Radiant Brooder Installation and Management

vol7n12.jpg
Date: 
1995
Volume: 
7
Number: 
12
Tip Category: 
Heating systems

Low air temperatures during the first few days of a bird's life may be more harmful than you may think. A newly hatched chick is more like a cold-blooded reptile than a bird. Their body temperature, and therefore, their level of activity is heavily influenced by the temperature of the air around them. If the air is warm, the chick will be warm and show a high level of activity (i.e., running around, eating and drinking). But if the air is cold, the chick will be cold and tend to huddle and sit around. Since a cold chick does not eat and drink as much as a warm chick, performance can suffer. The effect that cold temperatures have on young chicks was demonstrated in a study conducted by Poultry Science students at The University of Georgia. They documented that day-old chicks exposed to an air temperature of 55oF for only 45 minutes had significantly lower weights at the end of the growout compared to those that were not cold stressed.