FIRST & FOREMOST, make sure that you’re ready to fully commit to taking care of these little furry ones! It requires more than just food and water, just like with any other pet. They don’t require a lot to be happy but still require some of TLC!
Do Your Homework
- Check your local ordinances and zoning codes for your city. Each city has their own regulation on how many backyard chicks you’re able to have.
- Figure out why you want chicks… Is it for a bountiful amount of fresh eggs? Is it because you want to know where your food comes from? Or is it just because you’ve always wanted to raise chickens?
- Research all of the CHICK BREEDS to figure out what fits your wants the best.
Brooder Set up
- Get all of the chicks supplies and brooder set up before they arrive to your home.
During the first few weeks with your chicks, place them in a secured, warm area with access to food & water 24/7.
The options of what to use for your brooder are endless!
*Chick Pro TIP: Cover the top of your brooder with chicken wire to protect them from predators and to prevent them from flying out. Also, place a piece of cheesecloth to over the chicken wire to block dust from getting into the box.
Clean bedding is essential to keeping your baby chicks health in good condition. Proper sanitation can help reduce the risk of diseases.
Using newspapers can create a slick & wet surface that can cause damage to their legs. Using cedar shavings can create irritation to their respiratory system. Using white shavings, NATURE’S SHAVINGS, is absorbent and is easy to spread out along the bottom of your brooder!
Make sure that the brooder’s bedding is dry and changed often.
Heat plays a key part in your baby chicks survival. Using a heat lamp and a 250 watt infrared bulb is the key. You can adjust the brooder’s temperature easily by just raising and lowering the heat lamp.
Set up your heat lamp above the feeder and opposite end of the waterer. If you do place the lamp over the chick’s water, it will heat up and cause algae to grow.
*Chick Pro TIP: Keep a spare bulb handy. Your chicks brooder temperature needs to stay consistent.
During the first week your baby chicks are with you, their brooder temperature should be set at 95 degrees. After that week, reduce the temperature 5 degrees per week.
Get an thermometer to place inside the brooder to help you regulate and maintain the heat easier.
*Chick Pro TIP: If you see your chicks huddled together underneath the heat lamp, turn up the heat… If you see them holding their wings out or panting and far away from the heat lamp, turn down the heat!
Waterer & Feeder
Your chicks will need easy access to their food and water at all times. Place the food dish at one end of the box and the opposite end of the box for the water dish. This prevents the chicks from kicking their food into their water.
Change your baby chicks water at least once a day. Make sure that the waterer base is not too deep or wide so that your chicks won’t fall in!
Feed your chicks with a chick starter mixed with some chick scratch during their first 8 weeks. Using chick scratch helps your chicks process their food and prevent PASTY BUTTS!
Enjoy watching your flock grow!