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New Chick Care
Getting Ready

Have your equipment ready before the chicks come home. Basic needs include a draft shield, a heat source, themometer to regulate heat, waterer, feed tray, bedding.

Use a good quality Chick Starter feed. Cornish Cross chicks should only have food in front of them for only 12 hours at a time otherwise they will gorge themselves and develop leg problems from growing too quickly. Other breeds do not have this problem and food can be left with them at all times.

Make sure the chicks always have plenty of fresh water available. If you do not purchase a water supplement, dissolve one and one-half teaspoons of sugar per pint of water for the chicks. This gives them an extra boost for the first couple days.

Be on the lookout the first week for a pasty rear-end. This is a sign of stress and can kill a chick by obstructing bowl movement. Remove dried manure with a warm washcloth or simply pull it off the chick. The first method is far kinder to the chick but the second method results in no fuzz to matt the fecal matter again.

Pine Shavings
Pine Shaving make a great, inexpensive bedding material for your day-old chicks. Never start your chicks on a slick surface such as newspaper. If you have no choice other than newspaper, spread papertowels over it for the first week.
Chick Feeders
Two types of chick feeders. The red plastic has a flip-up top. The metal top slides for easy refilling.
Small Waterer
A small waterer using a quart canning jar. This is the waterer we start with. Make sure the chicks always have plenty of fresh water available.
Alt="Large Waterer">
A large waterer. We will put this waterer to use when the chicks are a few days old.
The brooder
A makeshift brooder made from a 10 foot livestock tank. Just add chicks! The important things about a brooder is that it should shield the chicks from any draft, give plenty of warmth with a space that the chicks can get out of the heat too!
The brooder lights
2 suspended lights with 125 watt lights are installed to generate heat. The chicks need the temperature about 95�F the first week. Lower the temperature by 5 degrees every week until they are 6 weeks old. By this time they should be feathered out enough that they can take all but the most frigid weather.
The new arrivals
New arrivals! March 15, 2004
Spring has sprung at Muller's Lane Farm!
81 chicks
25 chicks are stored in each compartment for warmth during the trip.
Cornish Cross
Cornish Cross, our meat chicken. These chicks will be double the size of the other chicks in as little as one week.
New Laying Flock
Introducing our laying flock for 2005 - 10 Buff Orpington and 10 Light Brahma
(The 6 Old English Game are for color on the homestead!)
Rarest of Rare
Murray McMurray's Rarest of Rare straight run. How do we tell which is the "Mystery Bird" that McMurray always includes???
First Drink
Chicks need to be shown where the water is. Gently dip chicks beak into water.
Happy Peepers
A happy brooder full of chicks.
Checking it out
Investigating their new home.
Cornish 04-15-04
The Cornish Cross just one month later. It never ceases to amaze me how large these birds get in so short a time. At 4 weeks of age, we keep brooder lamps available for them, but they have begun to free range in and out of the barn.
Cornish 04-15-04
We separated the Cornish from the rest of the birds a couple weeks ago when we started to brood them in the barn. These birds can not have feed in front of them all the time because they will eat all the time. They are fed only in the morning. Over feeding will cause these birds to develope even quicker. Their leg development will not keep up with their body weight and they will develop leg problems.
Pullets 04-18-04
Compare the size of the Cornish Cross (white bird in front) with the other chicks. Hard to believe they are the same age!
Pullets 04-18-04
Part of the "Rarest of Rare" assortment.
Pullets 04-18-04
Nice shot of the month old Buff Orpington and Light Brahma pullets.
Pullets 04-18-04
Another pair from the "Rarest of Rare" assortment.
Chick escape
Pullets need a way to escape from larger birds. Our solution is to place a tomato cage made from 4" wire panel in front of the barn brooder. The poults can easily maneuver through the paneling.
Pullets 04-18-04
Behind and to the right of the Buff Orpington you can see the smaller Old English Game bantams.
Chick Care advice from Murray McMurray




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