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Preparing For The Care Of Baby Chicks

April 06, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 169

Baby chicks are quite fragile and you should plan what you will need before you get them. You may have to teach them how to drink water by carefully dipping each chick's beak one-by-one into the water.

You will also need a brooder which is recommended by the poultry industry for keeping baby animals. The brooder is a box with a source of heat which sustains the needed temperatures. A simple home version can be made with a cardboard box and a clamp light. You will also need A 75 or 100 watt light bulb which depends on the size of the box. The light should be safely mounted high enough where it will never touch the animals. You may find such a lamp in your garage or at the local hardware store. You should cut out a small window in the front of the box as a place to view the chicks.

The baby chicks especially like the following temperatures in the growth periods: week 1 - above 90% F, week 2 - above 80% F and week 3 - above 70% F.

The chicks need food and water twice daily. Food must be kept dry in a dish at all times. Water must be kept fresh and clean at all times. Also it is important that the chicks be unable to swim in the water when so small, as the cold chilling water could cause their death. A shallow water bowl or an automatic water dish are highly recommended.

The brooder bottom should be lined with newspaper and a soft bedding so that it will provide maximum absorbency and dryness for the chicks. Change it when it becomes extremely wet, dirty or has an unpleasant odor.

The chicks may have outgrown their brooder when they are about two weeks old. It is a good idea to put them someplace with more room and away from boredom and pecking. Old window screens are ideal as lids or top covering, an old playpen install cardboard to keep the thin shavings in), or a shallow wading pool.

A small perch can be added to the brooder and you will have to show them how to use it. Keep food and water level to the level of the chicks' backs as they grow. Continue to turn down the temperature by raising the heat lamp by five degrees on a weekly basis until it gets to 70 degrees.

A few weeks later you can offer treats such as cooked oatmeal, crushed hard-boiled eggs, plain yogurt and garden worms. Meanwhile, you will need to offer the chicks some grit so they can eat and digest their treats. A way to do this is to sprinkle a bit of play sand or parakeet grit on the top of the feed.

Going to need a home for those chicks? Discover how to build your own chicken coop and save $100's. Visit DIY Chicken Coop Plans

Source: EzineArticles
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