So you have bought some day olds or chickens that require heat. Heres a brief guide and check list to make it as easy as possible for you to raise them until off heat which is usually around the 8 week old mark or at least until they are fully feathered and have lost their chick fluff feathers.
So once you have done your research and have all the above check list. Than you are ready to go. So lets cover first up the heat lamp!
Generally depending on how many chickens you are planning on raising is the size of the heat lamp required.
If the heat level is just right, chicks will be evenly spread throughout the brooder and with their chick starter food and fresh water, you’ll hear them making contented chirping chick sounds.
Temperature Too High
If your chicks are spread out around the perimeter of the brooder the temperature is likely too high. Raise the heat lamp another couple of inches and/or switch to lower wattage bulbs. The chicks will be silent and you may notice them panting and heads drooping.
Temperature Too Low
If the brooder is too cool, chicks will huddle together directly under the heat lamp. They will be noisy, a sign of distress. Lower the lamp closer to the floor of the brooder and/or put in higher watt bulbs.
We also like to use heat plates like the one in the photo – are another option. Great investment if you plan to continue your hobby of raising chicks.
Easy steps to remember to raise your chicks successfully.
- Keep brooder clean – changing bedding of your choice regularly. (We like sawdust the best for bedding)
- Make sure water dish is shallow so has baby chicks don’t drown. Using a drinker that you can purchase from most produce stores works well.
- Important to use a chick starter feed that is medicated for baby chicks upto 8 weeks of age or so. Than changing to a pullet grower until your chicks are old enough to go onto a adult layer feed.
- For the first 7 days, your chicks should be at a temperature of 35 degrees. Then reduce the temperature to 32 degrees for the next week and down to 29 degrees the following week. From week 3 to 4 they should be at around 26 degrees C and finally to 24 degrees C up to 5 – 8 weeks. (A guideline only)
- We find after a few weeks you can spoil the baby chicks with other treats like a warm oats mash or cooked rice but do do your research on what is good and bad for chicks to consume (no onion, raw potato, avocado as it can be toxic to any chickens)
- Remember to enjoy the experience and let it be an educational experience for to raise your own chickens.
At Sunset Valley Chicks we offer baby chicks for purchase from all our breeds to raise in Spring and Summer.