What do you do when you get your chicks? Do you just toss them in a box and feed them once a day then leave them alone? That is not the proper care for a chick. They need to be warm and happy, just like you would want to be if you were them. I am going to tell you how to keep them healthy, and well cared for. Before you buy your chicks, you need to know what you would do with them. Are you going to be using them for meat? If so, then get a breed that would suit that category. What about for eggs, to brood and hatch, or even just for show? The last thing you want to do is get them just so you can have them as chicks then ditch them when they get older. There are many good varieties of chickens that would be good for any purpose. Just do your research before you buy. After you have chosen what you want them for, and what breed you want, now is the time to make preparations. You will need a place to put their home in. Whether it be your backyard, or your garage, maybe even your basement, it needs to be able to keep warm. Pick a spot for their home, then choose what container would work best. A bathtub, or a large plastic clothing tub, a brooder pen, there are many different decisions to make. Make sure it can breath and give them fresh air. Then you will need a heat dispenser of some sort, a heat lamp are the best options. Red are preferred by some, while clear is preferred by others. I personally, like red. If a chick is bloodied up, then the chicks can not tell, and will not peck at it, because of the red light. Now you know where your going to put them, and what bulb you will use. But what about other necessities? Food, water, and bedding are very important. For food, use chick starter, it has the needed vitamins they need to grow up healthy. Put it in a container that cannot get pooped in, and that is big enough for most your chicks to get a bite in at once. Sometimes, to get your chicks scratching, put some on the bottom, and let them peck around for it. This helps them get used to finding their own food for when they grow up and out of the little chick home. For water, make one that is high enough so that they don't get bedding or poop in it, but low enough so that they can still put their heads over the dip. What i would suggest for this would be put a few small red bricks under the water so that it is stable. Then put the water container on top of that, so that the chicks can hop up on the bricks the grab a drink with out the bedding getting in it. Make sure they always have clean and fresh water available.
For bedding, there are a couple options, wood shavings and straw. You can mix dirt in with it so that when they go to dust, they will have something to dust in to keep them cleaner.
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