Rules for the care of day-old chickens and their maintenance from the first days

Rules for the care of day-old chickens and their maintenance from the first days

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It is much cheaper to buy day-old chickens than grown-up young, but novice poultry farmers often fear the death of the purchased livestock. After all, babies require special attention. Knowledge of the rules for caring for day-old chickens will allow you to grow chickens without problems, significantly saving your budget, and get healthy and productive birds in your own backyard.

Selection of healthy offspring

It is better to buy chicks in spring, from mid-April. Warm weather and green grass will allow young growth to grow stronger faster. They are purchased from breeding farms or from trusted producers, otherwise there is a danger of mass death of the purchased poultry.

The chicks should be inspected carefully before purchasing. Healthy chicks are active, they squeak, immediately react to sound, and turn their heads curiously. To check the birds, you can lightly tap the box with the kids with your finger. They have clear eyes, uniform, dry and soft fluff.

The little ones are lifted and the tummy is felt, it should be soft, which means that the chicken has completely used the necessary substances from the egg. Examine the cloaca, it should be pink, clean, without traces of mucus. Chicks are stable on legs.

Chickens and cockerels are selected by examining the cloaca. Do this carefully, without harming the chicken or causing him pain. In cockerels, a small bump will be visible. The second way to determine the gender of the baby is to turn it over, holding the paws. It is believed that the chicken will pull its head to the chest, the cock will simply hang, stretching its neck.

After the purchase, the babies must be delivered home. For transportation, a cardboard or plastic box with ventilation holes is suitable. A soft cloth or paper, disposable absorbent diaper or hay is placed on the bottom. If the distance is short, the chicks are fed and watered at home.

How to feed day old chicks?

Chicks should receive a balanced diet. The diet of babies consists of:

  • hard-boiled, finely chopped yolk;
  • fresh cottage cheese;
  • finely ground cereals (semolina, oatmeal crushed in a coffee grinder, corn grits are suitable).

The groats are added so that the yolks with cottage cheese do not stick together into lumps. The feed should be crumbly. Babies are fed every 2 hours, even at night. The groats in the mixture should be changed. For example, first, semolina is added to the feed mixture, after 2 hours - yolk with cottage cheese and ground corn, then - with oatmeal. To teach the chicks to peck, the mixture is gradually shaken off the tip of a knife. Chicks quickly know what to do.

You can use ready-made feed with vitamins and prebiotics. Granules are small, optimal for chickens and contain a set of essential elements. It is called "zero" or starting.

Expert opinion

Zarechny Maxim Valerievich

Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.

Food should not remain in the feeders, chickens can get into it with their feet, litter and feces of chicks that get into the food often become the causes of illness and death. Leftover feed is removed immediately after feeding.

From 5-6 days, finely chopped green onions, nettles, grated carrots and fish oil are added to the diet, 0.1 grams for each chick. Drinking bowls should always have clean water, it is necessary to ensure that the chicks cannot climb into it with their paws. You should drink boiled water, you can add a couple of crystals of potassium permanganate (potassium permanganate) to it. The solution will acquire a slightly pink color.

Lighting and air temperature when raising chickens

In the early days, chickens need lighting and additional heating around the clock, because they do not yet have normal thermoregulation, and they freeze even in a warm room. Drafts are destructive for babies.

For lighting and heating, chicks are placed in a brooder or kept in a box under a lamp. The temperature of the content from 1 to 7 days is 34-35 ° С. It is necessary to take care of the chicks and constantly monitor their well-being, if they huddle together, it means that the heating is insufficient, when they breathe heavily and spread their wings, you need to lower the temperature. Heat the chickens with an infrared lamp.

Preparing the keeping of chickens

Depending on the number of chickens and the capabilities of the poultry breeder, different habitats are organized for babies.

In boxes

So chicks are kept by novice poultry farmers or if there are not too many babies. The box with birds is placed in the warmest place, away from drafts. A lamp is installed above it for lighting and heating.

Important: the chicks should not be cramped, because then stronger chicks can accidentally crush weaker relatives.

A soft paper or cloth is laid on the bottom of the box. Change as it gets dirty, several times a day. Drinkers and feeders are also placed there. Babies' paws and down should not be wet.

In cages

Special cages for chicks are called brooders. They are equipped with heating and a lamp for lighting. The structure can be bought or made by yourself. The brooder is equipped with a pallet, which makes cleaning easier. The cage is divided into several compartments. Usually one of them contains strong active chicks, the second - a weakened livestock. Sick babies are placed separately.

The cage is equipped with drinkers, feeders, perches for grown chickens. Chicks can go under the lamp to warm up or move away if they are hot. In a brooder, chickens are kept up to one month of age in the cool period, and 3 weeks in the warm season.

On mats

Raising chickens on a deep non-replaceable bed allows the livestock to move freely, the birds grow up active. Sawdust, peat, sunflower husks are used for litter. Its components must be crumbly. For heating, a reflector is installed, illuminated with ordinary lamps.

This type of keeping is advisable with a significant number of chicks. The litter is periodically poured; it should not be damp and dirty. Its thickness is 10-15 centimeters. The floor under the litter is concreted or treated with lime. For grown-up chickens, perches are equipped.

Raising pets under a brood hen

So chicks are received less often than in an incubator. There are several reasons for this:

  • not all chickens make good hens;
  • chickens stop laying eggs;
  • show aggression towards other inhabitants of the hen house;
  • can crush eggs and chickens.

For incubation, they choose a calm chicken 2-3 years old. Fertilized eggs are harvested over a period of several days. 10-13 eggs are placed under the hen so that she can calmly cover the clutch. They choose even, smooth specimens of the same size, the chicks should hatch at about the same time.

A nest is being built in a shaded corner. They make it from scrap materials. Usually this is a box made of chipboard or plywood, lying on its side. Be sure to build a small nut 8-10 centimeters high so that the eggs do not roll out. Straw is laid at the bottom of the nest, the brood hen itself lines it with feathers.

She should always have water and food nearby so that the brood hen does not leave the nest for a long time. A chicken incubates chicks for up to 30 days. She herself teaches and cares for the chicks. It is very interesting to watch this process.

Of course, there is a lot of fuss with small chickens. But this allows you to acquire the knowledge and experience necessary for a person who has decided to start breeding chickens in his own backyard.

Watch the video: Broiler Brooding Best Management Practices (January 2023).