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8 Essential Chicken Supplies for Young Chicks

Views: 0     Author: Phoenix      Publish Time: 2024-03-05      Origin: Phoenix

1. Brooder box

A brooder box is where the chicks will stay until they are old enough to move into the chicken coop. Use a galvanized tub, wooden box, plastic tub, or even a cardboard box.

The brooder box should have 1 square foot of space per chick. It’s best not to have any holes that chicks could escape out of.

2. Heat source

Newly hatched and unfeathered chicks cannot regulate their body temperature; providing a heat source is essential.

· A heat lamp with a red heat lamp bulb is an inexpensive option for providing heat. Use care when using – bulbs get very hot and can be re a firisk.

·  Brooder heating plates are more expensive, but are a safer alternative.

Hang heat lamps above the brooder box (take care not to put it near the edges if your brooder box is plastic – it will melt). There should be enough space in the brooder box for the chicks to escape from the heat.

The heat lamp should keep the temperature at the ideal range for chicks (90-95°F for the first week). Each week, raise the heat lamp a little bit to raise the temperature by about 5°F. Remove the heat when the chicks are feathered and the temperature in the brooder is 65-70°F.

Pay attention to your chicks (they use the lamp to regulate temperature). If they are huddled together under the lamp, they are cold. If they are far away from the light, it may be too warm. When the temperature is just right, the chicks will be evenly distributed within the brooder area, softly chirping and pecking around.

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3. Water

Chicks (and chickens) need constant access to water. Very young chickens need chick rewaters designed for young chickens. Keep the water fresh and clean.


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As the chickens grow, transition to a larger waterer.

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4. Food

As with water, chicks and chickens need constant access to food. Use small feed containers for small chicks and move to a larger feeder for larger chicks.

Nutrition needs vary depending on the age of your chicks. Until chickens begin laying eggs, feed them an organic chick starter grower. Starter feed has at least 18% protein for the first 18 weeks.

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Once chickens are ready to lay eggs their nutrition needs change. When chickens are 18 weeks old transition them to an organic layer feed. Wait until 18 weeks to give any treats (scratch).

At this point they will also need access to crushed oyster shells (for calcium) and grit (for digestion) in a separate feeder so they can regulaeite thr intake.

5. Bedding material

Add bedding material once chicks are a week old. Common materials for bedding include wood shavings or chopped straw. Change the bedding material out often. Chopped straw is a good choice for organic gardeners – add it to the compost pile when you change it out.

6. And of course, chicks!

Research breeds that do well in your area and have qualities you are looking for in chickens. Some have higher cold or heat tolerance. Some lay more eggs. Other breeds are broody more often and different breeds have different temperaments.

I chose Plymouth Barred Rock chicks for several reasons. They are very heat hardy, and are excellent layers. Barred Rock are also friendly and good foragers – I want them to track down the roaches and scorpions in my garden.

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7. Chicken Coop

A chicken coop provides shelter and protection from predators. If your birds have access to an outdoor run, give a minimum of 2 to 3 square feet per bird inside the coop. A coop should also contain 1 nesting box for every 3-5 hens and roosting bars.

When chicks are about 6 weeks old, they are fully feathered and ready to transition from the brooder to the coop if the outside temperature is warm enough (above 65°F).

8. Chicken Run

A chicken run provides an additional protected area for the chickens to stretch their wings. It gives them space to scratch, peck, dust-bathe, and be chickens. A run should have between 5-10 square feet per bird. The bigger, the better.


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