Teaching Chicken Class! Advice plz.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by blondiebee181, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello all,

    I just got a job at my local feed store, and am SUPER excited about it. They are a great company, employee centered and focused on sustainable and pesticide free practices. ANYWAYS, they know how crazy and passionate I am about raising chickens and they will be getting their shipments of chicks soon, which means...they will be teaching beginner chicken raising classes starting also that week. I have already expressed interest to my managers about teaching or helping teach classes, as my degree is in education and I feel like I am knowledgeable enough to pass on my chicken keeping knowledge to others. SO, that being said, I am going to come up with about an hours worth of material and create an outline about what I feel is important to teach people that probably don't have a lot of knowledge about chicken keeping. I would like to tackle the class mostly from a backyard chicken keepers perspective, as I believe most of our clientele will probably be most interested in that area.

    I have some basic categories to touch on like "Buying your first chicks/breeds and their uses", "Proper brooders and adult housing/runs", "Feeding and Watering", "Basic cleaning and maintenance", "Ducks?", "Transitioning from the brooder to coop and egg laying ages", "Basic ailments and injuries", "Additional resources"

    Please feel free to post in this thread things you think are pertinent, or wish you had known as a beginner so I can be sure to include it in my outline. [​IMG]
     
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    YOU SHOULD LOVE YOUR JOB. HELPING PEOPLE . AND DON'T FORGET THE CHILDREN. ALL GREAT..... [​IMG]
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    How to inspect a chicken, biosecurity, identification of mites/lice. Maintaining a predator proof coop and run.

    Congrats. That sounds like a dream job for you.
     
  4. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When i first got chickens (my husband "surprised" me with them), i had no idea how to even handle them. I was afraid to pick them up, because i didn't know how and because i was afraid they would peck me. Really basic stuff can be helpful to the super-newbies.
     
  5. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also.....What a GREAT JOB!!!! Go you!

    [​IMG]
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    The most important thing I wish I had known when I got my first chicks was that baby chicks have an instinctive fear of anything approaching them from up above. They are as afraid of human hands "diving" down at them as if it were a hawk or owl.

    Since learning that, I've built my brooders with a side access, and placed them on a table. The result is tame and trusting chicks from the very first day, and they grow into tame and trusting adult chickens.

    In a feed store, by necessity, the chicks need to be kept in a stock tank, but you can still be careful about approaching them at their level rather than thrusting hands straight down at them, which scares the daylights out of them.
     
  7. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks guys! Keep the tips comin'!
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Newbies tend to put the chicks in a brooder that is WAY too small. They underestimate the amount of dander produced, the allergen factor, and think that they should keep the temp at 95* throughout the whole brooder. They are reluctant to work actively on weaning the chicks from the heat. Importance of grit. Discussion of differing philosophies regarding medicated feed, and the importance of keeping a dry brooder, while at the same time giving them access to native soils.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, yes, yes to all of these. I talk about several different choices for brooder but an emphasis on space is crucial...I think I had my 5 chicks in a 21/2'X3' box to start, that's about a square foot per chickie, plus a big red heat lamp (NO regular lamps!). Heat weaning is important for proper fledging and tolerance building, just like gradually introducing your seedlings to the outdoors. Treats other than chick start=grit. I definitely have a section dedicated to meds vs. non-meds and a sidenote on waterfowl chicks and flock raiser. I started throwing dirt clods in my brooder at about 3 weeks...is that accurate?
     
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I like to get that sod into the brooder within the first week. As soon as they know what the crumble is all about, they're eating well, their crops are full, then, I introduce sod. If your soil is void of any grit sized granules, it's important to introduce grit before or at the same time as sod. Also, important that your sod NOT be treated with any herbicides/pesticides or recently fertilized. There are a number of literary sources that say that chicks immunity from the egg is highest within the first 2 weeks of hatching. That's the time to start building on that.
     

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