There are different kinds of brooders,
such as the coal or oil brooders that heat the houses as well as the area under the hovers. The temperature under the hover can be a little lower with the brooders than with gas or electric brooders. Gas or electric brooders heat the hover area but not the room. You should maintain the temperature under the hover to 93 to 95 degrees F. at the start. These are very easy brooders to operate. The best conditions would be to provide ample heat under the brooder and keep the rest of the area cool.
You should make a guard of sheet metal, wood, or cardboard about fifteen to eighteen inches in high and place this around the hover at a distance of about two or three feet to keep the ducks or geese from getting away from the brooder and getting a chill. This will also work to keep out cold air and drafts. You can decrease the temperature gradually at about five degrees each week till it is about seventy-five to eighty degrees F.
Another method of providing the heat necessary would be to take a box set-up and place a small lamp reflector in one end of the box for heat. For about twelve ducklings or six goslings, you would be able to use a six-inch reflector with an ordinary light bulb for one week. If you wish to brood them for two weeks, you would be able to use the ten-inch reflector so that the bulb heat will reach all of the ducks or goslings. Remember do not ever use 250-watt bulbs as there would be a chance of fire. You could also purchase a 75 watt or larger reflector floodlight bulb that you could use, or even ordinary light bulbs will suffice. The wattage will depend on the temperature desired in the box. You could use a handing lamp and raise or lower it as you want to heat. You would need a piece of wood lath across the width of the box on an end and then use wire to hang the lamp.
You can also use a battery brooder if you practice some caution. Place clean, bunched up rough rags or towels over a wire grill floor and place the towels under the battery heating element. This will prevent spraddle legs and also keep the loss of heat to the bottom of the floor. Then the ducks or goslings won't get their hocks caught in the wire when they are in a sitting position.
From the above-described methods of providing temperature and light to your brooding young ducks or goslings, you can determine the best method for you as to expense and length of time to set up for them. Just be careful and practice safety for the ducklings and goslings.