Texas Poultry

Sarah Hayes
361-230-0345
texaspoultry@gmail.com


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TIPS FOR RAISING BABY CHICKS

           1.    If your chicks are arriving by mail, check them at the post office, count the live ones and let us know if any are dead, take pictures.  Keep chicks away from air conditioning vent on the way home.

           2.    Make sure that you have prepared a safe, warm brooding area for the chicks.  A child's plastic swimming pool is fine or an area on the floor in your chicken house, can be surrounded by a piece of 12" cardboard, three feet in diameter for 25 chicks.  A round walled brooder is safer than one with corners because the chicks do not get in a corner and smother each other.  There should be a coarse, absorbent material on the floor such as rice hulls or shavings.  Slick surfaces such as newspapers and tile flooring can cause leg problems. This is true for turkeys, broilers and waterfowl especially.  Use red heat lamps (250 watts) for warmth, keeping the chicks at 90-95 (turkeys 95) degrees the first week and slowly decreasing the warmth for the next four weeks.  Hang the heat lamp 10" - 12" from the bottom of the brooder.  You must have a thermometer that is hung 2" above the floor to accurately gauge the temperature of the chicks.  Unless the weather is very cold, no heat should be necessary after five weeks.

    3.    Put paper towels over the litter for a few days until the chicks know how to eat the food instead of the litter.  Spread food over the towels to encourage eating as well as providing feed in containers.  Check the chicks often looking  for bunching, they probably need more heat or if they are apart and if panting they are too hot.

    4.    A 20% protein feed is recommended for starting bantams and layer type chicks, turkey starter for turkeys and a high energy protein ration should be given meat chicks to provide rapid growth.  Mix fine grit with the feed at a 1 to 10 ration, grit to feed if available.  

    5.    Keep fresh, clean water for the chicks in fountains,(found in feed stores).  Mix 1 teaspoon of ProBios (ProBotic) per 1 gallon of water for minimum of 5 days. Mix only one day's supply at a time. The ProBios will promote good intestinal health in poultry and will help prevent pasty bottoms. Make sure each chick is eating and drinking even if you have to put each beak in the water and food. DO NOT USE REN-O-ZAL Tablets for any poultry.