Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Caring for Your New Chicks

This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase from one of the links, I make a small commission at no cost to you. To see my full disclosure click here.  Caring for your new chicks can seem like a daunting task but it doesn't have to be. There are few things to remember but it's not that hard and can be so very rewarding. First you need decide how you want to raise them. I raise my birds so that they will not come to just anyone. They are more like wild birds and won't sit in your lap, but they are also smart because they know how to protect themselves. Caring for your new Chicks My birds know who feeds them. When it's feeding time, they come running. I love to watch them play in the yard too. So just because you don't handle them a lot does not mean they will be mean birds because mine are not. When you get your chicks, what do you really need to start them off well? First you will need a heat source (yes, even in the summer), you will need a good starter food, you will need a water dish, and a food dish. That is the basics. Everything else is only if you want it, but I will also talk about some items that are a good idea but not absolutely necessary. Caring for your new Chicks First, the heat source is very important, even if you are going to keep them inside for the first few weeks. They have to have a heat source until they get all of their feathers in. So we're talking about 2 weeks give or take. I have used a heat lamp, but apparently lately they have been a bit of a fire hazard. I will say that they are fine as long as you don't use shavings for a bedding and it's not touching any of your walls, so it would have to be free hanging. However, the better option is a Safety Brooder. This brooder is great and will not start fires. There is also a cover that goes over the top to make cleaning easier. Chickens Next, you need a good starter food. The brand I use is Manna Pro. It has everything that your chicks need for a good start. This particular brand has antibiotics in it to help give your chicks the best start possible. There are brands that also carry a non-medicated starter that are good for getting your chicks going completely medication free. This is the only time that my chickens receive medication of any type unless they get ill for one reason or another. Baby chicks You will need a food dish. The type that I generally use with chicks is this one. I like this one because it keeps the birds out of their food, thereby keeping their food cleaner. It fits right on to a quart size mason jar.  Of course you could just use a dish or a bowl out of your kitchen. I have done this on many occasions and it works just fine. You just end up with more waste because they will defecate in their food if they can get into it. So this is just something to keep in mind. Caring for your new chicks You will also need a water dish. Again you could use a small dish out of your kitchen, but you will have to clean it a lot! However, I use this one and seem to have pretty good luck with it staying clean longer. This one also attaches to a quart size mason jar. If you do a search on amazon or at your local pet store, there are so many other types to choose from. These are just the ones that I prefer. And now on to the optional items that you may want to purchase. There are different size roosting bars that they will need as they grow. They generally don't use them at first because they will spend their nights under the heat source, but as they get older, they will want to roost off the the ground and something like this one will work well.  You may also want a contained area for them to go outside in if you are keeping them indoors until they have their feathers. There are many different pens that you can get to put them in for a short time. There are pens that come apart easy. There are pens that are a little more permanent. So it all depends on what you're looking for and how long you will use it. So there you have it. This is my list of what you need to take care of your chicks. If you know of anything else just leave me a comment below and I will include it in the next one.   Have a great day! Renee

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