Supplies you need for chicks

 Once you've ordered day-old chicks from a hatchery , it's easy to become impatient as you wait for them to arrive, like a proud new parent. But don't let your excitement get in the way of your preparation. It is essential to be ready for your new chicks as soon as they arrive. You will need several supplies to house the chicks and to keep them warm and well fed.

Supplies you need for chicks

Chick guard or brooder area

A rearing area is a draft-free place to house your chicks. Pet food and farm supply stores sell large tubs for this purpose, and you can also purchase specialized incubators with heating. A brooder can also be made of cardboard, a plastic tub, a kiddie pool, or another suitable large container. If you decide to create your own do-it-yourself rearing area , make sure it provides at least 2m2 of space per chick.

Heating lamp for chick incubator

Unless you have a complete brooder that includes a heat source, you will need a heat lamp with a 250 watt bulb to keep the chicks warm. This size lamp will warm 75 chicks at an ambient temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It's a good idea to buy two bulbs to have a backup in case one burns out. Chicks will die if they get too cold.The lamp should include a housing with a metal safety guard to prevent starting a fire if the lamp is dropped (250 watt heat lamp bulbs are extremely hot). It is also useful to have a lamp that can be adjusted in height or to have means to move the lamp to regulate the temperature.The area under the lamp should be 35°C the first week, then it should be decreased by 5 degrees per week until the chicks are fully feathered. It takes about six weeks or until the nighttime outdoor temperature reaches the target temperature.

Chick waterer

Simple mason jar bases will suffice for chick waterers for the first week or two. You will find that as the chicks grow, the jars will need to be refilled more frequently. Try using two half-liter mason jars with bases for 25 chicks and refilling them every two to three days. The bases should have a very small trough that the chicks can access without falling (if they fall into the water and get cold, they can die).Once they get a little bigger, they can handle a gallon-sized waterer or more. After about two weeks, switch to a 5 liter metal waterer. Place the waterers on a piece of wood or other makeshift support to prevent the shavings from falling into the water.

Chick feeder

You will need several supplies to house the chicks

You will need several supplies to house the chicks and to keep them warm and well fed.

Chick-sized feeders are useful for the first week or so. They have pecking holes and are designed so the chicks cannot get into the fodder and poop in it. This means you save money on wasted feed, which offsets the cost of feeders.Allow free access to the stream at any time. On the very first day, lay out food on a piece of cardboard, then tap the cardboard. The chicks immediately find the food, and the sound of beaks tapping on cardboard leads other chicks to the sound. After about a week or two, switch to a tube feeder, but leave out the chick feeders and the new feeder for about a day, to be sure they find the new food.

Chick litter

Chicks need litter just like older hens. Pine shavings are best, as straw or hay can easily get lost. Many people start chicks on fabric-covered newspaper. However, it is important to avoid starting chicks on newspaper alone, as it is too slippery. This can cause chicks to develop a condition called "spraddle legs".

chick starter

Feed your chicks a high quality food called a chick. Always follow the feed manufacturer's feeding recommendations as different feeds pass at different rates.

Important: Chick starter foods are available in both medicated and non-medicated formulas. If you vaccinate your chicks against coccidiosis at the hatchery, do not use medicated feed . If they are unvaccinated, you may want to provide them with medicated feed for additional protection.

Supplements for chicks

Supplements can help your chicks grow; for example:

Gro gel plus is a gel that you give to newborns to help them find food.

Quik chik is a vitamin and electrolyte powder that you add to their water.

Diatomaceous earth (food grade) can be sprinkled into your chicks' feed to help prevent disease. When they are older, sprinkle it around the coop (be sure to wear a respirator) to kill the mites.

Grit can be useful after the first week, if the birds have access to insects or worms. This allows them to better digest “real” food. Grit is sold at feed or farm stores.

Thanks for Reading

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