Heather of The Homesteading Hippy is sharing her knowledge and letting you know what you need to have on hand before those new chickens arrive.
Spring is on the way, and with it, new life on the homesteads.
There are a lot of homesteaders that can and will hatch their own chicks, either by incubator or broody hen, and there are those of us without roosters that will be ordering more chicks. Either way you choose to add to your flock, there are a few things you need to do to get ready for chicks on your homestead.
Before you go all “gaga” at the feed mill, farm store, or in the catalog you need to know where the chicks are going to live.
Sure, you can start them out in a crate in the kitchen, but is that where they will spend the rest of their lives? So, the first thing you need to have ready is a coop. It should be in accordance with local laws, if necessary, have plenty of room for full grown chickens (at least 2 square feet per bird) and have 1 nesting box for every 4-6 birds you plan on having. You also want to think about whether or not they are going to free range, need a penned in run or a combination of both. Having this planned out before you get your chicks will save you a lot of frustration.
You will also need a few items for the chicks themselves.
You will need a heat lamp, a brooder, a feeder, and a waterer. Chicks need to be kept warm, at the temp of 95-105° the first 2 weeks of their life. You will need to have a heat lamp that you can raise and lower as needed to ensure they are at a good temperature. If the chicks are all spread out, trying to get as far away from the heat, it’s too hot. If they are all bundled up close together, trying to get closer to the heat, it’s too cold. We like to hang ours on a chain that can easily be moved up and down to help with that. Continue here……
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