Garden

Chicks are coming!

babychicks1
Written by Hope Penny

Chicks are HERE!!

 

Jerry has been hard at work making fancy new chicken tables for the chicks arriving the week of March 21…or as we are calling it… “Chick-quinox”!

Raising chicks in your own backyard has a lot of benefits. The obvious benefit is fresh eggs, but also the benefit to your garden at large is also to be considered. Chickens are avid scratchers and diggers, finding all kind of bugs, grubs, slugs etc. that can be a nuisance in your garden. Letting them “free range” around your property will help keep these pests to a minimum and make for happier birds! Feeding them some of your garden produce, weeds and greens from your kitchen also helps keep them healthy and happy.

Here is a quick “Supply Chicklist” J to make sure you are successful when you bring your chicks home.

Ideally you want to have all items in place BEFORE you bring your chicks home.

  • Brooder Box – Large box or tote for your growing chicks. The brooder box needs to be warmed to a 95 degree temp before your new chicks arrive as they are highly susceptible to being chilled. Clean the box daily to remove soiled and wet shavings. Chick health is directly related to the cleanliness of the brooder, water and feeder.
  • Heat Lamp – Invest in a quality lamp and a 250 watt red Pyrex bulb. Secure it well as heat lamps can cause fires.
  • Thermometer – Be sure to keep the temperature consistent in the brooder.
  • Litter – Pine shavings work great, but for the first week or two, put paper towel on top of the shavings until the chicks learn that the shavings aren’t food. NEVER use cedar shavings! They are too aromatic and can kill your chicks.
  • Feeder – Buy a long, multi-slot type for more than 5 chicks.
  • Waterer – Buy a 1 gallon size for more than 5 chicks. Provide clean fresh water at all times!
  • Chick FeedNEVER use adult layer feed for chicks. Use STARTER from day 1 to 8 weeks, GROWER 8 weeks through 20 weeks and LAYER feed from 20 weeks on.
  • Chick Grit – Add it sparingly, like salt and pepper, to the feed 4-5 times per week. Grit is required for chickens of all ages for optimum feed digestion and to develop healthy gizzards.
  • When you first bring your chicks home, be sure to dip the chicks’ beaks in the waterer so they know where to go for water.