Spring time is here and you know what that means – fluffy, adorable chicks will soon be on the way! While this is undoubtedly an exciting time, it’s also a lot of work, as baby chicks need to remain indoors for the first 5 to 8 weeks until they’ve developed all their feathers.
To keep your sweet babies healthy and happy, you’ll need to focus on having the proper housing, temperature, food and water. You’ll also need to be fanatical about your cleaning for a little while.
What Can I Use As A Brooder?
- Cardboard box
- Rabbit cage
- Guinea pig cage
Basically, your chicks need enough room to move around and lie down.
Remember, you’ll also need to fit your waterer and feeder in here too.
Inside your brooder, put a layer of clean pine shavings or newspaper.
Change this litter every few days or if you notice it’s become damp.
Month-old chicks love a low roost that is four inches off the ground, where they can sit or sleep.
How Hot Do Chicks Dig It?
Use a 100-watt bulb or a heat lamp, keeping the temperature 90 – 100 degrees for the first week.
Reduce the temperature five degrees each week until the chicks have their feathers at 2 months.
Are the chicks huddling together far from the light or panting? They’re too hot.
Are they huddling together underneath the bulb? They’re too cold.
How Much Water Do Chicks Need?
Chicks need an endless supply of water. They’ll be drinking a lot during this time!
A medium-sized, lightweight, plastic waterer is probably all you’ll need.
Be sure to clean the waterer once a day or more because they will poop everywhere!
How Do I Feed Them?
A feeder will keep the food in one convenient place.
Most feeders are made of galvanized steel, with slide tops for easy filling and cleaning.
Refill the feed as much as possible and be sure to keep the feeder clean.
Medicated feed is a good idea to prevent Coccidiosis infection.
If you’d like to give your chicks a treat, try a worm or bug from the garden.
Avoid greens, which will cause diarrhea in youngsters.
What Are Chicks Like As Pets?
Chicks remain in their brooder for the first week or two, but may come out for short periods of time in a warm house shortly thereafter. You must keep a close eye on them, as they like to fit themselves into tight spaces – and look mighty tasty to cats and dogs. Often chicks follow their owners around and bond to them.