SAVE A CHICK draft copy

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Llysse, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. Llysse

    Llysse Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
    Here is draft one of the flyer. The Word document I have has little check boxes for the list at the bottom, but they didn't come across, so they appear as question marks here. The copy is based on the information available here at BYC, so I can't take credit for writing it: only for a little editing and rearranging so the document would be the right size for a flyer.

    Backyard Chicken’s
    SAVE A CHICK Campaign!

    Spring is a popular time to buy baby chicks and other baby birds—they’re especially popular around Easter. Since they require special care, however, it’s important to understand how to care for them when you get them home, or your new babies may get sick or even die. For that reason, has created this checklist for you so you can be sure to provide your chicks with everything they need. For more information about any of these topics, you can visit

    What do I need?
    There are four main things you will have to provide your new chick:

    • Shelter
    • Warmth
    • Food
    • Water

    Chicks should be kept indoors or in a heated brooder until they grow their adult feathers when they are from 5 to 8 weeks old. The chicks' first shelter is usually called a “brooder,” and it must be draft-free.

    Brooders can be very inexpensive, and you may even have something at home that will work. Some people like to use plastic storage tubs with a screen or with wire mesh over the top to prevent the chicks from jumping out, and to prevent any other household animals from getting in. Other people use an aquarium or even a cardboard box if it will be for one-time use. Whatever you use, your chicks should have enough room to move around freely. A good rule of thumb is that chicks should have about half a square foot of space each. Adult chickens will need much more space, so keep in mind that you’ll need to expand as your birds get older.

    In the bottom of the brooder, use paper towels or something similar for the first day or two. Newspaper is too slippery for them and can cause leg problems. After the first couple days, you can switch to pine (not cedar) shavings, because by that time the chicks will have learned what is good to eat and what isn’t, so they won’t be eating their bedding.

    The litter in your brooder should be changed out every couple of days and should never be allowed to remain damp. Cleanliness is VERY important at this stage. Baby chicks are prone to a number of diseases, most of which can be avoided with proper sanitation.

    The brooder can be heated by using a light bulb with a reflector. A 100-watt bulb is usually fine, though some people use a 250-watt heat lamp. The temperature should be about 100 degrees Fahrenheit for the first week or so and can be reduced by five degrees each week thereafter, until the chicks have their feathers. A thermometer in the brooder is helpful, but you can tell if the temperature is right by how your chicks behave. If they are panting or huddling in corners farthest from the light, they are too hot. If they huddle together in a ball under the light, they are too cold. You will have to adjust the distance of the light or change the wattage of the bulb until your chicks feel comfortable moving from place to place in the brooder.

    Clean, fresh water must ALWAYS be available to your chicks, and they’ll drink a lot of water. In addition, you’ll have to clean their waterer daily since they will get shavings and poop in it often. Don’t use an open dish as you would for a kitten or puppy because the chicks will drown. If you must use an open dish, you can fill it with marbles so the chicks can’t fall in, but so they can still drink from the places between the marbles. Plastic chick waterers are easier to clean, inexpensive and harder for your babies to soil or tip over.

    Baby chicks will naturally scratch at their food, so a feeder that more or less keeps the food in one place is good. Chicks start out with food called “crumbles” or “chick starter.” It is specially formulated for their dietary needs, and comes in medicated and unmedicated varieties. If you choose non-medicated feed, pay more attention to cleanliness. The chicks will poop right into their own food, so you must clean and refill your feeder often.

    After the first week or two, you can give your chicks a worm, or even a bug or two from your garden to play with and eat. Greens are not recommended when your chick is less than two weeks old because they can cause diarrhea-like symptoms. When droppings are loose, a condition may develop called “pasting up” in which the droppings stick to the vent area and harden, preventing the chick from eliminating. Check your chicks for pasting often. If you notice a problem, clean off the vent area with a moist towel or even some mineral oil, but make sure the chicks don’t get too chilled.

    Chick Care Check List
     Brooder box
     Heat lamp
     Light bulb, 100-watts or more
     Thermometer (optional)
     Paper towels
     Pine shavings
     Waterer
     Feeder
     Chick starter

    [​IMG] All rights reserved.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2007
  2. marie_martin

    marie_martin Songster

    Feb 21, 2007
    Grenada, MS
    I think it looks great!!!

  3. V Chic Chick

    V Chic Chick Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bristol, England
    Looks brilliant [​IMG]

    I just found someone on another site asking for advice on chicken care so I copied this across ^.^
  4. zimmy

    zimmy Songster

    Mar 24, 2007
    Squueeeeee!!! -clapclapclap-

    Only, like, two things I thought should be altered a bit.

    The chicks will poop right into their own food, so you must clean and refill your feeder often.

    Might want to change that to something more like "The chickens will poop/eliminate/whatever anywhere, incuding their food, so you must....".

    And on the checklist, you mentioned a 100watt-or-more bulb, but if you only have a few chicks, it might be a little much. But that's nothing that big -animeweatdrop-

    OH!!! For fun, I is gunna open Microsoft Publication and make a BROCHURE!​
  5. Llysse

    Llysse Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
    I like your wording better: I'll make that change to the draft. [​IMG]

    If there are any other suggestions, let's hear them!

  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    For the heat lamp, the bulb might go with that intuitively? I think the short and concise thing is good.
  7. akahn01

    akahn01 In the Brooder

    Jan 18, 2007
    Its great! No suggestions from me.... cause its perfect allready! I bet you spent alot of time working on it [​IMG].
  8. CranberryBirds

    CranberryBirds In the Brooder

    Mar 14, 2007
    Awesome idea! Is it your intention to allow all of us to print out some copies to take to our local feed stores? Sorry if I missed previous threads that explain it--I'm a recent migrant from the EZBoard!
  9. Llysse

    Llysse Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
  10. CranberryBirds

    CranberryBirds In the Brooder

    Mar 14, 2007
    Thanks! Eventually I won't be a "noobie" here after migrating from the EZBoard!

    Count me in on distributing this to places in and around CLarion County, PA that sell chicks for Easter. I will print them out and take them to the stores--I'm sure they will want to hand them out!

    Great idea....and a great way to get more members on this site!

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