SUPPLIES NEEDED Brooder container (absolutely no glass) Pine shavings Thermometer Chick waterer Chick feeder Heat Lamp w/ bulb (non-Teflon bulb) Chick starter feed Organic Unfiltered Apple Cider vinegar
BEFORE ARRIVAL We recommend preparing a brooding area for your chicks the 24-48 hrs before they arrive to ensure that everything is working correctly and the temperature is regulated.
OUR GUARANTEE We guarantee live arrival. If any chicks appear weak or did not make the trip, please contact us immediately so that we can note your account and give you some additional tips. Avoid handling the chicks too much or playing with them the first 2 days so they have time to become comfortable with their surroundings.
SPACE On average you should provide 16 square feet space per 32 chicks to start. (1/2 square feet per bird) Please keep in mind the space that will be used for the lamp, waterer, and feeder. There should be space for the chicks to move away from the heat if they get too warm. As the chicks grow you will need more room for them. For grown birds, you need 3-4 square feet per bird.
BEDDING Use large pine shavings only. Do not use sawdust, sand, cypress or cedar shavings (cypress and cedar are toxic to chicks). Do not use newspaper alone because it is too slick and will cause spradle leg, however it can be placed under the pine shavings for easy clean up
HEAT The temperature at floor level under the heat source should be 100 degrees for the chicks’ first few hours. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature at floor level under the heat lamp. It will not hurt to leave the thermometer in the brooder at all times. There should be space for the chicks to move away from the heat if they get too warm. Ideally, the room containing the brooder should be about 70 degrees. The temperature should be kept at 100 degrees under heat source for the next week, then reduce it by 5 degrees each week until you reach 70 degrees. The chicks should not need much heat after that unless it is particularly cold. Watch the chicks’ behavior to judge whether or not to make adjustments. If they are staying under the light it is too cold. If they are staying away from the light it is too hot.
WARNING Do not use Teflon coated bulbs for the chicks as it can result in toxic fumes. Always use new bulbs so they won’t burn out.
FEED Use chick starter feed in a feeder designed for chicks under 4 weeks of age so they are able to see the feed and reach it easily. Keep feed available at all times.
WATERER Use a waterer designed for chicks under 4 weeks of age so they are able to see the water and reach it easily. The chicks will be thirsty on arrival. Warm their drinking water to 98 degrees for the first day. To ensure that the chicks are drinking, gently take each one and dip their beaks briefly in the water. Keep water available at all times.
MEDICATION If your chicks are weak when you receive them we recommend using Organic Unfiltered Apple Cider vinegar in their water for 3-5 days. The ratio is 1/3 cup of ACV to 1 QT of water.
PASTY BOTTOM Sometimes, the stress of shipping causes the manure to stick to the vent of the chick. It is important to remove this daily. Wash it off with a cloth and warm water. Please use the Medication instructions above to help treat this as well. It will disappear in a few days as the chick starts to grow.
PICKING It is common for birds to use their beak to groom or pick themselves. Baby chicks will often pick each other if they are too hot, too crowded, or without fresh air. Sometimes bright light will cause the picking and changing to a red bulb may help. Picking can also be caused by stress from having the light on 24 hours a day. If they no longer need the heat source, remove the light or heat source.
Sometimes they pick because they are bored. Try putting in fresh green grass clippings several times a day and darken the room. Chunks of grass sod can also be set around for the chicks to pick at.
To treat chicks that have been picked, apply Vicks Vapor Rub on the injured area and keep up the treatment until healed.
SAFE HANDLING OF POULTRY Live animals and pets can be a source of potentially harmful microorganisms, germs (including salmonella) and bacteria. Therefore, precautions must be taken when handling and caring for them. Children should be supervised to make sure they don’t put their hands or fingers in their mouth, nose or eyes after handling the animals. Always wash your hands with soap and water after handling any animal or pet.
DO Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam.
Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.
If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer until you are able to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
Clean any equipment or materials associated with raising or caring for live poultry, such as cages or feed or water containers.
DON’T Don’t let children younger than 5 years of age, elderly persons, or people with weak immune systems handle or touch livestock including poultry.
Don’t let grown livestock inside the house, in the bathrooms or especially in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored, such as kitchens or outdoor patios.
Don’t snuggle or kiss livestock, touch your mouth, or eat or drink around livestock.