Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Raising Chickens

Raising Chickens

In regards to raising chickens . (or newborn chicks) I have an informative video from Youtube. We follow the same principles as he does.

As you will notice, your brooders don't have to be fancy, just functional.

Here is a review/my summary of this video (I learn best by hands on and seeing how it's done)

A gentleman from Victory Farms teaches that the three main things your baby chicks require is:
  1. Water/Food
  2. Heat
  3. Protect them from drafts * From a personal perspective, this is very important, we lost an entire batch because they got chilled.
  • So the very first thing you need to do after you have your brooder to is lay out newspaper or white paper  on the brooder floor. Sprinkle some starter feed on this.
  • We always get our new chicks in the mail and is most cases you will be introducing them to both food & water for the very first time. So one-by-one when you remove them from the box they are shipped to you in dip their beaks in the water. This teaches them to drink + it shows the where the water is located.
  • The next  thing you need to do is put them on the white paper. We never had trouble with getting them to eat, but if you do find they're not eating, just stick there beak in the food the same way you did with the water. Now the one thing I don't recall him mentioning is starter grit. Starter grit is important to aid in digestion. Once we take them out of the brooder and they are free-ranging we no longer use grit, but while they are contained, I feel it is important for them to have access to it. We just sprinkle a bit of the grit on top of their food, kind of like you'd sprinkle salt on your food.
  • In regards to the heat lamp, they pretty much regulate that them self, if they're chilly they will sit under the lame, if too hot they will move away from it. The most important thing here is that they have enough space to get away from it as not to bake! Make sure it's high enough to prevent a fire.

Hints/Tips/Hacks | Caring For Your New-Born Chicks

Don't leave the water/feed on the floor, either hang them or use bricks to elevate it off the floor. They will sit in it and poop in it. Guaranteed

Clean out the bedding often to prevent excessive moisture. We change our 2-3 times daily. The frequency will vary depending  on how many chicks you have, and the size of your brooder. We throw the soiled bedding into our compost pile.

Hints/Tips/Hacks | Transitioning Your Chicks To The Coop

If interested in transitioning them from the brooder to the chicken coop he covers this at the end of the video (6:35-8:32)

8-weeks old is the prime age to put them in the coop.

If you have installed a light in your coop to increase your egg production, turn them off while introducing the chicks. This will decrease the chance of them getting pecked.

If they do get pecked, and there is blood. Pull them out immediately, if you don't they will get pecked to death in a matter of an hour. I keep my dogs old kennel. I refer to it as the"sick-bay". This is where we keep and sick or injured chickens that we need to keep an eye on.

Don't give the newbies access to a corner, put something there to keep them out. We actually had 3-4 baby turkey who piled themselves up in a corner and drowned. This was when he had them in a turkey tractor during a rain storm, they were not intelligent enough to get out of the rain and seek the cover that was available to them. Instinct sets in and they automatically seek the comfort of a corner. It was pretty sad. One of those learning curves. Experience really is the best teacher.

Image courtesy of gualberto107 at

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