Basics of keeping chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kesko8, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. Kesko8

    Kesko8 Just Hatched

    Feb 8, 2017
    Hello, i'm quite new in keeping chicks so how should i take care of them? Like what padding should i use, what food to give, should i give them tap water? And when should i put them with the older chickens? Thanks.
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    You'll find lots of helpful information in the learning center. Also check out brooding with a heating pad. You can click on the article written by Blooie in my signature.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    These are some pretty basic questions so worth asking. But unfortunately most don’t have a simple answer. I’ll try but this may get long. You might benefit by going to the Learning Center at the top of this page and reading some of those articles. You’ll find that we all do all these things differently. It’s not usually a question of one right way where every other way is wrong, but more of deciding which way you want to go.

    The purpose of bedding in a brooder or coop is to act like a diaper, to soak up the moisture in poop. It also thins the poop out when they scratch so it’s not concentrated. One of the main things to keeping the chicks healthy is to keep the brooder dry. My brooder is in the coop and I use ½” hardware cloth on the floor so the poop falls on through to plastic bins I got from Walmart, but if you are brooding in the house you may not want to do that. A very common bedding is pine or aspen wood shavings, not cedar. Cedar shavings gives off fumes that can be harmful to the chicks. But others use a lot of different things, especially if they have something cheaper available. Straw, hay, dried leaves, many things can work.

    Some people feed all kinds of weird and glorious things, but the simple answer is to go to your feed store and get a bag labelled Chick Starter or something like that. It will probably have around 20% protein and a calcium content of around 1%. Some people like to use the 24% protein Starter and it works for them, but that’s mainly meant for other birds like turkeys. Still people use it and it works. If that Starter is all they eat it provides all they need.

    Mine get tap water but I also drink tap water. I’ve seen the analysis, I consider mine safe. If a broody hen raises chicks those chicks will drink whatever water is available, ponds, streams, mud puddles, or water you provide. What is most important in raising baby chicks or keeping chickens in general is to provide them with clean water. There are a lot of different kinds of waterers. If the chicks can poop in the water at all, they will. That water absolutely need to be tossed out and totally renewed every two days to break the life cycle of certain bugs that can lead to a disease. Never go more than two days, once a day is much better.

    Integrating young chicks with adults is a huge topic. Some of us raise the chicks in a brooder in the coop or next to the adults so those chicks can be integrated really young. Others raise the chicks in isolation and have to wait a lot longer. How much room you have, in the coop and outside, makes a big difference. You could write a book on this. If you can tell us how and where you plan to raise the chicks and give us information on size and set-up of your adult facilities and your climate we can be a lot more specific.

    It took work but I made this a lot shorter than I thought it would be. Welcome to the adventure.
  4. Chicks are rather easy.....learning centre is a great start ......
    Keep it as simple as possible and they will thrive.....I have chicks living out in my garage with their Hen....i do not worry about them....I have brooder raised chicks also, as long as they are warm enough and clean with water and feed they do fine.....


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