Brooder essentials for chicks

Turn on the brooder, one hour before placing the chicks in the chick brooder. Adequate feed and water is essential, and chick feeders and chick waterers should be selected for the number and type of chicks in the  brooder box. Drinkers specifically for day old chicks is highly recommended to reduce incidences of drowning or falling in and chilling.
Happy brooding!

Raising Chicks

Drinkers Brooder_print version

Drinkers for Brooders

A flexible system which allows threaded pipes to be configured to allow cups to be easily spaced along a wall or suspended in the shed. A number of lengths of pipe sections are available.
Nu Look drinker

The Nu Look drinker holds about 4.5litres and are ideal for starting chicks. Each bottle is suitable for up to 50 chicks from day old to one week. Often used in commercial broiler and breeder farms as a supplementary drinker alongside nipple lines. Custom made plastic mixes with high UV stabiliser.

4007 red lubing cup drinker

The 4007 red Lubing cup drinkers are suitable for use with most species of birds, with the exception of ducks. The cups are ideal where the small amount of drip from straight nipples may cause wet litter.
The 4007 red Lubing cup drinker has a yellow float that refills the cup as the water level lowers. This red Lubing cup drinker is suitable for use with up to 15 day old chickens for up to 5 weeks. The number of birds per cup should then be reduced to 5 hens per 4007 red cup drinker as the birds grow. Pheasants, quail, and other species are quite at home with these simple drinkers.

Recommended for use in brooders with small numbers of chicks or for broody hens with chicks.

The 4007 red Lubing cup drinker in plastic container such as 1.2 litre soft drink bottle. The most important part is the height of the water above the cup. The ideal height is 300mm (1 foot) from the top of the cup to the top of the water.

4007 drinker

Softdrink bottle method
1. Drill a 9mm hole in the plastic lid of the soft drink bottle.


2. Carefully press the threaded end of the yellow nipple against the hole and turn in a clockwise direction. The nipples are designed to self-thread into the plastic and self-seal so they need no sealant.

3. Keep turning until end of the thread is up to the flat part of the lid.

4. Make a small hole in the bottom of the bottle to allow the air into the bottle.
4007 red cup drinker

5. Cover the hole with your finger; and fill the bottle with water. Put the cap, with the cup in it, on the bottle and tighten the cap. Turn the bottle upside down and hang in the bird house.

When hanging drinker in the house, ensure that the lip of the cup is between back and eye height of the birds.

If the water is clean, very few problems should occur. However if the nipple does get blocked or leak, it is almost always dirt in the nipple.
The silver valve can be removed from the nipple, and the inner valve stem removed. Caution: do not lose the drinker valve parts. Wash in water and reassemble.

Other drinker ideas

4007 red Lubing cup drinker kits

Feeders in Brooders_print version

Chick feeders for the Brooder

Food should be given to the chicks soon after the water. Though the yolk sack provides sufficient food for the chicks ensure that chicks are eating as soon as they are in the brooder. The sooner the chick eats the sooner it grows. Chicks are usually started with food by using chick crumbs sprinkled on a scratch tray. The noise of the crumbs on the scratch tray triggers off the peck reflex.

After chicks identify food, it should be freely available in chick feeders around the brooder. The main disease of chicks, least ways the most important early disease is coccidiosis. Coccidiostats are included in premixed commercial chick rations. If extras are added to the basic ration or home mix food used then the levels of coccidiostat may be too low or non-existent, and therefore the chicks are at risk of not developing immunity.

When using a feeder in the brooder consider space and the amount of chicks in the brooder. Good chick feeder design will ensure most feed ends up in the chicks belly than on the ground.

With chicks, the choice is between round hoppers and troughs. Troughs are good with fine mash feeds however round gravity hoppers work for chick crumbles.

scratchtray scratchtray
Scratch trays for day old chicks
round chick feeder round chick feeder
6025 round chick feeder. Feeds 10 chicks from day old chicks, with a snap on cover.

Easy metal slide top chick feeders with a stable base to prevent tipping and access holes to prevent soiling and scratching out feed:
• 6026 300mm slide top long chick feeder. Suits 15 day old chicks. 35mm deep at the lip with 14 holes.
• 6027 450mm long chick feeder. For up to 30 chicks from day old chicks.
• 6028 600mm long chick feeder. For up to 50 chicks.

6026 chick feeder 6026 chick feeder

Turbogrow with 4 kg capacity, suits up to 100 chicks. Great access to feed and doesn’t take up much brooder ‘real estate’.

turbogrow turbogrow

Maxgrow 1kg for chicks and quail.

Find out more about chick rearing books available in eshop

Brooder choices on Bellsouth YouTube and on Bellsouth eshop