We have discussed in many of our articles how chickens are gentle and every chicken keeper needs to know how to properly care for his chickens in order to keep them healthy, productive, and most importantly – alive. And since your chickens are that gentle that means that your baby chicks are even gentler. What we at the typesofchicken.com team would like to do for this article is walk you through the process of taking care of your pullets and cockerels.
1. Clear Your Schedule And Find A Suitable Place For Your New Chicks.
Baby chicks require a lot more attention than grown-up chickens, they require constant monitoring and a safe environment without any outside threats such as predators, weather conditions, etc.
Chickens grow up fast, but until they reach a certain age or growth level they need to live in a brooder. Luckily for you, we at the typesofchicken.com team have already done an article on how to make your own moveable brooder.
Maintaining the temperature in the brooder is also important because baby chicks require a high temperature of around 90/95 degrees. Adding a heat lamp to your brooder is a good idea, but make sure that the chicks will not be able to touch the heat lamp or the wiring out of curiosity and make a mess out of things.
Baby chicks are not as dumb as you might think, they are highly adaptable so when you are doing your routine check-up make sure that you watch the way they behave.
If your flock of chicks is grouped up in the middle of their brooder it means that they are cold, or if they are as far away from each other and the middle of their brooder it means that they are hot. A happy flock of chicks will always roam around the brooder.
Changing the bedding and removing the chick’s feces regularly can do a lot for their health and well-being.
2. Know Your Chicks Waterer And Feeder, It May Save Their Lives.
We talked in one of our recent articles about how to maintain the water that you give to your chickens.
For baby chicks, it is important that you use clean water and a clean waterer. If you leave a dish or a small pot just laying around they can get hurt or even poop in it and that will not do any good.
Use a bunch of rubber bands and a plastic dish to make the waterer bully-proof by connecting the rubber bands in a way that there is only room for one head per rubber band, and more per the plastic dish. In that way, the chicks will not push each other to drink.
Nothing will stop the chicks from getting that water dirty, so make sure that in your regular check-ups you check the state of the water and change it if necessary. A few times a day should be good enough. The same goes with the feeder – do not use a dish or something that the chicks can tip-off or break. Try buying a chick feeder or make your own.
3. What To Feed Your Baby Chicks?
From one day old to eight weeks old chicks will require a starter feed, which is crumbs with around 20% protein.
Because they are at their early stage of development young chicks require a higher amount of protein to help them grow better. Vaccines are important for the growth of the chicks but it is also very important that you keep them under safe conditions.
Treats are also important, you need to know that there is no certain age where you should start giving treats to your chicks, just make sure that they enjoy the treats as much you enjoy giving it to them. And also I think it is worth mentioning that the size of the treat matters because over-feeding your chicks can lead to problems with their developing digestive system.
4. How To Keep Your Chicks Protected
Keeping your chicks protected sounds easy, but it can be a lot complicated. If your family or friends wants to play and cuddle with your new chicks, make sure that you take some time to explain how gentle the chicks are and how NOT to handle them. If you decide on making your own brooder make sure that you use a net for the roof so that everyone can see them but no one can touch them.
Monitoring their growth is very important, although grown-up chickens cannot fly or jump high enough in some cases. However, the chicks are highly capable of getting in and out of tight spaces and jumping.
By monitoring their growth you will know when it is ok to let them out and when is too early.
5. What About Letting Them Outside
When your chicks get 2/3 weeks old, if the weather conditions allow it, it is safe to let them outside. But make sure that you watch them while they are outside because they can get hurt or eaten by your cat or dog.
And as we mentioned above they are much better at flying than older chickens and this is another reason why you should monitor them during their first few times outside. When they get a little under 2 months of age it is safe for you to let them constantly outside without any extra monitoring.
Did you like this article? What do you do with your baby chicks to make them grow into healthy chickens? Make sure that you share your thoughts and opinions with us through the comment section or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org