Chick CareRaising chicks can be an exciting and rewarding experience. It can also be an educational and challenging task. To get the most enjoyment out of growing your poultry, here are just a few tips we can provide you. Shop Now
Before the Chicks Arrive
Be prepared. Chicks have a lot of requirements that must be provided to them. Make sure your brooder house is ready. Have your bedding, feeders, waterers, feed and source of heat set up and ready to go.
Bedding, we recommend pine shavings, must be provided for your chicks. Your bedding should be at least two inches deep. Keep your bedding dry and change as necessary to provide the chicks with a clean growing environment.
After your Chicks Arrive
Chicks must be provided with feed and water as soon as you receive them. Upon arrival, it is a good practice to dip the birds beak into the water. This will show the bird where the water is. Provide one 24 inch feeder and one gallon chick fount for each twenty-five chicks. Keep your feeders and waterers close to the heat source. Chicks will not stray far from the heat to eat and drink. Change your water daily and keep your feeders clean. This will keep your chicks healthy. Provide day old chicks, ducks and geese with Chick Starter. Turkeys and Game birds require a higher protein feed such as Turkey or Game Bird Starter. Ask your local feed store for the proper feed.
Chicks require an area of space that has a temperature of 90-95 degrees. They also need to get away from the heat if they get too hot. The coolest area of your brooder should be no less then 70 degrees. Usually a 250 watt heat lamp per 25 birds is required to start with. Hang your heat light 24 inches off the ground in the center of your brooding area. Check the temperature at the bird level with a thermometer. This will tell you if you need to provide more heat or raise your heat source to lower your temperature. As your chicks grow, you will need to lower your brooding temperature, Decrease your temperature by 5 degrees per week until your whole brooding area is 70 degrees. Then maintain your temperature until your birds are fully feathered. Remember, watch your birds. If they are huddling together, they are probably too cold. If they are away from the heat as far as they can get, they are too hot. Chicks all in a corner suggests that you may have a draft. Chicks spread around and drinking and eating happily are just right. Start warming your brooder pen at least two days before birds arrive. Check your temperature regularly once chicks have arrived.
As your chicks grow, provide them with more space. This will reduce cannibalism, provide an area for them to exercise and reduce the chance of disease. Should you have any questions either before your chicks arrive or after, please give us a call. We are open all year for your convenience.