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How To Raise Baby Chickens In Your Own Backyard
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How to Raise Baby Chickens In Your Own Backyard

Learning how to raise baby chickens can be a very rewarding hobby and if cared for properly, they will bring years of enjoyment along with eggs and meat that is gathered out of your own backyard. Baby chickens have a few basic needs to make sure that they survive and thrive.

Shelter

Shelter is required to keep the chicks warm, which is important to survival. A little shelter can be made to house the chicks in until they get big enough to move to the larger chicken coop.

It should be sealed so that critters cannot get into the shelter and eat the baby chickens. The baby chicken shelter should have two separate areas, the first area is made out of wood, made in a box shape and big enough to house the baby chickens. This is the area that they will be housed in at night, when it is cold outside, etc.

The second half of the shelter, attaches to the box and is made out of chicken wire. This area is the baby chicken run. A small door can be made that connects the chicken run and the box so that they can go back and forth.

The chicken wire should have the small diameter size holes so that the chicks cannot get through, as well their feet cannot slip through. The baby chicken shelter should be up off the ground.

Warmth

A heat light should be provided that clips onto the inside of the shelter and is raised high enough so that the baby chickens can get underneath of the light. If they get too hot, they will need room to where they can move away from the light as well.

At least a 75 watt light bulb should be provided, and when the weather is really cold, a second light maybe needed, especially if the first one goes out. Remember, for the first week, the inside temperature of the shelter should be 95 degrees and then decreased by 5 degrees each corresponding week.

The cold is one thing that will kill the baby chickens faster than anything. So, make sure that they are warm and stay warm and to listen to the baby chicks, because if they are doing a lot of loud chirping, this means they are cold.

Proper Food

To raise baby chickens that will grow to be healthy adult chickens, proper nutrition is vital. Baby chickens require a special diet that is high in protein. The feed is also smaller in size so that the baby chicks can pick it up and eat it.

Baby chick feed can be bought at the local feed store and it ranges in various size bags. Chick feed comes in mash, crumbles and pellets. Crumbles are usually best, since it is easy for the baby chick to pick up and swallow.

Medicated chick feed or non-medicated are also available. A feeder is also usually provided, so that they do not scatter it, however, at first they may need it put on the shelter floor to ease the eating experience.

Watering

The water should be changed daily and as needed when it gets dirty. A watering container, can be bought at the local feed store. At times, sugar is put in the water to give the baby chicks energy, especially if they are lethargic or "sickie" acting.

Also, make sure that your baby chicks know how to use the water container. Dipping the beak in the water will help the baby chicks get a drink and understand the concept of the watering container.

Benefits

With proper care, baby chickens will grow into thriving adults that will provide not only eggs, but also meat. Baby chickens can be ordered online and their are a variety of chicken breeds that are available.

Chickens range from the meat chicken, to the fancy chickens, to the rare chickens. It is always exciting to have a variety of chicken breeds on the farm. Remember, different chicken breeds also provide different kind of eggs, such as color and size.

Some breeds are bonier than others, which in turn, does not provide that much meat, while some chicken breeds are good setters and others are not, which means the chicken may have trouble hatching more eggs if they do not set well. It will take some research on the buyer to determine what exactly is wanted for their own farm.

Conclusion

There are a lot of resources available on how to raise baby chickens. At first it will be a trial and error, but with time, you will be a pro at raising chickens.

So you may want to start out small at first, and then move up to buying a greater number of baby chickens. Remember, learning to raise baby chickens can be a very rewarding experience.


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