The Multiple Uses of Brooders


The multiple uses of brooders

Generally, with way parrot and bird breeders define brooders are a heated box for babies after they hatch and incubators are for eggs. When used with a mammal, the brooder is called an incubator. In all cases the brooder is a machine for keeping animals warm. And some brooders/incubators are much more sophisticated than a heated box.

In farming, with poultry, a brooder can be as simple as a heat lamp hanging from the ceiling over a pen where the baby chicks are kept. Chickens are smart, (most poultry is this way) they hatch, jump up, run around and start eating and drinking right away. They’re smart enough to know when it is too cold and when it is too hot. They move under the brooder heat lamp to get warm, and away from it when they are warm enough.

Zoos, avian specialists and veterinarians use brooders for special needs. Parrots and hookbills are birds that are hatched naked, helpless and rely on their parents for food and warmth in the wild and humans as foster parents until they can eat on their own and can sustain their own body heat. This can be 3 weeks to 16 weeks or more depending on the specie. Some of the special features used for exotic birds are digital humidity control, very precise temperature management and nebulizer attachments to dispense medications in a fine mist inside the brooder.

If an animal is sick or recovering from surgery, a time in a brooder can help keep them warm so they can concentrate on getting well. The brooder/incubator can also be an oxygen chamber to assist with breathing, and a delivery system for medicine.

One specialized brooder type is portable. Design for the transport of babes and able to run from multiple power sources such as a car’s power supply as well as a 120VAC wall outlet. The special Cooler Brooders are insulated, have a clear inner lid so you can visually check on the babies without letting all the heat out.

Some brooders can be equipped with supplemental oxygen and nebulizers – which dispense medications in a mist to be breathed by the animal. Respiratory problems are common in exotic birds and a fine mist of medication is a great way to get medicine where it is needed with having to attempt to place a mask over the birds head.

These techniques are gaining popularity with the breeders of Bulldogs and other mammals that are delivered by Cesarean operation. These animals sometimes have underdeveloped lungs and need a little help with processing oxygen and warmth before they can survive on their own. A newborn bulldog puppy can spend a few hours to a few days getting healthy.

Brooders are used by the US Army for mosquito research, some are used to collect water samples from swimming pools for analysis. Others have been used to transport semen from bulls, horses and even elephants! How they collect the semen is a story for another time.

All of these types of brooders and incubators are available from

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