Our farm specializes in fresh, organic, pastured poultry on the Big Island of Hawaii. We are passionate about providing the community with a wholesome, local, fresh alternative to factory farmed supermarket chicken.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Building the Chick Brooder

We decided that at the beginning, we will brood the chicks up at our house in Mt. View.  We have several reasons for making this decision.  Number one is that we don't have any mongoose at our house, probably because we are at a higher elevation.  Mongoose will be our enemy #1 on the farm in Keaau.  Secondly, we can keep a closer eye on them and the brooder really doesn't take up that much room in our yard. 

Yoric came up with an awesome design that ended up being very economical.  The pallets were free and we had quite a bit of old roofing that we've been collecting for the farm.  The plastic sheet for the roof was about $50, which was the largest expense.  It will allow for natural sunlight to get through to keep the chicks warm and to help sterilize the floor.  We may need to throw a shade cloth on one end when it gets too hot.  On the inside, we used 2 ft chicken wire to keep them from going inside the pallets. 

These broilers are about 3 1/2 wks old, and we put them in here to test out the structure and see how they like it.  They seemed really happy, so response was good.  We should be able to raise batches of up to 300 chicks in here until they are 2 wks old and we put them out on pasture at the farm.