Jun 012010

Before considering raising day old chicks, you will need to think about chicken brooders to ensure the survival of your babies.  Chicken brooders don’t have to be complex or expensive to build.

The primary use of chicken brooders is to ensure your young chicks maintain their body temperature and to keep them safe.  Separating them from the main flock allows your baby chicks to socialize with animals the same size and age and they will be able to eat and drink without being stressed by bigger chickens or other animals.

Chicken Brooder Tips:

  • Plastic or Cardboard? 
  • Location, Location!
  • Keep Me Warm!
  • I’m hungry – Feed me!
  • I’ve Fallen And I’m Dirty

Plastic or Cardboard?  Chicken brooders can be purchased or simply constructed from something you have inside your shed. Keeping in mind that you just need something with walls that are high enough to prevent your chicks from hopping out and to protect them from drafts.  Two of the simplest chicken brooders that you’re going to ever get are simple plastic tubs and cardboard boxes.

Location, Location!  As soon as you have decided which sort of container you are planning to use, make a decision about where to place your chicken brooder.  Keep in mind that you are going to need to use an electrical outlet so plan take that into consideration. 

Keep Me Warm!  You have to buy a light with a 250 watt bulb to help keep all of your chicks warm.  It is required to be placed {directly over the top of the chicken brooder.  Getting the correct temperature in the box will require you to acquire a consistent thermometer and fiddle the heat source.  It may have to be raised or lowered based on the temperature.  Your chicks will not thrive if you cannot ensure that the temperature in the brooder is not too hot or too cold so keep a close eye on the temperature inside the container.  Always be sure that there is at least one area of the brooder which is away from heat source on the off chance that your baby chicks become too warm.  For that first week, the temperature inside the brooder is required to be set at roughly 99 degrees F after which it needs to be lowered once the chicks age.

I’m hungry – Feed me!  Your new baby chicks will need constant access to food and water.  A feeder and water container will be needed that is the appropriate size for newly hatched chicks.  You’ll need to purchase special chick feed as it is smaller in size so that they can more easily consume it.  They won’t be able to handle the larger chicken size pellets.

I’ve Fallen And I’m Dirty!   It is important to keep your chicks clean and their living environment clean.  Dirty chicks are likely to become ill and die. I always use wood shavings in the bottom of my chicken brooders because they are economical to use and they are incredibly absorbent.  They are also simple to scoop out and replace as needed.

Raising baby chicks is usually a enjoyable project for the entire family and if they are handled a great deal while young, your chickens will socialize with you when they are full grown.  To get more detailed information on how to raise baby chicks, click here.  

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