One of the questions we get a lot is “Why Chickens?” and “How?” So I thought, since we have a fresh batch of chicks in, I would do a series on chickens. We ordered 30 chicks from HooversHatchery.com. We place an order and in a few weeks, when the chicks are hatched, we get an email stating that our chicks will be arriving in 1-2 days.
Then the mail lady comes to our house and delivers a box with our chicks. It is so funny watching her face as she hands over the VERY noisy box of chips and chirps.
We set up the box like this. We use shredded corn cob in the bottom of an extra large rubbermaid tote. Then we have (on the top of the picture) a tray for water and (bottom tray) a feed tray. We use these waterier/feeder trays for a couple of reasons. 1- They can feed most of the chicks at the same time and they aren’t fighting over who gets to eat first. And 2- The same with the waterier. Except the added bonus is the chicks are less likely to drowned in this type of tray. We have tried different trays over the past couple of years. Some times we had to deal with chicks trying to swim, then getting too cold and dying. And with other water options, they took up too much room or they spilled and made a mess all over the box. These trays have worked the best for us….so far.
When we place the chicks into the tote we first dunk every chicks beaks into the water. This is the first time the chicks will have had any food or water since they were first hatched. This also teaches the chicks where to get their water from.
Once the chicks have been moved into the tote, we cover it with a wire rack and attach an heat lamp for the chicks. We have tried go without the heat lamp at night and using a heating pad under the tote to keep the chicks warm at night, but it didn’t work very well. After the chicks get a little bit older, we will start turning the light off at night.
So that is where we are at right now. The chicks will stay inside for a few weeks until they are big enough to handle the cooler nights. If we had a broody hen, they would be able to move out sooner. But since we don’t, we just keep them inside until their baby fathers fall out and the adult feathers come in. If you have any questions, please ask!
Keep an eye out for Chickens Part 2!