Basically the rules are the same. But that doesn’t mean there’s only one way to raise chicks. Maybe you’re looking for creative ideas, solutions, or have a unique situation to address.
Here’s what some of the experts say, you’ll find many variances that still follow the basic rules.
TSC | How to Care for New Baby Chicks
Set up a brooding area. When raising just a few chicks (30 or less) use a large box with walls at least 18-inches high and place the box in a safe area away from drafts and household pets. Use a screen or a towel to cover the box. For larger numbers, a metal stock tank can used in an enclosed, draft free outbuilding… Continue Reading
My Pet Chicken | Caring for Baby Chicks
Baby chicks require constant care and monitoring, so make sure your schedule is clear for the first 4 weeks! Don’t plan on vacations or even day trips unless you have a seasoned baby chick pro on standby. Make sure you or a member of your family are available to check on them at least 5 times a day… Continue Reading
Raising Baby Chicks
Ideal Poultry | Care Tips for Baby Poultry
A variety of products can be used for initial brooding to provide a draft free environment. Most commonly used is a 12- to 18-inch high cardboard brooder ring formed around the brooding area. A circle five feet in diameter is needed for 50 chicks. Increase the size of the ring proportionately to the added number of chicks to be started… Continue Reading
The Chicken Chick | Baby Chick Basics
Murray McMurray | Chick Care Tips
Poultry Need: Feed, Water, Heat, Light & Space.
FEED: Use a commercial chick starter for the first 8 weeks. On the first day cover the litter with newspaper and spread some feed on the papers and have your feeders full also. This will allow the new birds to find the feed. Use a 2 foot feeder for each 25 chicks… Continue Reading
Cackle Hatchery | The Care of Baby Chicks
The Old Farmer’s Almanac | Raising Chickens 101: Bring Up Baby Chicks
UrbanChickens.com | Raising Baby Chicks
Backyard Chickens | How To Raise Baby Chicks – The First 60 Days Of Raising Baby Chickens
An updated review by an actual user of radiant heat from a Brinsea EcoGlow20 brooder.
Raising baby chicks in winter… we’re all set in our ways. Especially me, but right now I’m practicing what I preach about not keeping chicks in the house and using the Brinsea EcoGlow brooder in an outside shelter. Radiant heat certainly has it’s qualities, just not in every situation. Here’s why…
There are many valid reasons for using radiant heat instead of a heat lamp, and for the most part I agree with them all.
It’s pounded into our head to avoid heat lamps being they’re a fire hazard, no argument there. It’s also true that pasting up (poopy bums) is less likely to occur when using the Brinsea brooder. Another good point is radiant heat is more like being under the mother hen. But, the Brinsea does have limitations to it’s effectiveness.
The Downside, (but not a deal breaker)
Using radiant heat is compromised in temperatures below 50 degrees. In other words, it doesn’t offer sufficient heat for chicks when they need it most. So considering the fact we shouldn’t keep chicks in the family living space, and heat lamps are a fire hazard that should be avoided… what to do? Every article on keeping baby chicks specifies the importance of keeping their environment at 95 the first week, then drop the temp by 5 degrees each week until they are fully feathered.
I realize there is constant controversy over the proper way to raise baby chicks. Our family has been raising chicks for three generations. My grandmother kept her chicks in the basement near the furnace, my mother in the kitchen behind the wood stove. I’ve kept them in a box in a spare bedroom with a heat lamp, then the laundry room, later in the garage. But today these practices are criticized. I’ve tried to comply with what today’s health officials consider safe chick rearing, and here’s my conclusion and solution.
I’m currently using the Brinsea Ecoglow20 brooder for my 6 day old chicks in an outside draft free 8×10 insulated shed. Outdoor temperature is 43 degrees. Taking into consideration the Brinsea brooder only provides enough warmth for chicks in temps above 50 degrees, I see only one solution… a heat lamp. Securely hung above the brooder box at a height to keep the interior heat at 60. Ok… truthfully more like 70.
Do I like the Brinsea EcoGlow? Definately, wouldn’t be without one. However, I don’t feel it’s the perfect solution with all the capabilities of kicking good ol’ fashion chick rearing practices to the curb. My opinion.
When Can Chicks Be Moved Outside?
It’s a good guess you have your new chicks in a box in the house or garage and are watching them quickly outgrow their safe haven of comfort and warmth.
At about 6-7 weeks old they are becoming a handful, looking a bit crowded in their quarters, and you’ve had enough of keeping up with the mess. I understand your dilemma and have good news for you. We live in Phoenix! With mild winter temperatures, even at 6-7 weeks your chicks will be fine outside with the right housing accommodations. However, first you’ll want to lower the temperature in their brooder over the next few days to get them used to cooler temperatures.
A suitable coop for 6-7 weeks old chicks is something that will protect them from wind and rain. If your coop is drafty, a large tarp will do wonders. Buy the highest grade tarp you can find, or use two.
If there’s a cold snap, say below 40 degrees, simply cover the coop with a heavy blanket. Moving blankets from Harbor Freight work great and they’re only $8. The chicks will huddle together at night and keep each other warm.
Give them lots of shavings or hay in the coop, provide low-sided brooder box filled with shavings in the corner for them to sleep in. If they don’t use it, that’s okay too.
Prepare for the Phoenix Heat Now
While watching your chicks grow in the confinements of their coop, this is a good time to think about summer’s arrival and prepare their outdoor environment. Keeping chickens in Phoenix is tough, keeping them in small confinement quite honestly… can be a death sentence.
- Think I’m Kidding? I’m not, this could be your coop temperature in July.
June and July will no doubt reach 110 to 115 degrees. This means, your coop could easily exceed 120 degrees, even if it’s in the shade. It’s imperative to provide a play area where they can dig holes in the dirt to stay cool.
A play area can simply be a fenced area off the coop. Look for or create a shady spot preferably near a water source so it’s easy for you to access. This is important because there will be days when you’ll want to use a mister, or maybe flood them a spot to help them cool off.