FEED: Use a chick starter with a coccidiostat in it. Put the feed in troughs low enough so the chicks can see and reach it easily. Use a 2 foot feeder for each 50 chicks. Never let the chicks run out of feed. Be sure that the feed that you purchase is a brand name. For your small breeds make sure the feed is ground fine or you can make a mash with the feed by adding water to it to make it easier for the chicks to eat.
WATER: Have a one gallon waterer for each 50 chicks. MOST BABY CHICK LOSS IS BECAUSE THE CHICK DOES NOT START TO DRINK RIGHT AWAY. WATER IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN FEED THE FIRST DAY. NEVER LET THEM RUN OUT OF WATER. We strongly recommend putting vitamins and electrolytes in the water when you start your chicks. Add marbles/small rocks to fount tray to keep chicks from climbing in.
HEAT: The temperature where the chicks are should be 90 to 95 degrees for the first week. Reduce the temperature five degrees per week until you get to 70 degrees. They shouldn't need any heat after 70 degrees. Use a thermometer to measure temperature. Do not guess. A good source of heat is a 250 watt heat bulb (red bulbs are better than white. They cause less picking.) Hang it 18 inches from the floor. The temperature directly under the bulb will be higher than 90 degrees. but the chicks will adjust themselves to the area they like. Use one bulb for each 50 chicks in cold weather. Use one bulb for each 100 chicks in warm weather.
SPACE: Try to provide 1/2 square foot per chick. When starting 50 chicks.use a draft shield and make a circle about 5 to 8 feet across. For 100 chicks. make the circle 7 to 8 feet across. Watch the behavior of the chicks. Chicks that are adequately warm are scattered throughout the brooding space, eating, drinking and stopping for naps. They make soft contented sounds. Chicks that are too cold, huddle together making unhappy chirps. Chicks that stand at the edge of the brooding space panting, with necks stretched out are too warm. Always design your brooder to have a cooler place for the chicks to move to.
GRIT: Starting after the third day, also sprinkle baby chick grit on the feed every 3 days as if you were salting your food. Avoid putting out too much at any one time as the chicks may fill up on it instead of the feed.
LITTER: Peat moss, shavings, or ground corn cobs make great litter. If you are using shavings for litter, be sure they are kiln-dried and not fresh. This is very important. Place the litter over the floor at least 1-inch thick. Keep the litter covered for the first three days with newspaper or old bedsheets to keep the chicks from eating the litter instead of the feed. This is especially important for pheasant chicks. It is important to remove the papers after three days,Do not use cedar shavings, as they are highly toxic to poultry.
REAR END "PASTING UP": Sometimes the stress of shipping causes the manure to stick to the back of the chick. It is important to remove this daily. Wash off with a cloth and warm water. It will disappear in a few days as the chick starts to grow. Make sure the chicks have access to water at all times.
CORNISH X ROCKS: Starting these chicks on broiler starter (non-medicated feed). The higher protein seems to help them avoid leg problems. Remove uneaten feed at dusk (do not let them eat 24/7). Fill the feeders again in the morning. Leave the waterers available 24hrs/day.
QUAIL, PHEASANT, CHUKAR, GUINEA, TURKEY CHICKS: A higher protein feed is needed 28% to 30% Protein-a must! Many feed companies make an excellent line of gamebird feeds with the needed higher percentage of protein. But if you cannot get this gamebird starter ration, then a turkey starter will be sufficient. For day-old quail, the feed must be ground fine to avoid "starve outs" or you can make a mash with the feed by adding water to the dry feed to make it easier for them to eat. Quail chicks do best when the brooding floor is warm. Draft free brooding, drinkers with narrow founts are a must for starting quail chicks. Some quail hobbyists add 1-2 T. of red KoolAid to 1 qt. of water for the first few days. The red color seems to be attractive to the quail chicks and encourages them to drink. Turkey poults are slow to start and they like to be warm so heat should be 100-106 degrees. Poults have poor eyesight so make sure you have extra feeders and waterers in the brooding area so they can always find one.
EXTRA CAUTION TO THOSE STARTING DUCKLINGS AND GOSLINGS: Do not feed a "medicated" feed to them - ask your feed dealers advice on this! If using a non-medicated chick feed, add vitamin-niacin to feed or water. Chicken layer ration has too much calcium for young waterfowl. Ducklings have a tendency to become dehydrated during shipping. Initially let the ducklings drink all they want for 10-15 min. Then remove the drinkers for another 10-15 min. Then replace the drinkers for another 10-15 min. and let them drink again. Remove the drinkers again for another 10-15 min. period. Then return the drinkers permanently.
NEW INFORMATION ON BROODING PEACHICKS: Peachicks need warmer brooding temperatures. Start at about 100 deg.F and decrease by 5 deg. F each week until peachicks are fully feathered. Peachicks are VERY sensitive to drafts. Draft free brooding area is a MUST. Hand water each peachick on arrival. Add marbles/small rocks to fount tray to keep peachicks from climbing in. Some breeders start peachicks out on scrambled eggs/yogurt for the first few days. Also offer 28% protein starter feed, gamebird or turkey starter. Like turkey poults, peachicks are slow to start. Make sure to change the litter frequently and remove any damp spots.
EMERGENCY FEED - Finely chopped boiled eggs!
GIVE EXTRA ATTENTION to any chick or chicks not starting to eat. It's important they drink & eat early!
SEPARATE CHICK OR CHICKS NOT OFF TO A GOOD START: Your extra attention to hand feed is a MUST!
BE PREPARED: Have your brooder operating at the optimal temperature, the feeders and drinkers filled before the chicks arrive. The chicks need to be put in the brooder and be fed and watered right away.
SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS: Always wash your hands well after handling birds, their equipment and poultry manure. Do not kiss or nuzzle any of your birds. Keep birds outside, away from human habitation and food preparation areas. Always supervise young children around birds, making sure they wash their hands well.
Kiowa Country Corner Open from 8 am. to 6 pm Monday thru Saturday and Sunday 9 am to 4 pm Located at 10240 Highway 86, the corner of Highway 86 and the Elbert Highway in Kiowa For more information call Kiowa Country Corner at 303-621-2466
Elizabeth Country Corner Permanently closed June 11, 2016.
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Elizabeth Country Corner
Full service feed and ranch supply store in elizabeth, Kiowa, Colorado, elbert county. We offer horse feed, cattle feed, pet food, animal health products, tack, fencing, round pens, gates, hay, straw, chicks. Wild bird houses worlds largest selection
Horse feed, Purina, Manna Pro, Moormans, ADM, Exclusive pet food, World's Largest selections of wild bird houses, Diamond pet food, Tack, livestock equipments, hubbard feed, Round pens, animal health, pet supplies, vet supplies