Your Own Baby Chickens

Chicks, Chick, Chicken, Bird, Baby
You have no doubt seen the cute little fuzzy baby chickens sold at Easter. They are so cute and nearly irresistible. How do you resist?
In case you have the space and opt to take the plunge then you definitely need to get prepared for your new little pets. You’re probably sold with the statement of how easy it is to look after these little creatures. No matter if you buy your baby chickens, hatch them out of eggs at home through an incubator or brooding hens, they do need some essentials.
What you will need for starting out:
A place to live. To put it differently, a brooder, or crate, or holding box. This may be as simple as a plastic container or cardboard box. If raising with a hen, I prefer a cage with a wire bottom so you are able to clean more frequently.
A source of heat. Maintaining temperatures of 90 degrees the first week and then dropping by 5 levels following weeks until you get to the temperature outside. If they are being raised with the mother hen, she handles the temperature for you.
Water and food. Little chicks are usually started out on chick starter from the treated or non-medicated kind; and there are lots of brands out there for you to choose from. If the waterer happens to be a fairly large size where the chicks can stand in the water, some recommend putting marbles in it so the chicks will not drown.
Some of the greatest entertainment comes from watching these small chickens grow. And grow they do! Every day it seems there are changes in features, size, and feathers. By five to six months they should have all their feathers and are ready to be transferred from the brooder.
Some things a new owner might not be aware of:
Chickens have an area referred to as a crop and they store feed in it to be digested. It’s located in the base of the chicken’s neck and bulges after the bird has eaten. Chickens don’t have teeth and don’t chew; the food and grit get ground up by the crop. You might see them lying in their feed (if the bowl is large enough) or in the shavings in the bottom of the brooder flopping around. This is the beginning of their bathing habits.
A rather common problem in newly hatched chicks is pasting up. The indication of gluing is droppings that stick to the chick’s back end until the vent gets pasted shut. To ensure they don’t die from this, gently wipe their bums with a moist, warm paper towel. By the time your girls are just one week old, pasting up if no longer be an issue.
Chicks don’t need to eat once they hatch. For the first two days of life they can survive on residual yoke, and that’s why newly hatched chicks are able to survive being shipped throughout the nation.
Pecking order starts young. They start fluffing up flapping at one another and circling each other while the others gather around and watch. Looks like they do the tango but no, they’re determining who’s the boss and in what order.
Clean water and brooder daily. For day old chicks, line the floor with paper towels for the first couple of days while they get their footing to help avoid leg problems. Then you can switch over to a couple inches of pine shavings.
Chickens are social animals and enjoy being with others. Birds of a feather flock together.
Chickens are very addictive. With the entertainment they offer and the ease of caring for them, you will be ordering online or back in the shop before you know it. A little time spent in preparation will make sure your new flock is an all around pleasant experience.

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