How to raise baby chicks? Those little tiny fluffy butts need a lot of care. Some tips here before you get them:
First, you need a brooder for keeping them. either big container or wood box does work. Don't make the space too large or too crowd. It depends on how many chicks you got. Be sure it is comfortable, warm and draft-free with at least 3 to 4 square feet per chick.
Heat Lamp is the most important for chicks. They are very sensitive to temprature. Heat lamp is 100% necessary. low tem will cause them sick or die. Hang the heat lamp in the middle above the litter. The temperature under the heat lamp, or comfort zone, should be 95 degrees Fahrenheit and adequate room in the brooder should be available for the chicks to get out from under the heater if they get too hot. To check the temperature you could put your hand under the lamp if it is burn you, lift it a little bit. or check how chicks act under the lamp. if they crowd together in the centre under the lamp, that means they are cold. You need to lower the lamp; if they stay far away from the lamp, that means it is too hot. the best place they stay is around the light. no clucking and very relax and calm. After week one, gradually reduce heat by 5 degrees Fahrenheit each week until reaching a minimum of 55 degrees.
Add an absorbant wood shavings or chopped straw bedding to the floor of the brooder. Place bedding 3 to 4 inches deep to keep the area dry and odor free. Remove wet bedding daily, especially around waterers. Do not use cedar shavings or other types of shavings that have a strong odor because the odor could affect the long term health of the bird.
Day old chicks need medicated starter which can get from any country store. To build up chicks immune system, prevent from disease is very important. Medicated starter includes Amprolium. Amprolium is a coccidiostat formulated to reduce the growth of the coccidia oocysts, allowing the young chick to develop an immunity to coccidiosis as they grow into adulthood. Because coccidiosis and Marek’s Disease can impact chicks at a very early age. Symptoms of coccidiosis in baby chicks often include a change in droppings with blood, mucous or diarrhea. The disruption in the digestive system causes birds to stop eating, seem very tired and experience decreased growth. Impacted birds can appear hunched with ruffled feathers. If symptoms progress rapidly, death is possible.
Get clean and fresh water every day. It is better to get chicks professional waterer and feeder from country store. Specially ducklings. Because chicks are easy to get sick. And they like to pecking and digging. they would make the water and feed everywhere if you just use a box or container. So change water every day, keep the brooder dry and clean is very necessary daily care.
Chicks need heat lamp until 6-8 weeks depends on the temperature outside. Introduce them slowly and reduce lamp time gradually, just like when you do your transplant. They will get use to outside world.