So you’re bringing home some new baby chicks.
However you decide to get your new fluffy nuggets. It could be from your nearest feed store, a local breeder maybe a hatchery or you have decided to incubate your own eggs.
All new chicks need basic care. So let me share some of my tips that I have learned over the years of keeping my own fluffy butts.
1. Housing /Brooder:
You’ll have to decide before your new chicks come home how you intend to keep them. This is called brooding your chicks. There probably is as many options for brooding /housing your chicks as there is variety of chickens. but here’s a few. I personally use rabbit / guinea pig cages with plastic bottoms and wire tops. As it was something I already had available. I brood my young chicks while they are on heat in the house. You can use something like a tote or a water/feed tub. Some may modify a space and their barn or a shed. The main idea is that the chicks need to be safe from predators and be able to keep warm and have easy access to food and water. So I encourage you to brood your chicks however works best for you.
No matter what type of housing/brooder you decide to go with you need to provide heat to your newly arrived chicks. Of course there is several options for you to provide Heat. You can use a heat lamp with a infrared heat bulb that is usually fastened above your Brooder. You can also use a heat plate which allows the chicks to have access underneath to keep warm. I have had good results with both methods but you will have to decide what will work best for you.
Your chicks will need to be kept at about 95 degree for the first two weeks. Then I decrease the temperature by a few degrees every few days or so. If your chicks are standing directly under the heat Source they are cold. I would adjust your heat Source down. If chicks are standing at corners of Bro oder the temperature is too warm adjust your heat mechanism up. Your new arrival should look as comfortable as can be in their new home.
Okay, so now we know where we’re getting our little chickens and where we’re keeping them now we have to talk about how we are going to keep their space clean and dry. I think the most typical bedding is wood shaving. I often use scrap hey as bedding. I do think the wood shavings keep things dry and clean a little bit longer than the scrap hey, But as I raised larger livestock hay is something I always have available on the homestead. With any bedding that you choose you will have to change as it gets soil. As your little fluffy nuggets grow you will have to change out the bedding more frequently. The main goal is to keep their living space as clean and dry as you are able.
Every living creature needs water no question. Are you surprised there’s several different ways for your chickens to receive that water. The most commonly used in the one I also prefer is the chick Waters usually a plastic bottom with a plastic top that you fill the water in and it dispenses it for your chickens . They also come with metal bottoms and glass tops. A regular Mouth Mason jars usually fits either the plastic or metal bottoms of the waterers. There is also nipple Waters or cup Waters usually hooked up to a 5 gallon bucket or water line. But with young chicks I suggest sticking with the standard chick waterers until they are a little older. water is extremely important and you want to make sure that your are chicks are getting an adequate amount of freshwater.
Yes there is many different types of chick feed ,medicated non-medicated organic non-GMO. feed your little fluffy butts whatever works best for you and your plan for your flock. Just a piece of advice try to make sure that you have a reliable source to purchase your chick food from. either if that’s from a feed store a big box store a small company. You want to try not to run out. there is also quite a few different choices of feeders. plastic, metal, ones that can hanging, ones that are on the ground. again not sound like a broken record… but you need to choose whatever works best for you and your happy little nuggets.
If you follow these 5 tips and do your own research you should have the happiest little fluffy butts in town.
There are many variables and countless options to raising your own backyard flock of chickens. I want to encourage you to have the confidence to raise your chickens your way. If you have just three hens or a flock of 100 chickens you will find that they will always be a constant source of encouragement, education and entertainment,
Remember what they say chickens are the gateway to homesteading.
until next time I hope to encourage you to Homestead your way