Pilot or direct spark brooders?

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This last week I had a conversation with one of my suppliers about brooders. The subject was about whether to recommend and use direct spark or standard pilot systems. We have had experience with both, but lately many have gone away from the pilot brooders. After all direct spark saves money doesn’t it. That is the question.

During brooding if the pilot light is running it is producing a small amount of heat that the barn needs anyways right. Really the only time this is not true is when a person is brooding in the summer time. The person I was talking to felt that the pilot unit was more reliable than the direct spark unit over time and cost less upfront.

I talked with a customer this week who was confident they were going to start using direct spark just for the reason that it drove him nuts to see the pilot lights burning away in the summer afternoons. They manage a pretty large farm.

I guess my feeling right now is keep with direct spark not for the fuel savings but because of the time savings of not having to touch them any time during the flock. If you have a small operation with lots of time to manage the barn pilot is probably fine.