Raising Chicks: The First 6 Weeks
Brooder Kit Policy: You may purchase a brooder kit when you pick up your chicks for $100. The brooder kits comes with: brooder tote with wire lid and side, 3 lb. feeder, 1 gallon waterer, heat lamp, red bulb, and fiberglass blocks to raise water and feed. When you are done with the brooder kit you may return it for a $40 farm credit to spend on feed or more chickens.
What You Need:
Bedding - Wood Shavings
250 Watt Red Heat Lamp Bulb
Chick Starter Feed (unmedicated)
4 Essentials For Health Chicks
1. Temperature Management: Chicks cannot control their body temperature in the first few weeks. Make sure there is enough space for the chicks to get under the heat lamp without crowding or smothering and there is a place in the brooder for the chicks to escape from heat if needed. The most frequent error when brooding chicks is overheating or letting chicks get too cold.
Temperature by week:
Week 0 - 95°F
Week 1 - 90°F
Week 2 - 85°F
Week 3 - 80°F
Week 4 - 75°F
Week 5 - 70°F
Week 6 - 65°F
Listen to your chicks!
Too cold: Chicks will be crowding under the heat source and distress calling
Too hot: Chicks will make little noise, panting, and wing will be extended
Draft: Chicks will be huddled together on one side of the brooder.
Just right: Chicks will be evenly distributed in the brooder.
2. Access to Food: Clean food must be available to chicks 24 hours a day. Do not measure the chicks food they should eat as much and as often as they want. SeaBreeze chicks should be fed unmedicated food as they are vaccinated for Coccidiosis at 4 to 7 days of age. To maintain the protection of the coccidiosis vaccine, non-medicated chick starter must be used. We use and sell Purina Flock Raiser 20% protein for our pullets. Medicated feed for chicks won't hurt them but it will negate the benefits of the coccidiosis vaccine.
3. Access to Clean Water: Clean water must always be available to baby chicks. They will be unable to digest food if their water supply spills or is gone. Dirty water can lead to bacteria leading to illness. Placing the waterer slightly above floor level will help keep the supply cleaner.
4. Fresh Air: Don’t close up the brooder to keep it warm. Chicks need fresh air and the air also carries moisture, dust, and oder out of the brooder. Breathing in bacteria, dust, and other particles can cause respiratory illness.
Things To Look For:
Pasty Butt is when droppings stick to their vents and clog it up. If left untreated this can kill the chick. Check your chicks bottoms every day especially during the first 2 weeks, if you find a chick with this carefully remove the plug. Pasty butt occurs more in chicks that are kept too warm.
Feather Picking is normal and a sign of boredom and overcrowding. You can give your chicks other things to peck at such as fresh fruit and vegetables.