BABY CHICK CARE GUIDE

CARING FOR BABY CHICKS

PLEASE BE ADVISED! UNLESS YOU HAVE REQUESTED OTHERWISE, ANY BABY CHICK YOU GET FROM US IS VACCINATED FOR MAREK'S  DISEASE. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MAREK'S PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK

BROODER
There are a few things you can do to help ensure the health and safety of your new baby chicks. I have compiled a list of items to have on hand and set up BEFORE bringing your little ones home to ensure their success.

First, set up your brooder BEFORE leaving home for the post office or for our farm:

•Your brooder can be ANY clean and disinfected container at least 10 inches wide and 12 inches high with good ventilation but also effective in preventing drafts. It also needs to be large enough to have a warm AND cool end. During the first week, maintain temperature at 95 F, decreasing 5 F every week thereafter.If your chicks are frequently huddling at one end of the brooder, the temperature needs to be adjusted. Loud chirping also indicates an issue.

• Fine or super fine pine shavings, pine pellets, puppy pads, or paper towels, are great in the bottom.   Keeping their home as clean and as free of droppings as possible is the very best thing you can  to prevent Cocci and other common brooder conditions such as brooder pneumonia caused by Aspergillus molds. Cocci is the number one killer of chicks. Follow this link to learn more about Coccidiosis.  Aspergillus molds is class of fungi that causes brooder pneumonia in chicks. Follow this link to learn more about Aspergillus and how you can prevent it. Because we brood chicks in a larger scale, we have invested in commercial GQF brooders that offer a 1/2 in coated wire bottom, which is wonderful because it allows for the droppings to rest on the bottom tray which is unaccessible by the chicks. Even so, my # 1 job is to empty poop trays at least every other day and swap the dirty wire for a clean and disinfected one every 3-4 days, depending on the number of chicks present in the brooder.

If your brooder has a bottom other than wire, we recommend doing a change daily, depending on the number of chicks you have. Your goal is to keep your brooder always clean of droppings as much as possible.

FEED AND WATER

If you can afford feeding Non GMO grains, it is the best thing you can do for your chicks. Here is why! I personally elect to feed our chicks non medicated starter. If you must or prefer a conventional feed, no one will have better feed than your local feed mill. 

They’ll need a source of water that is shallow and easy to keep clean. Clean water is also vital to preventing cocci among other parasites. Keep chick water slightly elevated to avoid droppings to accidentally land in the water plate !

Set up your chicks for success by providing magic water during the first week of their lives. There are several You Tubes and recipes for Magic water online as well as the tremendous health benefits of it even in times of distress. As a quick reference, gather the following for the preparation of one gallon:

  • 1 gallon clean water jug with fresh water
  • 1/2 cup of raw, unfiltered honey
  • 2 tbs of ACV (Raw, unfiltered, organic, "with the mother." We recommend Braggs brand.)
  • 2 crushed cloves of garlic
Mix all ingredients well in the jug and serve it to the chicks. Preferably you want to make the night before to allow the ingredients to infuse and do its magic!!!
Readily available Save A Chick probiotics and electrolytes packs work well too.

Swedish Flower Hen chick























WHAT TO LOOK FOR AND RENDER PROMPT TREATMENT

One condition you must always be on the look out for is pasty butt. Follow this link to learn the causes, care, and prevention.

With broilers as well as other breeds, you also want to be attentive and cognizant of  certain conditions that pasture raised broilers are prone to such as pulmonary hypertension, respiratory distress, cocci and necrotic enterites,  heart attacks, temperature issues, and spraddle legs. More information on this link.

How to recognize problems in young chickens and know what to do can, in most cases, save lives and help guard the health of your existing flock. I have found this book to be a great resource to me in my chicken rearing journey!


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