Backyard Chicken Coop Designs
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Tips for Raising Baby Chicks

Raising baby chicks doesn't require a great deal of effort but they will need extra attention.

If your chicken coop is large, you will have to separate them from their mother to make sure they aren't trampled on or pecked by other chickens. The essentials for raising healthy baby chicks are a clean dry area that will shield them from cold or direct sunlight along with a heat lamp to keep them warm. When there are a large number of baby chicks, a separate area will probably be necessary although for smaller numbers; a box situated in a spot in the garage or a separate room in your home will be sufficient. Regardless of where you keep your chicks, the space or room provided has to be protected from predators and also other animals and birds.

When you have no special place to for raising your baby chicks, a sturdy box is an extremely good and sensible option since it will cost you nothing at all and can be moved if necessary. Put wood shavings on the bottom of the box; or layers of newspapers will work just as well. To ensure good hygiene and stop the chicks from getting diseases, get rid of the top sheets of the newspapers each day.

The chicks will also require a heat lamp. A great way to do this is to suspend a 60-watt light bulb near a corner of the box approximately 18 inches away from the baby chicks. If your lamp is lower than that, cover the lamp using a piece of cloth to regulate the temperature. One way to know if the temperature is correct is if the chicks gather underneath the lamp when they roost. If the temperature of the lamp is too hot, the chicks will have a tendency to spread out around the box away from the lamp.

The position of the heat lamp should then be moved approximately two inches higher each week to wean them off the heat. After two weeks, the baby chicks are still going to require the added heat but decrease the time that the lamp is on particularly throughout the summer season.

The chicks will grow out of the box and you'll require further accommodation for them. However, give them a lamp where they can huddle together and get warmth especially during the coldest morning hours or whenever they need it, otherwise turn off the lamp in order to get them acclimatized to regular temperatures.

Water that is clean must be supplied but even chicks scratch or step inside the water pan which may topple it. In order to stop the newspapers or wood shavings from getting soaked, put stones in the water pan for ballast. Replace the water and food in the hopper every day and clean it from droppings.

Mix minerals and vitamins into the water to ensure that the baby chicks grow healthy and also to strengthen their resistance to diseases. This is particularly essential during the first week. For food, you can add crumbs to the starter mash that you feed the chicks.

Raising baby chicks will require you to follow manufacturer's guidelines for ratio and proportions of vitamins, minerals, and crumbs that you mix with their food.