Farmers with biogas digesters can cut electricity and kerosene brooding costs by using the gas in raising the chicks.
A 6feet by 3feet by 4feet structure secured by a thin eyed wiremesh from above the holding area, which is about three and half feet off the ground. This is according to a model from Flexi Biogas Technologies.
The gas from the source is connected to a perforated pan-covered burner at the base of the structure.
Heat from the burner warms the pan, which also transfers the heat to the environment conventionally.
The structures is covered all round with a transparent polythene sheet. The burner should be placed centrally to avoid melting the thick gauge sheet.
Brooders are kept within 32 degrees Celsius and 34 degrees Celsius from the first day the chicks are introduced. The temperature is reduced slowly until the room temperature by the fourth week, when the chicks have enough feathers to help them regulate temperatures without external help.
Chick temperature is about 39 degrees Celsius on the first day but after one week, it raises to about 41 degrees Celsius, which is the normal body heat for a mature chicken.
The structure can host 50 chicks. A thermometer comes in handy in determining the temperature of the brooder. If the temperature goes higher than the required, the polythene sheets are opened to allow for more heat to come into the structure.
Similarly, the gas inlet has a tap that regulates the flame to increase or reduce the heat output.
Flexi Biogas Technology officer Richard Ondiek said the move is one of the company’s projects of helping farmers utilise farm wastes to cut down production costs and boost earnings.
“Such off the power grid energy green solutions ensure than farmers are not discouraged from investing in lucrative ventures of their choice. This, indeed, is a cost free way of ensuring that a farmer is better placed in recycling waste for use in energy consuming activities without end-month bills,” Ondiek said.
The company fixes biogas digesters that can handle dung from one to more than five cows.
PHOTO: A Flexi Biogas Technology staff opens up the chicks brooding section in the biogas warmed structure during the Nairobi International Agricultural Society of Kenya on October 7, 2016. The brooder uses biogas, therefore, cutting electricity or kerosene costs to farmers. PHOTO BY LABAN ROBERT.
Ondiek can be reached on +254724971553