Why? It’s much easier to keep baby chicks warm then trying to keep them cool… which is impossible.
Most parts of the country raise chicks in Springtime when the weather is mild. This gives the birds plenty of time to mature through the summer months and be fully feathered by Fall. Not the case here in Phoenix because extreme temperatures of 100+ can start as early as May and by June, reach 110+.
These conditions are not suitable for baby chicks, being this hot in a confined brooder is not only stressful, but can be life threatening. Chicks need to have a heat source, yes, this is true, but also need to be able to get away from it to stay comfortable.
Improper brooder temperatures also increase the onset of pasty butt (fecal impaction.) For these reasons, in Phoenix, it’s best to start chicks in November, and by April they are mature enough to slowly acclimate to our rising temperatures. Remember, It’s much easier to keep baby chicks warm then trying to keep them cool… which is impossible.
Chicks are Best Kept Outdoors
Raising chicks outdoors in a shed, barn, or garage is the best place to keep your baby chicks in November. They will most likely only need a radiant heat source. If the weather turns colder at night, a low wattage heat lamp may assist in keeping the brooder temperature steady. You can buy low wattage heat bulbs in the reptile section at your local pet or feed store. I usually use a red 75 or 100 watt bulb if the brooder temperature drops below 60 degrees.
Assuming you have your chicks in a small brooder, the standard 250 watt bulbs are way to hot for the moderate winters here. If they’re in a large enclosure, a 250 (red) watt is okay in a corner, just make sure your chicks have enough space escape from the heat. More on using radiant heat & heat lamps.
Where Do I Buy My Chicks?
If I want a particular breed and can’t find it locally, my #1 source is Ideal Hatchery. I’ve never had a shipping problem, and they usually have those special hard to find breeds I’m looking for.
Feed waste is expensive, and the biggest reason for it is because chickens tip the feeder and it spills all over the place. These new designed feeders solve that problem because the birds have to reach inside the feeder to eat. The feeders I’m showing you below target this problem, and although they’re a bit more pricey, it’s definitely money well spent. Trust me, it’s time to pitch those ol’ fashion hanging feeders, reach a little deeper into your pocket and join the modern chicken keeping world. Lets take a look…
RentACoop Feeder (I use this one)
Package includes (1) 10lb Feeder which can be installed inside or outside of your coop on wood or wire. Dimensions are 5.5 x 5.5 x 17 Inches The 10lb Feeder prevents feed spill and is 100% waterproof. The design also deters rodents and wild birds from stealing and contaminating your chicken’s feed. Comes with all necessary hardware including 2 screws for installing on wood and 2 custom metal hooks for hanging on any type of wire (even 1/2″ hardware cloth) Suitable for all types of feed – Pellets, Crumbles, Grain and Scratch For Poultry 12 weeks and older only. Learn More / Buy Now
KEBONNIXS Port Feeder& Drinker Set
Kebonnixs port feeder and cup waterer has overcome many of the common issues with the traditional metal or plastic chicken feeders or waterers.
The set includes: one cup waterer (2 gallon) and one port feeder(10 lbs), both of which can be installed inside or outside of your coop on wood or wire with using included screws or metal hooks. Learn More / Buy Now
OverEZ Chicken Feeder For Large Flocks
This chicken feeder is the clean, convenient feeding solution for healthy chickens. Chicken feeder holds 50 lb. of feed and is suitable for indoor and outdoor use. It features a no-waste design and feeds chickens that are 12 weeks or older. Feeder may be placed inside a coop or outdoors. Sold by Tractor Supply Learn More / Buy Now
Got Baby Chicks Spilling Feed Everywhere?
Chick Feeder Dual Port
Chicks must be at least 1 week old to use feeder. Feed your chickens—not the ground! This 10″ high, mess-free feeder is practically revolutionary for those of us who have been feeding our flocks the old fashioned way. No-Waste! This innovative feeder solves all the problems of standard feeders. For starters, birds can’t spill their feed—the port design ensures it. Birds have to stick their heads in to eat. Lack of spillage not only keeps the mess to a minimum, but will also save you big bucks in the long run. Available at My Pet Chicken
Didn’t find what you were looking for? Many more chicken feeder types HERE
Fact: People can get sick with Salmonella infections from touching backyard poultry, their feed, and the places where they live and roam.
Here’s What You Need to Know
Keeping chickens can be a healthy & rewarding hobby, but what we really need to talk about is the proper management that will keep your family safe from the dangers of salmonella.
This isn’t talked about near enough and I feel too many chicken keepers are dismissing the fact that salmonella is found in bird droppings. If eggs are not handled properly, salmonella can be passed along to people. That’s the basic truth. But the facts are much broader than just safe egg handling, every chicken keeper should be well educated on proper housekeeping and coop management to safeguard against Salmonella.
Simple Rules for Good Chicken Housekeeping
Backyard poultry can carry Salmonella germs even if they look clean and well kept after. After handling baby chicks, (especially children and people with weakened immune systems) should immediately wash their hands thoroughly.
There should be a clean space between your home and where your chickens roam. That means they must have their own space where people won’t be constantly exposed to their droppings.
Wear special shoes or boots when tending to your birds, and store them away from the designated clean space.
Never eat or drink where your chickens live or roam.
Keep your coop and where the chickens roam clean. Regular coop cleaning and fresh bedding should be at the top of your chore list.
Collect eggs daily and keep the nest box clean. Eggs should never lay in droppings.
Refrigerate your eggs, this slows the growth of germs.
Coop equipment such as water or feed containers should be cleaned outdoors only.
Chickens are not indoor pets and shouldn’t under any circumstances be allowed in your home. They aren’t to be cuddled and certainly not kissed.
Outbreaks of Salmonella Infections Linked to Backyard Poultry in 2020…
As of December 17, 2020, a total of 1,722 people infected with one of the outbreak strains of Salmonella were reported from all 50 states.
333 people (33% of those with information available) were hospitalized.
One death in Oklahoma was reported.
24% of ill people were children younger than 5 years of age.
Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence showed that contact with backyard poultry was the likely source of these outbreaks.
576 (66%) of the 876 ill people interviewed reported contact with chicks and ducklings.
People reported obtaining chicks and ducklings from several sources, including agricultural stores, websites, and hatcheries.Testing of backyard poultry and their environments (such as backyard coops) in Kentucky and Oregon found three of the outbreak strains.