Ready to make the leap into the world of raising baby chicks? If you’ve read our other posts, you should have a firm grasp on how to tell if you have fertile eggs, items you need to hatch your own chicks and how to incubate chicks. Now that you are hatching your own chicks you probably have a ton of questions.
How will you take care of them? Or maybe, how long do baby chicks need a heat lamp? How long to feed chick starter feed? Or just plain, how to raise baby chickens?
Raising baby chicks is really not too hard. You will need a few supplies. You might want to find out how long chickens live before committing to raising baby chicks that way you know how long you might have your new chickens.
Supplies for raising baby chicks:
5) Food (We use Southern States Non-Medicated Start Grow chick feed)
How to Raise Baby Chicks:
Once you have gathered your supplies you will want to get your brooder ready. To do this, you simply fill the bottom with a few inches of pine. Fill up their food and water — make sure to use little feeder and waterers made for chicks so that they cannot drown in the water.
Then get the brooder warmed up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the temperature is set up, you can add your chicks in.
The chicks do need some attention over the next 8 weeks or so until they are fully feathered and ready to go outside. The following are things to monitor a few times a day:
Your chicks should start at a temperature of 95 degrees and decrease by 5 degrees each week. If the chicks are panting, they are too hot. If the chicks are huddling together they are too cold.
2) Food and Water
Make sure both items are full and kept clean. The bigger the chicks are the more mess they will make everywhere.
3) Clean brooder
You will need to clean out the pine at least once a week. If any water spills you will want to clean that out immediately to keep them dry and healthy.
If you are raising a lot of baby chicks, you might want to consider making a more heavy duty brooder with these chick brooder plans.
4) Pasty butt
Pasty butt is when the chicks get their poo stuck over their vent. It is not the most pleasant part of raising chicks, but you must keep them clean otherwise they won’t be able to go to the bathroom and it can kill them.
To clean the pasty butt, wet a paper towel with warm water and drip the water onto the dried poo. Once the poo is wet, it will be easier to get off. You do need to be careful not to pull out their fluff or rip their tender skin. I usually just get enough off to clear the vent area and then let them be.
Want to see a brooder set up in action?