Set up a chicken brooder.,
Prepare the brooder floor.,
Install a lamp and monitor the temperature.,
Provide food and water.,
Play with your chicks.
A brooder is a small box that your chicks will live in for the first few months. During this time they’re still growing their adult feathers, so they need to be kept in a warm, secure environment for protection. The brooder should be kept inside your garage, laundry room or another safe indoor area.
A sturdy cardboard or plastic box works well as a brooder. You can also get a special wooden chicken brooder from a farm supply store if you prefer.
After a week or two, place a low perch in the brooder, such as a thin bar or stick. The chicks will learn to practice hopping up on the perch.
, You’ll need to add soft, comfortable flooring that can easily be changed out every few days. Pet litter made from pine shavings works well. You could also use shredded newspaper in a pinch, but the ink can stain the fuzzy chicks. Do not use slippery computer paper or glossy paper to line the floor.
The litter should be changed every few days to keep the chicks from getting sick. Chicks are prone to diseases that can easily spread in dirty conditions.
If the floor of the brooder is wire, be sure to cover it with solid cardboard or wood to keep the chicks’ feet from slipping through.
, Chicks can die if they get too cold or too hot, so it’s essential to buy a lamp or a brood heater for your brooder so you can keep them at the ideal temperature. A light bulb with a reflector should provide the right amount of heat, but always check with a thermometer. You can use a 100 watt red bulb or a red heat lamp (avoid using bright lights). Affix the lamp to the top of the brooder along with a thermometer you can use to monitor the temperature.
The temperature should be kept between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit for the first week of the chicks’ lives. After that, you can reduce it by five degrees each week. Keep doing so until the chicks have developed their feathers after about five to eight weeks.
Adjust the heat by raising or lowering the light or changing the wattage of the bulb.
If the chicks are panting or pressed against the sides of the brooder, that is a sign that they are too hot, and you need to turn down the heat. If they are huddled together under the light, they may be too cold.
, You’ll need to buy a special chick feed called crumbles at your local farm supply store. This feed meets all the nutritional needs of a chick under two months old. You can buy either medicated or non medicated crumbles. Provide fresh food at all times in a shallow metal or plastic bowl. Provide fresh water in a shallow bowl as well.
Medicated feed contains medication to help prevent disease from spreading. If you choose unmedicated feed, be sure to clean the brooder frequently and pay close attention to your chicks’ health.
Make sure the water is changed daily. If it looks soiled, change it even more frequently.
Chicks are allowed snacks such as worms or bugs (except cockroaches) from the garden. Avoid giving them any human food until they grow older.
, Getting your chicks used to your presence from the time they are babies will help you coexist later on. Bring the chicks out of their brooder to play once a day or more. Pet them, let them prance in the grass, and help them get used to being handled.
Make sure you don’t leave the chicks unattended. A cat or another predator could snatch them away if you aren’t careful.
Handle the chicks gently. They have fragile bodies and should not be dropped or squeezed. Make sure children know how to handle them properly.