Raising chicks is one of the most rewarding hobbies out there. It is a great experience for kids and adults alike and when you finally get to the stage when your chicks have grown and lay their first egg there is a great feeling of satisfaction. It is something that fortunately, we get to experience time and time again here at Freeway Poultry which we are all very grateful for.
So, whether you are embarking on a new adventure or an experienced poultry keeper this short guide will make sure that your chicks get the best possible start in life.
Setting up your brooder
Your brooder should be clean and disinfected prior to the arrival of your chicks.
Your brooder should have been pre heated for 2 – 3 hours before the arrival of your birds. Using either a heat lamp or a chick heat plate. What’s the difference between a heat lamp and a heat plate?
We recommend that your brooder should be 30 degrees Celsius at chick height when they are being placed.
Spread 5 – 10cm of Wood Shavings evenly throughout the brooder. Why should I use Wood Shavings in my brooder?
Ensure that feed and water are available to the chicks immediately upon arrival to the brooder.
A quality chick crumb is vital and will determine how well your chick is going to develop. If the pellet is too big or the feed is full of the dust it could have severe consequences on your birds.
The bedding, feed and water should be topped up at regular intervals for the first 4 days.
Do not give full sized pellets until the birds are at least 18 days of age.
It is essential that you monitor chick behavior to ensure that brooding conditions are correct.
If the chicks are all chirping and huddling underneath the heat source it means that they are too cold so it would be advisable to either lower the heat source or add another one.
If the chicks are all around the edges of your brooder or visibly panting, they are too hot, we recommend raising the heat source or increasing the size of your brooder.
In either circumstance you must check back on the birds regularly for the next 2 hours.
If the chicks are spread out evenly and alert, then no action is required.
Birds should have access to clean, fresh, good quality drinking water 24 hours a day.
Your birds should have to travel no more than 2m or 6.6 ft to water. How many drinkers you require is dependent on a number of