Backyard Chicken: A Basic Guide to Raising Chicks

Most people who want to start raising chickens are not going to buy full grown birds right off. The best way to raise birds is to start with baby chickens. You’re looking to raise the birds as their mom would, providing food, water, chicken coop, warmth, cleanliness, security in the same way she would. In order to raise good quality birds to create great eggs, you cannot miss a single detail at the beginning. 

Food and water is easy enough. Simple drip containers provide more than enough water for the chicks. Make sure to refill them often with fresh water. Simple food dishes are good for the birds as well, but you want them slightly elevated. They need to be low enough for the chicks to eat out of, but high enough that it’s not easy to climb into and use as a toilet. 

Warmth can be a bit tricky. Traditional heat lamps may not be the best option. It is easy to overheat and stress your birds, and the wide area of heat means it’s difficult to escape. An electric radiant heat lamp allows the chicks to run underneath when they want to get warm. This is much the same way they would with mom, ducking under her wings when they need to. 

Cleanliness is next to godliness… and may seem next to impossible with chicks. The bird bedding needs to be changed regularly. Pine shavings will work, but may be a little too dusty for the little bird lungs. Some breeders recommend corn cob shavings. This are easier on the birds, and still fulfill the same cleanliness purposes. 

Security is top priority. It doesn’t matter how friendly your dog, cat, or child is. For a tiny chick, anything moving towards it is terrifying, especially if it’s trying to grab it. Make sure your chicks are in a secure area, or pine box. Keep the top open to keep air flowing, and make sure no one disturbs them if you’re not there. Mama hen wouldn’t let anyone near her babies, and you shouldn’t either.

Raising chicks is a huge responsibility, and can be hugely rewarding. They will grow to love you back as much as you love them. Take care of them, and they will repay you with eggs and companionship for years to come. 

If you’re looking for high quality chicken coop for your backyard chickens, then visit:

Photo by The Brewers on Unsplash

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