Baby Chick Basics

How to care for sweet baby chicks!

Every year we love to hatch baby chicks! This year we were running a bit late on hatching them. I sent my husband to Tractor Supply to pick up some feed for the other animals and to my surprise he returned home with a box full of chicks! I was so excited and so were the kids! Claire couldn’t take her eyes off of them and just kept peeking into the box to see them. Once I finally moved them upstairs all the kids kept wanting to play and see them.

We then cleaned out our galvanized stock tank, this is what we keep the chicks in. Over the years we would use one that was nice and tall so they couldn’t jump out, but the past few years we switched to a shorter one. The shorter one is easier to clean and move things around in. Another reason we switched is because we made a top out of wood and chicken wire to go onto the tank. It goes over it and with the chicken wire on the top you can still see into the tank to check on the chicks. This has worked out so much better for us and now I don’t have to worry about anyone escaping when I’m not nearby.

Then we put down a layer of shavings for them. You need a feeder, it’s great to get the screw on ones, they hold more and it helps keep the food in one place. This goes for the waterer as well, the screw on ones work so well and get a bottom that is open, not the one with slots in it. We have found over the years that you should put the waterer up on a rock or piece of wood to elevate it. This helps with keeping shavings out of the water which can be a pain! We also every once in awhile as the chick are growing we add some electrolytes and vitamin supplement to their water. This just gives them a boost to help with growth and development.

We use to use a lamp to keep the chickens warm, but I never really liked doing it this way. The lamp gets very hot to touch when we move it off the lid so we can get to the chicks. I also worried about one of the kids burning themselves on it or it being a fire hazard itself with the wood on the lid. I did some research and found a warmer that you put in the tub with them. You can adjust the height on it so when they get bigger you can raise it up. I like this so much more then the lamp, it’s safer and can be used in different ways. You can hang it, it can stand horizontally or vertically so it can fit to your liking!

It’s important to change out the bedding every few days. You will be surprised how gross it gets so fast! The chicks tend to dump water, get food everywhere, poop a ton, and throw it everywhere. So you don’t want your chicks to be laying in all of this so you need to change it often!

Chick are just so sweet to watch grow up. They are amazing to watch evolve and change week by week, this is why we tend to hatch them every year. As I am writing this we have 20 eggs in the incubator just waiting to crack open and watch these little miracles come out. It is truly amazing to watch these little ones enter the world. It’s amazing to experience and if you have thought about raising chicks, I say go for it! Your family will absolutely love it! It is a great time to spend together and it is also a learning experience.

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