Preparing for your new baby chicks can be like somewhat preparing for a newborn at first. It may be daunting and overwhelming, however, the supplies needed are far simpler and easy to get your hands on.
After doing your research and making the decision to get your own baby chicks, you will be more confident & relaxed knowing what they need to live a happy and healthy life with you. Listed here are seven important items that are needed before your batch of chicks arrive home.
This is the first and most important item on your shopping list. Brooders come in various sizes and shapes. The main thing needed from a brooder is that it must provide the baby chicks an environment with controlled heat and draft free. The brooder must also provide protection from any predators.
2. Heat Lamp
A heat lamp is another necessity to have when raising baby chicks. All baby chicks must be kept in a brooder with a heat lamp. Initially, the brooder should be kept at 90-95 degrees.
It is recommended to use a red bulb over a white one for a two reasons: the darker light helps them sleep better and prevents them from pecking at each other.
A little trick to help you figure out if your chicks are at the right temperature: when your chicks are moving around freely and chirp with joy while sleeping next to each other, they are at the correct temperature. If they are huddled together by the heat lamp, they are too cold. If they are panting, they are too hot.
This is needed to check the temperature in the brooder and making sure your chicks are staying warm.
When purchasing the right waterer for your chicks, make sure that it has these features: the chicks are not able roost on top of it or turn it over, supplies enough water without running out, does not leak and is easy to clean and sanitize.
When placing the waterer in the brooder, make sure to place it leveled with the chick’s back. You will need to continually raise it as they grow. This little trick will save you a lot of time from cleaning up after them as they may splash around in it and end up getting their bedding wet. Also, this trick will work with the feeder too.
The feeder is used to hold the chicken feed. A quality chicken feeder will have these characteristics: prevents roosting, easy to clean and is lipped on the edge to prevent the feed from being wasted.
Hay, straw or pine shavings are all bedding options to use for your chickens. The bedding provides a soft surface for your chickens to walk on and to absorb their droppings.
Pine shavings is the most recommended bedding to use out of all the options. This type is most absorbent out of the three.
An important note to remember when getting your supplies, DO NOT use cedar shavings. The aromatic oils will irritate your chicks lungs and may cause respiratory problems later.
7. Starter Feed
Chick Starter is highly recommended for baby chicks. This feed is nutritionally balanced for uniform growth and optimal health.
We recommended using medicated feed. Medicated feed helps chicks combat coccidiosis which are parasitic organisms that infect chickens by attacking their digestive track. This disease is found just about everywhere in the environment and is usually fatal to young birds.
You don’t need a chicken coop at first, but it’s important to keep in mind and plan for when they get older.
As the chicks get older, they also will need their own space. If you decide to have your chickens roam freely or not, a coop is needed no matter what. The coop provides many necessities for chickens. It is their shelter from the rain and cold weather, protection from predators and a safe place for them to lay their eggs and sleep.
There are various sizes and shapes of chicken coops. You can build one yourself and many websites provide chicken coop building plans for you to follow. However, many stores that sell chickens also have pre-made chicken coops available. Go to our website to see what kind of coops we have available.