Raising Baby Chickens
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Raising Baby Chickens
There are two ways of raising baby chickens. Either take care of them from the moment they are hatched, or buy your baby chickens from hatcheries then care and nourish them further. Based on these two choices, there are a couple of ways of raising baby chickens so they grow up to be perfect adults.
Chicks that you hatch from your own eggs need 4 things to thrive: comfort, warmth, food and water. Comfort has to do with your own personal touch, how you handle your chicks, and the resources you provide to keep them happy and healthy. Warmth comes from the mother hen, or if you plan to separate the chicks early on, an incubator or a heat lamp. Usually the incubator usually features two or three light bulbs depending on the number of chicks you need to keep warm.
Keeping Your Baby Chicks Warm
First, you need to decide where you will put your hatchlings. A brooder is most appropriate for this. Also, you should keep the brooder at a temperature that is neither too cold nor too hot. A temperature that is too extreme in either direction will be detrimental to your chicks. You should ideally maintain a temperature of 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit in your incubator. If you have decided for 95 degrees, you should maintain that temperature until the end of the first week. From there, decrease the temperature every week by 5 degrees until the 6th week.
You can insulate the floor of your chicken coop with cardboard or piles of old newspapers. These materials will help keep the temperature at the proper levels. Replace these materials regularly because, just like humans, chickens do not want to live in their own feces.
Also, remember that whatever you do, you should not completely seal off the chicken coop. Ventilation is very important in your coop to maintain good chicken health.
Raising Baby Chickens – Food And Water
Always provide your chicks with clean water. In addition, another good way of providing proper refreshment to your chicks is to give them boiled water. Remember that small chicks are vulnerable to germs. Their immune systems are not yet mature enough to fight bacteria and other harmful pathogens that may invade their body. Remember, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Grain coffee also work well, but is more expensive. Whatever you give them, make sure that it is not too hot to handle.
To provide the drink, pour the contents in a jug, turn it upside down, and stand it on a dish. What leaks out of the jug is enough to accommodate their need for nourishment.
Chicks somewhat fussy about their food. They will not eat anything old. Like humans, chicks want their food to be fresh. Milled oats are a good choice of food. You can include bits of boiled eggs into the mix with the milled oats. If the mixture is too mushy, you can go to feed store especially for poultry. Remember, however, you should not provide your chickens with bread, as this is often too starchy.
Instead, cut up some lettuce and add it into the feed mix. And, of course, bugs and grubs should be standard fare for your chickens. These form a major part of their natural diet. However, do not provide bugs and grubs to newly-hatched chicks.
Raising Baby Chickens – Housing
In terms of housing, you should take care to provide the best solution possible to young chicks. Whatever you do, always avoid cramping, as this might result to trampling or even cannibalism. You will notice that chicks grow quickly. This is why it`s so important to provide them with adequate space in a safe chicken coop. Check out this article if you are looking to buy a coop.