With only a month before Spring many exciting things are starting to happen for homesteaders. One of those things are baby animals being born, more importantly right now is that the weather is warm enough for the arrival of baby chicks! If you were to follow me around on any given day you’d probably hear me bring up chickens at least 100 times. Needless to say, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first backyard chicken flock.
Chickens are very easy to care for and pretty low maintenance, if you have a cat at home you could probably handle caring for chickens. But there are a few important things you do need in order to take care of chickens and insure a happy and full-filling life for them.
[image courtesy google.com search]
- Brooder – a safe and draft free area for the chicks to live for 6-8 weeks [or longer if outside temperatures are still cold].
- Chick size feeder and waterer.
- Heat lamp with red light bulb [the red light helps stop chicks from pecking one another].
- A simple thermometer to keep track of temperature.
- Daily fresh bedding, water, and chick starter feed.
Once Your Chicks Arrive:
- You’ll want to make sure your brooder is set up before the arrival of your chicks and it’s best to turn on your heat lamp before you leave to pick them up. This gives the brooder time to get to the optimal warmth so as to not shock the new chicks.
- The temperature for your chicks should be 90-95 degrees the first week. Reduce the temperature by 5 degrees each week until you reach 70 degrees, they shouldn’t require ambient heating at that point.
- Dip the beak of each chick into the water before you let them loose to teach them where the water is. Never let your chicks run out of water.
- Chicks are messy so make sure their food and waterer are cleaned often.
- Be prepared to check on your chicks several times a day for the first week.
It’s best to let the chicks become adjusted to their new home before handling them too much, but it is important to make sure you handle the chicks daily so your new babies know you’re not a threat. This will make it easier to round them up once grown because they will run towards you instead of from you.
My family and I are very excited for the arrival of our new babies next week. Make sure to check back for lots of fluffy cuteness in the next post and Happy Valentines Day friends!