Care for day old chicks
Poultry farming involves raising chicks from day old, and it involve lots of work. It requires regular check especially during the first few weeks. Although, it’s really fun and very pleasuring to take care of them and watch them turn from chicks into feathered birds.
You can easily raise some day old chicks to happy and healthy laying hens or broilers for meat if you know the basics of raising chickens. Here we are trying to describe more about raising chickens from day old chicks.
GETTING YOUR DAY OLD CHICKS
First of all, determine the number of birds you want to raise and select a breed according to your needs. Then purchase chicks from any reliable hatchery near you. Here is a good news we work directly with major hatcheries in Nigeria e.g. CHI, AMO, OLAM, ZARTECH, AGRITED etc. and get the day old chicks delivered to you in your state. You can make your orders here
Setup the Brooder (Heated room for raising day old chicks)
Setting up brooder is a must for raising chickens from day old chicks. Brooder provides adequate temperature, shelter and protection to the chicks for their first few weeks of age. Ensure that the brooder is dry, clean and safe. Use at least 4 inches litter in the brooder. You can make the litter with wood shavings, husk or newspaper. In case of using newspaper, the litter doesn’t need to be 4 inches. It will be better if you use a few layer of papers. Temperature management is very important in the brooder. DOC require about 95° Fahrenheit temperature for the first week. Reduce the temperature each week at the rate of 5° Fahrenheit per week until the temperature reaches 70° Fahrenheit. You can use a heat lamp above the brooder for maintaining the temperature.
Get Your Equipments
Chicks require some specific supplies. Gather the supplies before starting. Smaller sized equipment are good for this purpose. For example, using chick-sized feeders or drinkers will make the first few weeks easier. Using smaller drinkers will help the chicks not to drown. And chick-sized feeders will help the chicks to take food easily. Bedding is also needed for the baby chicks. Ensure, you have all the required supplies before starting.
Arrival of Your Chicks
After getting your chicks, check everything and make everything ready for them. Then settle them into the brooder so that they stay warm and happy. Probably your chicks are stressed due to the shipping process from hatchery or store. So, gently bring them out from the box and dip their beaks into water. Then let them take rest and acclimate to their new home. Monitor the activities of chicks in the brooder. If they scatter all over, they may be too hot, so you’ll need to raise the lamp and reduce the temperature. And if the chicks huddle under the lamp in clusters, they may be too cold, so lower the lamp/heater. For the first few weeks, you need to check on them at least five times a day. And gradually less after that. You have to keep them safe from other animals and over handling by children. You also need to monitor their temperature. Always try to keep their feed and water fresh and clean.
MEDICATION AND VACCINATION
Make sure you get your necessary vaccinations required to help your DOC fight against viruses and bacterial infections. This vary from location to locations. Speak to a vet near you to prescribe the necessary vaccines and their dosage. This is very important and shouldn’t be over looked.
Feeding & Watering
Start feeding of your chicks with a starter mash and continue feeding for a few weeks. Depending on the type of your chickens (broiler or layer), you need to go to grower or finisher afterwards. Also ensure availability of sufficient amount of clean and fresh water for all time, this help to reduce the spread of diseases.
After 4-5 weeks your chicks you have fully grown feathers and ready to move them to their permanent pens where they grow out their remaining years. When the baby chick stage passes and they are moved to a new coop, now you have young pullets and cockerels. In this stage, you have to feed them grower feed until they start laying eggs. In this stage, they will require less care compared to baby chicks. You can also allow them outside in this stage. If you allow them outside and if they start eating from outside, then you have to add some grit (small stones) to their feed. Because grit help the chickens to grind up grass, bugs and other foods which they eat from outside. Your hens will start laying eggs at their 4-6 months of age.
Please for questions leave a comment bellow.
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