How to Raise Baby Chickens

How to raise baby chickensNote: This is page 2 of our information on how to raise baby chickens, page one is here: Raising Baby Chickens.

For an easy to follow guide that anyone can use to build their own chicken coop, using basic hand tools, I strongly recommend that you check out:

Building A Chicken Coop

Roosting Poles

For one reason or another, chickens like to roost when they are resting. One of the ways to stop them from playing with their waterer and feeder is to supply roosting poles approximately five inches off the ground to prevent them from roosting on the waterer and the feeder.

Feed

One of the most frequent questions of novices is just how much food they ought to give their birds. The answer: as much as they want! Give your chickens 24/7 access to all of the food they can consume because they are able to regulate themselves unlike other domestic pets.

Purchasing chicken feed is quite straightforward. Feed suppliers produce special baby chicks feed complete with everything they require. For those of you who have had your baby chicks vaccinated against Coccidiosis, you need to provide them with un-medicated feed. Otherwise, or if they have only been vaccinated for Marek's Disease, medicated feed is the surest way for you to keep them healthy through the first few months.

Depending on the ingredients of the feeds, baby chicks can be on starter feed for approximately four weeks prior to moving on to a combination of starter/grower for the next 16 weeks. Study the manufacturer’s recommendations on the feed bag to be on the safe side.

You could also offer your baby chicks food leftovers, worms, insects, and small quantities of vegetables and dairy. Do this just as a treat and not on a regular basis. They require all of the nutrients they can get from the starter feed and giving them treats can jeopardize their health and nutritional balance.

Grit

Because chickens do not have teeth they require something else to help them grind the food they consume for easier digestion. They need very small pebbles which they store in their crop in order to grind their food. You should give your baby chicks sand, parakeet or canary gravel which you can find at your local pet store. You can either offer this in a different bowl or combine it with their feed.

Netting

If you are using a 12" high carton or box to house your baby chicks in, always cover it with netting to stop young chicks from flying out of their box. One week old chicks can literally fly out of the coop if your box is only a foot high; you can either use a 24" high box or drape netting on top to keep your chicks from flying out.

Vital Health Notes

One of the essential inspections you need to carry out on your baby chicks once you get home from the supplier is to examine each one for pasting up, a situation where their droppings cake up and block their vent opening which stops them from passing any droppings. The dried poop is stuck to their outside, completely or partly covering or obstructing their vent.

This has to be resolved right away through applying a warm, moist paper towel to the region and clearing the blockage using a toothpick or plastic spatula. If the condition warrants, it might be necessary to dunk the chick's rear in warm water to loosen and soften up the gunk to get rid of it easily.

You need to do this or else there is a chance your baby chick may die. After treating the baby chick, dry her off using a hair dryer and return her to the box with the other members of the flock. During the first week, you need to check birds that displayed this problem since it frequently recurs but gradually disappears altogether.

Time Out

When the baby chicks get to two to three weeks of age, it is time for you to allow them some time outdoors if it is sunny and the weather is warm (at least between 65 to 70 degrees).

Whenever you put them out for their time in the sun, make certain they are safe and have access to drinking water and shade. Under no circumstances leave them unattended since they are very good at flying by this age. Your baby chicks would definitely get pleasure from their time outdoors as they love digging around in the grass. Should they encounter any problems or are unhappy about their conditions, they would certainly let you know with their constant chirping!

When your baby chicks are between four to five weeks old, they ought to be about ready to go outside to their chicken coop. This is the timeframe you should allow yourself to build their chicken coop or else you will have some pretty stinky boarders if you allow them to remain in their temporary housing beyond five weeks!

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