Setting up a safe brooder
a brooder is a safe spot for your new baby chicks where it is nice and dry, and away from anything harmful. This includes keeping them away from other household pets and young children, who sometimes accidently kill young chicks. even if you trust your child or pet really much, supervision while they are around is necessary, as baby chicks are super fragile. Always keep your heat lamp secure, or go safe by buying an eco glow brooder warmer, which is like a giant super heat pad that is fire safe. Some say after each week passes you should gradually move the heat lamp farther away to adjust them to the already climate, but I find doing it after 2 weeks is fine, even some people don't move the heat lamp at all. What ever preference you go with, always see what your birds want. If they want more heat, trust me you will know, as they will huddle around the heat lamp and chirp madly! If their too hot, they will pant and get as far away from the heat source as they can, and can sometimes die of heat exhaust.
Feeder and Waterer
Finding the best feeder and water dishes is an important topic, as sometimes buying to big of water dish can lead to drowned chicks, a sad death but very common especially to new chicken keepers. To steer clear of this hazard, stick to small brimmed waterers. If you think the brim is to big try adding big marbles into it, but make sure their big enough so the chicks cant swallow them! Always buy non-medicated feed if your chicks are healthy, as medicated feed is not good for their immune system and can lead to weakening them, causing sickness and death. Also, feeding them regular or organic feed is just plain good for them and their tiny fragile bodies. I have always bought non-medicated chick crumbles for my chicks and they have all been fine on that, but if you want to go fancy you can buy the more expensive organic chick feed online or from a local feed store. Adding chopped herbs such as oregano, parsley, lemon balm, lavender, and sage is a good habit as this helps boost and strengthen the immune system, readying the body if it were to get sick. Here is alittle bit more on herbs
Herbs have been used for a long time, as far back as the Native Americans, for many different purposes, from helping treat an illness to cooking them up in a meal. Herbs help boost the immune system. They help protect and boost the body so that it is better prepared to fight a sickness. Even though herbs DO NOT prevent illness, they help give a body a better chance of fighting the disease. This is why it is good to give your chicks chopped herbs. You should use culinary herbs like sage, spearmint, oregano, and thyme to name a few. Herbs also help repel insects and ticks too.
When You Get Your New Chicks
They have finally arrived! You can ready the brooder by turning on the heat lamp to warm it up and put down newspaper and them layer of woodchips, the big flakes. As you set your new flock down into their new brooder assess them over, checking for cuts, or pasty butt, a deadly condition in which poop dries on the vent of a chick, but mostly easily cured but washing the butt of the chick daily. As you set down the chicks watch each one for signs of spraddle legs, a problem in which the legs spay out away form the body. If this is a problem, try taping their legs into position to help straighten them out. Dip their beaks into sugar water, as this helps 'wake' them up, giving them energy to eat. Though they may take a bit to settle down and eat, they will get use to their brooder. A fun thing to do is tie little groups of herbs and hang the around the brooder or just scatter them around the floor on the wood chips.
Spending time with you chicks
Chicks grow up fast and by the time you know they will be full grown and laying eggs(or fertilizing them)! Always spend time with your chicks from the time you get them, and they will be super friendly(at least the hens)! I raised a little chick from birth and now she follows me where ever I go, and I have even trained her to jump up onto my shoulder! Whoever said chickens cant be pets never hand raised them!