How to Buy Healthy Chicks from a Feed Store

Be an Informed Buyer, Ask Questions, Recognize Signs of Poor Health

It’s Spring and you might have buying baby chicks on your mind. This is when the feed stores have all those cute fuzzy butts available, and they certainly are hard to resist. Nothing wrong being an impulse buyer in my book, but at least be an informed one!
There are things to look for, and of course, you want to bring home healthy chicks. Once you leave the store, there’s no turning back, whatever chick problems you have, you’re stuck with, sorry, no returns.

Ask Questions

It’s good practice to ask the store manager when they received the chicks. Most likely the chicks were in transport before their arrival. During that time, chicks can become dehydrated, stressed, kept too cold or hot, all of which compromise a chick’s survival. Most chicks in poor health will die within the first two days of their life. You’ll want to avoid buying chicks until they’ve settled in at least 3-4 days after transport.
Marekโ€™s disease is extremely contagious among chickens and usually fatal, so always make sure the chicks you buy were vaccinated at the hatchery.

Choosing Healthy Chicks

You’ll want to see active chicks, some resting, others eating & drinking, and some under a heat source. This is normal behavior. Avoid chicks that are all huddled together, or lethargic.
Eyes should be clear, and you don’t want to see any signs of fecal impaction, better know as pasty butts, Learn More.
The beak, top and bottom should be even, an over bite, or cross-over may interfere with proper eating.
Legs, should appear sturdy and straight.
Chicks will be fuzzy all over, avoid those with sparse or missing fluff.

Prepare

Have your brooder in place and ready to go before you bring home your baby chicks, it’s important to make their once again transition easy as possible. The brooder box should be the right temperature with bedding, a heat source, food/water in place.

More Information
Raising Baby Chicks, the First 7 Weeks
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Backyard Chickens, Yes or No?

Is Having a Few Hens for You?

Maybe you didn’t think about being self sufficient before 2020, but what about now? Did you see shortages, empty shelves at the grocery store? In spite of the grocery store shortcomings, at least I knew there were always gonna be fresh eggs right in my back yard. It was a nice feeling, real nice, but is keeping chickens for you? Let’s take a closer look…

Having backyard chickens is going to add to your chore list, and yes, they’re kinda messy, and yes, you’re gonna spend a little extra money just to have those “free eggs.” But, putting all that negative stuff aside, the question of whether or not it’s worth it is a simple one. Yes, and here’s why.

The flavor of a fresh egg is rich, the color is vibrant, and the texture is amazingly firm in comparison to grocery store shelf eggs. But here’s the best part, farm fresh eggs taste better, and hold more nutritional value than store bought. Studies have found that fresh farm eggs have less cholesterol, contain the right kind of fat and have more vitamins than conventional eggs.

Fact: By law, an egg can be sold for up to 30 days after the date it was put in the carton. And farmers have up to 30 days to go from when the egg is laid to the carton. That means those supermarket eggs can be two months old by the time you buy them. It only makes sense to assume after two months some nutritional value has been lost.

Upkeep and What to Expect

Every morning I spend about 10-15 minutes tending to my birds. I use a pooper scooper, pick up the droppings from the nest box and coop, fluff up the pine shavings, fill the drinker, collect eggs, and…. that’s it. Once a week the coop gets fresh pine shavings and the feeder is refilled. My birds free roam during the day on our property, however, if they were confined to a coop, a more rigorous cleaning regiment would be inevitable.
Probably the biggest mistake I made when getting my first backyard flock was how many birds to get. Lesson learned, I bought way to many, and ended up with more eggs than my family could possibly eat. Keep it simple, if you want to feed a small family of four, five to six hens is just about right.

I know you have many questions about chicken keeping and here’s the best way to begin your research. Visit our Home Page

Best Chicken Blogs, Where Does TBN Ranch Rank?

Today I Googled chicken keeping resources in hopes of seeing TBN Ranch mentioned somewhere, fully expecting to do some serious scrolling. But then, what’s this… and on the first page?? ๐Ÿ™‚
Not especially thrilled TBN Ranch was noted primarily for it’s content contributors, hey guys…. what about me, ha ha! It’s a happy day for this girl, and okay, thanks to all the content contributors. ๐Ÿ™‚
See Article

62 Best Backyard Chicken Blogs and Websites to Follow

Source: Mile Four
The best backyard chicken websites, blogs, Instagrammers, forums, and more to help you make the most of your chicken-keeping journey….

#12. TBN Ranch

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