Raising Baby Chickens

Raising baby chickens

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Baby chickens are just like young puppies or kittens, they're absolutely cute, lovable and extremely adorable! The initial time invested in raising baby chickens is time well spent in getting to understand them better and will definitely give both you and your family unforgettable fun times.

Throughout the first four weeks, baby chicks need care and monitoring, which means you need to check on them approximately five times each day or have someone monitor their daily progress.

Where to Place Your Baby Chickens

Seeing that they are still quite small, they are easy to handle! Nevertheless, they grow rapidly and as soon as they reach three or four weeks of age, they will certainly require a good deal of space and will begin creating a big mess as well as clutter. This means you need to ensure that their coop is ready within this time period so you can move them to their brand new home.

Throughout the initial four week period of raising baby chickens it is advisable to place them in the garage, basement, workshop, or a location that is both predator-proof and free of drafts. In the event that none of these are available, you can put them in a spare bedroom, making certain to protect the floor because baby chicks also like to scratch - however the most important thing to remember when raising baby chickens is that, wherever you keep your chicks, the location needs to be predator and draft proof.

Baby chicks require protection from drafts but also need adequate ventilation. You are able to put them in a large carton box with holes or perhaps a plastic storage bin with walls at least 12" high, ensuring that each baby chick has sufficient space (at least two square feet) to maneuver around.

Heat Source

In the first week of their lives, baby chickens require an air temperature of 95 degrees, 90 degrees on the second week, 85 degrees on the third, going down by five degrees each week until the time they are ready to be moved outdoors to their chicken coop. Heating can best be supplied by using a 250-watt infrared heat lamp situated in the center of their living area and suspended at a height that will depend on your target temperature.

The use of a red-colored heat bulb provides a darker environment compared to white light. This provides chicks with a break from the glare, makes them fall asleep quicker in addition to stopping them from pecking at each other.

Carefully monitor how the chicks act - if they crowd right below the heat source, it can be an indication that they are chilly. You should lower the heat lamp or add an additional one. However if they go to the sides of their living area that usually means they are keeping away from the heat, you need to raise the heat lamp higher. Keep in mind, a happy and comfortable flock will explore everywhere in the brooder each opportunity they get.

Absorbent Bedding

Ensure that the flooring of the baby chicks' housing is covered with absorbent material due to the fact they are big poopers. It is a good idea to cover the floor with 1" thick wood shavings (pine is recommended) rather than newspaper or cartons. Some individuals use paper towels but this needs to be changed frequently simply because they get saturated within a couple of days.

When raising baby chickens, it is wise to change their bedding every week to keep their house from smelling bad. You are able to toss it in a compost heap where it will rot naturally and become fertilized soil.

Waterers and Feeders

Your baby chicks will require water immediately when you have placed them in their new home. Monitor them closely and make certain that they find where the waterer is located. You are able to train your baby chicks to drink from the waterer by carefully dipping their beaks in the water.

It is not advisable to use just any kind of water container for your baby chicks. For the best results, health reasons as well as safety, it is best to use a chick waterer. Using an open container such as a dish or bowl would simply invite the chicks to wade in the water which can be a cause of drowning. They will undoubtedly enjoy playing in it, making it filthy so that you have to change it regularly throughout the day.

Just like the waterer, resist the temptation to make use of a regular dish or bowl. Purchase a baby chick feeder so that they cannot play in it and kick the feed out of the feeder and all over their house. Do not underestimate baby chicks, they will certainly discover ways to play with whatever is inside their house!

For more information on raising baby chickens, see How to Raise Baby Chickens (page 2).

 

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