Creative Chick Brooders

We saw a creative chick brooder when we visited JITOKEZE, a women’s empowerment initiative partially supported by Covenant World Relief. In order to provide the heat needed for a brooder for very young chicks, this model combines the women’s cook stove with the brooder. Here’s how they do it.

– The bottom layer is built with bricks to about 10-12” high.
– Then comes a layer of old planks. The women use rejected pieces that can’t be sold.
– Next a wire mesh like chicken wire followed by a piece of roofing
– Next is an insulation layer of a blanket or cotton
– Finally the entire structure is covered with a layer of mud

Brooder view from underneath

On the top of this structure the woman places her cook stove which provides the heat for the brooder. The cook stove part is an enclosed fire area with a place the size of her pot on top. This is a more fuel efficient design as the heat is contained and directed towards the pot. Heat goes down as well to heat the brooder.

Brooder view from front

The length and width of the brooders vary, but there is enough room for 50 to even 100 young chicks. There are 2 doors to the brooder, one on the front for putting the chicks in and daily cleaning. The second door is on the side allowing the chicks to exit to a chicken wire enclosed area where they will be fed and watered.

After learning how to make the first brooder, the women in the self-help groups have gone from house to house working to build each others’ brooders. At the same time they are slowly building their savings to the amount required to receive the matching grant which will allow them to buy their first chicks.

Brooder view from the side with place to keep food warm in rear

In addition to training and encouraging with several self-help groups, Phillipine has developed relationships with the local Kenyan veterinary service. The local vet is teaching the women about raising chickens and will help them with veterinary care as needed. In addition, the vet is teaching the women how to make their own chicken feed which will be much less expensive than buying it.

I appreciate the approach Phillipine has taken to working with these women’s groups. She has not rushed things, but has worked with the groups – some are new and others pre-existing – slowly teaching them what it means to be a self-help group, working to form a healthy group dynamic. I could tell that the women are committed to their groups. In addition to successfully saving for their chicks, they are learning about both the practical and economic aspects of chicken raising. In my view these slow steps are building towards a higher success rate once the women get their chicks.

Helen sitting on brooder to cook

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  1. […] chicks, this model combines the women’s cook stove with the brooder. Here’s how they do it. Read more… Share and […]

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