ARRIVAL and FIRST DAY
We recommend preparing a brooding area for your chicks before they arrive. The temperature at floor level under the heat source should be 100 degrees for the chicks’ first few hours. Then, lower the temperature to 95 degrees. 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 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. Do not medicate water the first day. Keep water available at all times.
Avoid handling the chicks too much or playing with them the first day.
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.
The temperature should be kept at 95 degrees under heat source for the first 2-5 days, 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. A thermometer is recommended to monitor the temperature. Also watch the chicks’ behavior to judge whether or not to make adjustments.
You should provide 16 square feet space per 32 chicks to start. (1/2 square feet per bird) For grown birds, you need 3-4 square feet per bird.
FEEDERS and WATERERS
Use feeders and waterers designed for chicks under 4 weeks of age so they are able to see the feed or water and reach it easily.
We recommend you use medicated feed and use amprol in the chicks’ drinking water from second day until 6 months of age (coccidiosis inhibitor).
We guarantee live arrival. If, after following instructions for 12 hours, any chicks appear weak, please contact us immediately and we will help you treat them. All losses must be reported at one time at the end of 48 hours after receiving your order to qualify for reimbursement.
Use large pine shavings, do not use sawdust, sand, cypress or cedar shavings (cypress and cedar are toxic to chicks). Also do not use newspaper because it is too slick.
Use chick starter and sprinkle on paper towels for the chicks. After the first day, use feed troughs low enough so the chicks can see and reach the feed easily. Keep feed available at all times.
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. After two weeks, you may need to consider an alternate heat source instead of a light. After dropping the temperature each week and if they no longer need the heat source, remove the light or heat source.
Sometimes they pick for no apparent reason. 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 menthol ointment on the injured area and keep up the treatment until healed.
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. It will disappear in a few days as the chick starts to grow. If it continues to be a problem add a sulfa-type drug to their drinking water as directed on the package.
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.
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 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 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.
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