|dc.description.abstract||Brooding is critical to the development of chicks in poultry farming. The main aim of brooding is to efficiently and economically provide a comfortable and healthy environment to chicks. Farmers provide chicks with the ideal temperature, ventilation, humidity and space requirements. In this study the focus is on provision of adequate heat in a model brooder by use of heated floors. The main advantage of heated floors lies in their ability to use low temperature heat which can be provided by solar energy. Most farmers in Kenya use charcoal for brooding. The use of heated floors for brooding is unknown. Therefore there exists a knowledge gap in the application of heated floors for brooding. Brooding using heated floors has several advantages; heating is done over the entire floor area resulting in better distribution of heat; there is reduced fire risk compared to charcoal, kerosene and gas brooders; heated floors do not take any space in the brooder unlike charcoal brooders; and the use of heated floor systems facilitates the use of automated temperature control.
This study was done to generate temperature profiles for a model heated floor. Analysis of the temperature profiles was used to determine the impact of; water heating temperature, ambient temperature, wood shavings and covering the top of the brooder. Of particular interest was the temperature of the floor and wood shavings and the temperature at 50mm height (typical height of a day old chick). It was demonstrated that the required brooding temperatures can be attained by adjusting the water temperature, thickness of wood shavings and extent of covering using empty sisal bags||