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Information on Raising Baby Chickens

Information on Raising Baby Chickens

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Published by: cresdumayac on Oct 22, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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How to Prepare for Baby Chicks
 Raising baby chicks can be difficult, but given that they grow very quickly and will be able to provide you with fresh eggs as adults, putting in the time and effort to make sure they grow uphealthy and comfortable is usually worth it. Make sure you have plenty of time and anappropriate space to raise your chicks to make the process and transfer to the coop as smooth as possible.
Things You'll Need:
Heat lamp
Instructions Making the Necessary Preparations for Your Baby Chicks
1. Select an appropriate space to raise your chicks. The space needs to be sheltered from predators andweather conditions. Some appropriate spaces are a garage, heated tool shed or workshop, basement,or weatherproof porch. Try to ensure that the space where you raise your chicks is separated fromyour daily living quarters; although they're small, chicks make a large mess while they are growing.2. Select or build an appropriate brooder, or baby chick house. Large cardboard boxes make excellent brooders. Make sure you select one that will be big enough to accommodate as many chicks as willhatch, but not so big that the chicks will get cold. Plastic storage bins and kids' paddling pools canalso make good brooders. Cover the brooder with netting to ensure your chicks remain in the brooder.Younger chicks are much better at flying than adult chickens.
3. Line the brooder with absorbent material to ensure that the chicks' waste is drawn away from their  bodies, which will prevent the spread of infection. The absorbent bedding will also need to bechanged each day as it becomes soiled. The material most often recommended for baby chicks is pineshavings. Avoid newspaper, which is too slippery, and cedar shavings, which can cause respiratoryillness.4. Install a heat-generating light source for the baby chicks above the brooder. The chicks need an air temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit during their first week of life, 90 degrees the second week, andso on, each week decreasing by five degrees Fahrenheit.5. Get a specially designed chick feeder and chick waterer for your baby chicks. Water bottles or dishes and food troughs designed for other pets can actually be dangerous for chicks, as they can gettrapped underneath dishes and easily soil water bowls, making more work for you. Chick feeders andwaterers have an upright design that allows chick feed or water to be dispensed as needed into thedish below.6. Have chick starter feed and grit on hand for your baby chicks' feeding needs. For chicks that havenot been vaccinated, consider medicated feed to keep them healthy in their formative weeks. Chicksalso need grit to help their digestion. You can use sand or parakeet/canary gravel for chicks, which areusually available in pet stores. Keep the grit in a small dish, or sprinkle it in with the chick feed.7. At four to five weeks they can be transferred to their coop. You need either a red or white light bulbof at least 250 watts, and depending on the size of your brooder, you may need more than one. Use athermometer to check temperature inside the brooder. Look for signs that chicks are too hot or toocold. Chicks will avoid one another and appear sluggish if too hot. They will huddle together for warmth as close to the heat source as possible if too cold. Raise heat lamp as necessary.
How to Feed the Hungry Hatched Chicks
 Raising birds from an egg provides a rewarding and educational experience. One of the first things you will need to do once the chicks emerge from their eggs is provide food and water for them. While you are likely eager to begin feeding the baby birds, take some time to do so in theright way. Choosing the right food and offering it in the right way will ensure that they get ahealthy start to life.
Things You'll Need:
Water bowl
Chick starter feed
Food bowl
Oatmeal, cereal or whole grains
Blender 1. Wait 24 hours before feeding the newly hatched chicks. The nutrients from the egg yolk continue tonourish the chicks for the first 24 hours.2. Give them plenty of water. Use a heavy container that they can reach but cannot tip over, or achick-watering device purchased from a farm store.3. Change the water if it gets dirty. This will need to be done frequently throughout the day.4. Place a bowl of chick starter feed in the warming box. To attract the chicks' attention, lay a sheet of  paper on the bedding and drop a few pieces of the feed on it. The chicks will be attracted to the feed by the noise it makes, thus enticing them to eat.5. Leave the feed in the warming box. The birds will eat when they are hungry without overeating.
Tips & Warnings
Make a substitute food if chick starter feed is not available. Instant oatmeal or non-sugaredwhole grain cereals can substitute the starter feed for one day. Whole grains lightly blended inthe blender also can be used until feed is purchased.
Chicks must be kept in a warm box. They need a temperature of around 90 degreesFahrenheit. Anything cooler will put the chicks in danger of illness or death.
A cardboard egg carton works as a feeding tray if you do not have a bowl. Do not use a foamcontainer, as foam could harm the chicks.
If you notice a chick that does not want to drink, gently place its beak in the water. However,do not allow its nostrils to go in the water, as this can drown the bird. Just a slight dip in thewater is usually all it takes to make the chick take a drink.
If you are feeding baby chicks and mother birds in the same habitat, use a chick feeder with anopening that the mother birds cannot access. This will prevent the mature birds from eatingthe more expensive chick food.
Avoid handling the newly hatched chicks too frequently. They are delicate and will be hurt if dropped. If you must handle them, slip a hand under one chick's tummy, then hold the chick inyour hand with the other hand resting firmly on top.

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