Proper caring for baby chicks is very important for getting healthy, strong and productive chickens. Baby chicks are unbelievably adorable, lovable and they are just wonderful. Baby chicks generally grow rapidly and they can be kept almost anywhere. But the baby chicks are very sensitive to their environment and they require proper care for growing into full chickens. You can ensure proper caring for baby chicks and watch them grow by creating the proper habitat and promoting the health of your chicks. However, here we are describing about all the basics of caring for baby chicks.
Suitable environment and housing is a must for caring for baby chicks. But finding or making the right habitat for your chicks is relatively easy and simple. You can use a variety of different types of housing for your baby chicks, ranging from one you purchase to one you have around the house. Ensure that the house can accommodate all the chicks comfortably, if you have more than one chick.
Don’t forget to place their house in a protected area. Because the baby chicks are vulnerable to predators and they are also vulnerable to falling from their habitat. So keep their house in such a place where they can’t fall or escape and where your other pets can’t gain access to the chicks.
Baby chicks are very sensitive to temperature, so it is important to line the chick’s house with such materials that will help to keep the house warm. Doing so can prevent both diseases and death. You can line their house with old blankets or towels for the first few weeks or even life. But ensure the lining has no loose strings (which your chick can swallow or might strangle it). You can switch to a lining of straw and newspaper after a few weeks. Don’t forget to cover the bottom of the house with enough straw. Because the slippery surface of the newspaper can cause your chick’s legs to grow malformed.
The baby chicks are very sensitive to temperature. They need to be kept warm, but it will be good if the house can facilitates with a range of temperatures. And you can use a heat lamp at one side of the house while keeping the other side cooler. Doing this will allow your chicks to freely decide at which temperature they feel more comfortable throughout the day.
Ensure the temperature is a constant 90-100 °F for the first few weeks. And decrease the temperature at the rate of 5 °F each week, until it reaches room temperature.
Bring the Chicks
After setting the house, it’s time to bring the chicks home. You can introduce your chicks to their new habitat after setting everything perfectly. You can gently hold the chicks and release them into their habitat. You can also consider staying with your new chicks for an hour or more to help them get used to their new habitat.
Feeding the Baby Chicks
Adequate nutritious feeding is also very important for proper caring for baby chicks. The chicks actually need special food for the first few weeks or months of their life. Ensure availability of plenty of food and allow them to graze on it throughout the day. Providing chick starter which is especially formulated for the chicks will be good. You can feed both medicated or non-medicated food depending on your chick’s need. You can easily purchase ready-made chicks starter feeds from market.
Access to Fresh Drinking Water
Ensure your chicks always have access to plenty of freshwater. Baby chicks actually need constant supply of both food and drinking water. You can place a small dish of fresh water in the chick’s house, and check the dish a couple of times everyday to ensure they have enough clean drinking water.
Chickens are like most other birds and they prefer to bath. They generally bathe themselves and clean their feathers by flapping around in sand or dirt. So put a small dish with sand or other dirt for your chicks to keep themselves clean. Although some chicks will not take baths, and they may wait until they are older and this is actually normal.
Playing With the Chicks
Playing with the baby chicks is a good idea and it is also a part of caring for baby chicks. And it is important to the health of your baby chicks that they receive plenty of attention from you. Chicks are generally very friendly and curious and they can form a bond with you. Along with this, it can be a matter of fun to watch your chick’s interactions with you and other chicks.
Monitor Their Health
Proper caring, maintaining good environment and feeding healthy food will help to keep your chicks healthy. Check your chick’s movement and their waste on a daily basis to ensure that they are healthy and they are not showing potential signs of illness. Listen or check for the signs of wheezing or limping, which can signal a problem with your chick’s lungs or leg development. Also examine the poop of your chicks. Clogged cloaca or matted feathers can be caused by diarrhea. It’s also a good idea to schedule an apportionment with a vet. Avoiding introduction of chicks from different flocks to your flock is also good. Because doing so can also introduce diseases.
Always try to keep the environment clean. Because a clean house is the key to your chick’s health. Cleaning daily or at least once a week is a must. Remove any soiled lining and replace it as necessary. And replace all of the lining at least once a week. Maintain the temperature inside the house carefully, because the chicks are very sensitive to temperature.
These are all the basics of caring for baby chicks. God bless you!