Design a device to keep Kesla’s chicks warm during winter nights without electricity, reduced labor and a minimum amount of fuel.
The design of a low-cost, scalable device that can easily be manufactured, transported, cleaned and used by Kesla women to keep their chicks warm during the winter time without any fuel or additional labor.
The women of Kesla (Central India) come from nomadic tribes that were forced to settle, losing access to natural resources and their traditional livelihoods. In the past 10 years many of them have joined a “women’s cooperative of chicken brooders”, supported by local industry and the Ford Foundation. The women receive the chicks when they are a couple of days old and sell them to industrial companies after six weeks, earning according to weight-gain.
However, this is the riskiest and most labor intensive part of the business as baby chicks are most vulnerable to predators, temperature and humidity. To warm the chicks in the winter time and avoid death or weight loss, the women collect firewood from the nearby protected forest and burn it over night. This means that they fetch the wood illegally, putting themselves at risk with the forest guards, and then they stay up all night, losing important hours of sleep and inhaling fumes.
Sri Hari, one of the businesses supporting the Kesla Coop asked the Berkeley Chicken Warmer team to design an affordable solution that requires less labor, less fuel and ensures chicken health, guaranteeing more time and income for the women of Kesla.