Make sure that you have heat lamps ready and a warm brooder area, prepared before hand.
Brooding and Raising Poultry
NEVER introduce chicks into a cold brooder, which has not been prewarmed.
Chicks require clean water, the appropriate feed, and appropriate bedding.
Feeding and Nutrition Recommendations By Category
Require a 20-22% protein mash broiler chick starter feed. Feed this for the first 4 weeks, if using organic/non-gmo feed, or for the first 2 weeks, if using conventional feed, then switch to a broiler grower feed. If using organic/non GMO/ no corn, no soy feed, keep feed out 24/7. If using conventional feed, restrict access to feed, for 12 hours each day, to regulate growth rates.
Freedom Ranger, Red Ranger Broilers and White Bantam Silkie Broilers:
Require a 20-22% protein mash broiler chick starter feed. Feed this for the first 4 weeks, then switch to a broiler grower feed. It is not necessary to restrict feed. We recommend keeping feed available to the chicks 24/7.
Require a specific layer chick starter as well. Most layer starter feeds contain 18-20% protein, feed this for 8 weeks, then switch to a layer feed, which will be higher in calcium to promote egg production once the pullets reach sexual maturity.
Require a 28% or higher, protein mash starter feed. Feed the turkey starter for the first 6-8 weeks, then switch to a turkey grower feed, with a crude protein level of 22%. Feed this until the poults are 12 weeks old, then switch to a 19% protein feed until the poults are 16 weeks old, then move to a 16% protein feed to maintain weight until processing.
Ducks intended for general purposes or egg production should follow this schedule:
Always give ducklings access to water for at least an hour before feeding. We recommend always using a chick starter with 20% + protein for the first 10 weeks, switching to a 15% grower weeks 10-18, and a 16% layer after 18 weeks.
Ducks intendented for meat production should follow this schedule:
Always give ducklings access to water for at least an hour before feeding. We recommend using a chick starter with 20% + protein for the entire growout period, usually 7-7.5 weeks for Hybrid Jumbo Pekins, and 12-14 weeks for Khaki Campbells.
Do not expose chicks to air drafts, as they can get chilled. Never brood chicks on exposed concrete or cold/slippery surfaces. Pine shavings, or some type of wood shavings, work best, as they provide cushion, support, and insulation from the cold ground. Make sure to ALWAYS use clean shavings before placing chicks. NEVER reuse bedding.
Ensure that the temperature directly underneath the brooder lamp/ heat source, is 95 degrees, during the winter, and 90 degrees during warmer parts of the year. This can be decreased 5 degrees per week, for broilers, and 1-2 degrees per week for all other breeds, until the ambient temperature of 70 to 75 degrees is reached.
Make sure that chicks can escape the intense heat of the heat lamp, if needed. The ambient temperature of the brooding area should be 70 to 75 degrees. Chicks cannot regulate their body temperature for several weeks, and require supplemental heat.
OBSERVE your chicks. If they are too warm, they will spread away from the heat lamp, usually near the corners of the brooding area. If they are too cold, they will all be huddled directly underneath the heat lamp.
LISTEN to your chicks. While chirping is normal, excessively loud chicks, are typically stressed chicks.
Check to make sure that chicks are not too warm or too cold. Over time you will decrease the amount of heat.
RECORD when changes in temperature are made or observed.
Use non-pasteurized apple cider vinegar as a preventative measure to ensure and promote good chick gut health and help replace electrolytes lost during shipping, due to shipping stress. 1 table spoon per gallon of water is typically adequate. This can improve chick vigor and overall chick quality dramatically.
Please call us at 541-928-8928 with any questions.
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