With regards to poultry, the term 'brooding' refers to two tasks performed by the parents:

  1. To sit on and cover eggs for the purpose of hatching the young
  2. To sit over and cover young in order to warm and protect them

Young birds are unable to regulate their own body temperature. As a result, adequate heat (not too much and not too little) must be provided for the first few weeks, with the number of weeks depending on the species and current environmental conditions.

The information provided below primarily covers artificial brooding of young poultry (i.e., chicks, poults, ducklings, etc.). The Modern Homestead website gives more information on natural brooding.


Environmental factors to control when brooding chicks(University of Georgia)

Basic poultry brooding for small flock owners (Agri-Facts, Canada)

Small flock series: Brooding and rearing baby chicks (University of Missouri)

Brooding and rearing baby chicks (Oregon State University)

Small-scale poultry keeping - brooding and rearing chickens(Australia)

Brooding and rearing ducklings and goslings (University of Missouri)

DISCLAIMER: References to commercial products or services provided via this Website are intended for informational and educational purposes only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Kentucky Extension, or the University of Kentucky as a whole.