kienyenji chickens, such as Kuloiler chickens, your best brooding technique should be artificial. However, you can combine natural and artificial brooding methods.
Natural brooding technique
If you intend to start a small chicken project, the natural brooding method alone will help. That means waiting until one or more of your hens stops laying eggs in order to become a mother. A broody hen is easy to identify because she will squawk all day long. As well as this, a broody hen will make a huge sacrifice just to hatch and raise her own broods. Thus, she will sit in her nesting box all day long instead of foraging with the rest of the chickens.
Moreover, a broody hen will become too protective of her nest and eggs and pluck her breast feathers to give her eggs direct heat from the body. If you notice a stubborn broody hen, it’s time to start the natural brooding process. Usually, a broody chicken will sit on eggs for 21 days and depending on her body size, she can hatch up to 20 chicks. If you are familiar with the typical birds raised in our rural areas, then you know that despite the broody hens having lice and other parasites, they hatch and raise chicks until they can forage on their own.
If you wish to brood your chicks naturally, that’s fine because there will be no extra costs. The downside is that you can only give your hen enough fertilized eggs for her body size. If you give her more eggs than she can sit on, you will end up with a few stale eggs that won’t hatch. That means hatching fewer chicks than you expected.
Artificial brooding method
This is all about producing and raising new-born chicks without a broody hen. So you will require a man-made, temperature-controlled brooder to take the place of a live broody hen. An artificial brooding technique is better than a natural brooding method when you are doing kienyenji chicken rearing as a full-blown business. Here are the pros:
- There is no downtime because of conditions beyond your control: weather changes, broody hens to sit on eggs and so on.
- You can hatch numerous chicks at once without requiring extra human labour or lots of broody hens.
- You can take full charge of the brooding process, ensuring that the brooder is clean and sterilized, well-ventilated and warm enough to keep the tiny broods alive.
- You can control the brooder temperature levels
- Feeding can be programmed and done systematically.
If you are going to use an artificial brooding approach, then it will be important to determine whether you will personally hatch your own eggs inside an incubator or will purchase young chicks. To avoid the challenges of buying an incubator and a brooder, it would be wiser to buy chicks from a reputable kienyenji chicken farmer and brood them afterwards. Simply make an order for 1-day old chicks, 1-week old chicks and/or 2-weeks old chicks, and so on, in whatever quantity you can afford. The following essentials are a must-have:
- A round housing structure
- A heat source or a brooder
- Constant supply of clean, fresh air
- Proper lighting
- Clean, dry and germ-free living space
- Safety from fire accidents or predators
- Clean and disinfected feeders and drinkers
If you are trying to improvise your own brooding system, you can roll a flexible material such as plywood to create a brooder house. Then use a charcoal jiko for heat production, if you live in a rural area without electricity; one jiko can generate enough heat to warm up to 300 chicks. To create a clean, dry and germ-free living area, you can buy wood shavings. In short, you can use your own creativity to create an artificial brooder at home. Alternatively, you can buy a readily constructed brooder: electric brooder, gas brooder, an automatic heater, a hover and so on.