By Saintly Ngwenya.
Small scale poultry farmers find it hard to provide enough heat for their brooders. Some suffer heavy mortalities during this stage due to poor heat generation within the brooder. Young chicks require a heat source in the brooder since their bodies are not able to generate enough heat on their own.
The easiest source of heat for small scale farmers is the charcoal burner (mbaura). This is very cheap to construct and run. It requires very little investment and can be made from locally available resources. Moreover, it can be easily moved to convenient positions in the brooder.
However, one should be careful to avoid fire risks. Also, the smoke produced might harmfully affect chicks. Therefore, farmers need to constantly check on their brooder to ensure good growth of their chicks.