Getting Started with Baby Chickens
Keeping chickens as pets can be a very rewarding experience for the whole family as well as economically. Getting fresh eggs from your pet chickens not only helps the budget but if you have kids it will be a long time remembered joy going to the yard to collect the days eggs. Whether you have a medium size yard for a couple of chicken in a coop or a large property able to house a whole flock, keeping chickens as pets can be very rewarding.
Looking After Chicks
Baby chicks need to be kept pretty hot. The first week of their lives they require an air temperature of 95 degrees, the second week 90 degrees, and so on – going down by 5 degrees per week until they’re ready to transition to “outside”. A 250-watt infra-red heat lamp is the best way to achieve this, placed right in the middle of their living area and suspended off the ground. The height of the light will depend on what it takes to achieve your target temperature.
Baby chicks do make quite a mess, so make sure to line the floor of their housing unit with an absorbent material, hay or absorbent paper towels are suitable.
A chick waterer is the best source of water for chicks. Bowls and other containers can cause a hazard and the chick will mess them up quickly too. As with all animals especially the young, clean fresh water should be in constant supply. Along with a waterer, you will also need a chick feeder, and you must feed baby chicks till they are full. Having a constant supply of starter chick feed is the best way to ensure they get their fill. Stater chick feed has been specially formulated to provide everything your babies need.
At around 4 weeks of age you should be prepared to transfer the chicks to their outdoor living space and the hens should start to lay eggs between 4-5 months of age.
This page is a just a basic guide. To find out more about keeping chickens, please check our store for some suitable books and resources and our YouTube site and Facebook page for useful information.