Are you thinking about raising baby chickens? Perhaps you already have them and now need to know what to do with these cute little creatures. There are several important things that are important to keep them healthy and alive. Learning how to keep the temperature in your brooder at the correct number, keeping the chicks healthy and food and water supply are the basics of raising baby chicks.
Using a heat lamp or a light bulb with a reflector is one way to keep the brooder heated. The light bulb should be at least a 100-watt capacity if you choose to go this route. For the first week, make sure the temperature stays at ninety degrees. It can go as high as ninety-five in the warmest part but no more. Then, each week, the temperature has to be reduced by at least five degrees. In about five weeks, the chicks will have their feathers, so make sure you reduce the temperature each week. This is an important step that should not be missed and the purchase of a thermometer can be a big help.
One way to tell if the temperature is on target without using a thermometer is learning to read the chicks behavior. If the temperature is too hot, these chicks will hide in corners to get away from the light. They may be panting and that is a sure sign it’s way too hot. If on the other hand, the little chicks are huddled together in a ball right under the light source, it means they are cold. Learning to adjust the light is a top priority for survival.
Food and water is another crucial factor in raising healthy chicks. Fresh, clean water that is placed away from the light source is the best way to keep it in the brooder. If you use a bowl of water, make sure to fill the bottom with marbles or even pebbles. The reason for this is to keep the little chicks from drowning if they fall into the bowl. Accidents happen and your chicks can be accident prone.
If you purchase crumbles or specially formulated chick food, it comes in two different types, one is medicated, one is not. The medicated kind has amprolium drugs that help with coccidiosis, a parasite disease chicks get in their intestines. By using this type of feed, it really is all your little chicks need unless you want to give them some treats. It’s in their best interest to wait at least one or two weeks for any type of treats. Don’t forget to make sure their feeder is secure to keep the food clean and sanitary. Changing often will also keep it clean.
Make sure to give the chicks a playtime. After a few weeks, they can go outside and get some air and exercise but watch them carefully as they tend to run off and can be quite fast. Raising baby chickens can be fun and if they see you as their parent, they will begin to follow you around.