Start with water: Once chicks arrive, introduce them to the brooding area. Fresh, clean water should always be available, but wait a couple hours to introduce feed. The waterer should be elevated to help keep the chicks from walking through it, and also no higher than level with their backs so they can access it.
Dip the beaks of several chicks into the water to help them locate it. These chicks will then teach the rest of the group to drink. Monitor the group to ensure all chicks are drinking within the first couple hours.
Then, teach them to eat: After chicks have had a chance to rehydrate, provide the nutrients they need through a complete starter feed with at least 18 percent protein such as Purina® Start & Grow® Crumbles or Purina® Organic Starter-Grower for chicks that will lay eggs, or Purina® Flock Raiser® Crumbles for meat birds and mixed flocks.
First, teach the chicks to eat by placing feed on clean egg flats, shallow pans or simple squares of paper. On day 2, add proper feeders to the pens. Once chicks have learned to eat from the feeders, remove the papers, pans or egg flats.