Jun 232010

While caring for a flock of chickens is pretty straightforward because they are so self sufficient, chick care is just the opposite.

What can go wrong?

  • Keep them too warm and they will die. 
  • Keep them too cold and they will die.
  • Forget to check them for pasting up and they will die.
  • Keep the chicks in a brooder that isn’t predator proof and they’re going to be killed.

All chicks require plenty of attention, particularly during the first four weeks of life.

As soon as you pick up the shipment of chicks that you ordered through the mail, you need to keep in mind three vital chick care tips that you have to be aware of or your baby chicks may die. 

The three most important things that you need to be concerned about are pasting up, access to water and umbilical cords.

Pasting Up
As soon as you collect your baby chicks from the post office or wherever they were delivered, get them straight home.  The first step in proper chick care is to remove the baby chicks from the box one at a time and inspect their butts for a condition called “pasting up”.  It is very easy to spot as you will notice blackish waste that has become stuck to their butts. The dried up poop covers up their vents and prevents them from being able to poop any more.

This is a very dangerous condition and has to be handled straight away.  I prefer to use a damp, lukewarm washcloth and soak this area to get it to the point that it is soft enough to remove the stuck poop.  In a number of the most severe cases, I have been forced to immerse the chicks’ rear end in water just to get it off.  It is possible to use a tooth pick or anything that is disposable to also help get the balck mess to come off.  I dry the chick off using my hair dryer ( set on low heat to be sure that I don’t injure the baby) and then I put it in the brooder.  Keep a close eye on the entire flock of chicks since this problem can return.

Provide water immediately
The second important chick care tip is that your new baby chicks will need to have water as soon as you have  inspected them and taken care of any pasting up problems that occurred in transit. I don’t take any chances that my baby chicks can’t figure out what to do with the water. Remember, they were plucked from the hatcing box and placed in a box as soon as they were hatched.  They have never seen food or water.

As I place each chick in the brooder for the first time, I gently dunk their beaks into the water source.  They always get the concept very quickly and begin drinking.  Keep a careful eye on them and be sure that all of the chicks have the hang of both eating and drinking.  Do not ever try and force them to drink using a syringe because you will drown them.

Umbilical Cord
The third essential chick care tip is to not be taken aback any time you notice that some of your baby chicks still have their umbilical cords attached.  You may note what looks like a black string which is attached at their butts.  This is very common and will fall off with no help from you.  Do not under any circumstances pull it off orremove it yourself.  It is possible to badly injure your chick by doing this.

The issues discussed are  just three essential chick care tips that everyone needs to be aware of.  Chick care is generally incredibly time consuming during the first four weeks and you’ve got to be able to provide the constant care they need to keep them alive.

Don’t make the mistakes that will cost your chicks their lives.  CLICK HERE to find out more about how to keep your newly hatched chicks alive.

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