Well, hi there! I’m so glad you could join me today.
So, your thinking about bringing home some day old chicks?
Not a problem. We’ll take it a little at a time.
Grab a piece of scrap paper and pen from over there by the muffin basket.
Oh yes, by all means take a muffin or two, while you’re there.
You have a little muffin crumb just…there.
Specific to chickens, not all poultry.
This can be as simple as a cardboard box filled with shredded newspaper, something you build (recommended, more on this next post ) or purchased from a catalog. Assume one square foot per bird. Some places say 1/2 sq ft, but I was very glad I went with the bigger number.
Shredded newspaper, rice hulls, wood shavings. Just not something smooth. Little toes like to grip and risk hip displacement on smoother surfaces, like whole newspaper sheets.
Chick Starter or Chick Crumble. Never feed the little ones adult poultry food.
Clean and clear, changed at least once a day.
Electrolite and Vitamins:
Give fuzzy babies a strong start by adding this Vitamin B rich formula to their water. The packet sold at the seed and feed is deceptively small and is for a 50 gallon tank. Using just the tiniest bit on the edge of a teaspoon, mix it to the color of lemonade. In the water for 3 days, then give them just straight water for 4 days.
I like the red plastic one. Why red? Chicks are attracted to it. Weird, but true. Plastic because I find it the easiest to clean. Assume one opening per little fuzz ball. Assume one whole per bird.
I like the little red plastic one that screws onto a mason jar. Again attraction, easy to clean, easy to see water level, easy to see vitamin coloration. Assume one inch of drinking rim per bird.
Light for heat:
I really like a red heat lamp. The red color helps them to not get overstimulated and do naughty things like peck at one another. Also, if they do in the red light, blood appears black so they are less attracted to that spot. We used the red heat lamp and had no pecking problems at all.
Thermometer: Standard room thermometer is fine. It isn’t necessary because you can see they are cold because they clump up. Or that they are warm because they head as far from it as possible. Ideally, they will be nicely scattered.
What the thermometer does do is help you reduce the heat 5 degrees (from the initial 95 degrees) each week until they head out to the coop. Acclimation, you know. Otherwise you’re wingin’ it.
Well, I hope that little checklist helped to get you started.
Click below for other Backyard Flock articles.
Have fun on your new adventure and don’t forget to get an egg cookbook at the next library sale.