BABY CHICK CARE & FEED

BABY CHICK CARE 

WATER:  The majority of baby chick fatality is because the chick does not start to drink right away.  Water is more important than feed on the first day.  Never let them run out of water.  For the first 24 hours, add 1 tablespoon of molasses/gallon of water (sugar water). On the 2nd day add vitamins-electrolytes to water. One gallon waterer is adequate for 50 chicks. Even if its self-filling there MUST be 1 waterer per 50 birds to prevent overcrowding. If you choose to use apple cider vinegar, it is very important not to use more than 1 teaspoon per quart of water and do not use a metal waterer with it as the acid will corrode the metal causing it to leach into the water.

*Ducks may swim in water after 4 weeks.  Attempt to keep them dry until then.

FEED:

*One-foot minimum feeder/waterer space per 25 chicks to prevent over-crowding.

Chicks:  Purina program

0-18 weeks: Flockraiser 20% until harvesting or until 18 weeks for layers.  Flockraiser is available with medication or without medication.  If using medicated, we recommend that it is used for the first 2-3 weeks.  Chicks need to be taken off medicated feed within 2 weeks of harvesting.

After 18 weeks:  Layena

Broiler Chicks:  Prince program

0-4 weeks:  Prince Broiler Starter 25% Non med.

4 weeks to finish:  Broiler Finisher 20% Non med.

Layer Chicks:  Prince program

0-10 weeks:  Prince Chick Starter 20%

10-18 weeks:  Prince Pullet Grower 17%

18 weeks-life:  Prince Layer

Organic Broiler Chick Program

0-5 weeks:  21% Organic Chick Starter/Grower

5 weeks–finish:  19% Organic Chick Starter

Organic Layer Chick Program

0-5 weeks:  19% Organic Chick Starter

5-18 weeks:  16% Organic Chick Grower

18 weeks:  Organic Layer

Turkeys:  Prince program

0-8 weeks:  28% Turkey Starter (med or nonmed)

8 – life:  18% All Flock mini pellet

Ducks or Geese:  Purina program

0-18 weeks:  Flockraiser non-medicated

18 weeks – life:  Duck grower or Layena

Pheasant or Quail: 

0-6 weeks:  28% Prince Turkey Starter (non-med)

6 weeks-life: 24% Prince Gamebird Grower or Purina non medicated 20% Flockraiser

Guineas: 

0-6 weeks:  28% Prince Turkey Starter (med or non-med)

6 weeks-life: 24% Prince Gamebird Grower or Purina non medicated 20% Flockraiser

 

HEAT:  Use a heat lamp in a draft-free area.  Place heat lamp approximately 20” above chicks.  Baby chicks need a temperature of 95 degrees.  Please use a thermometer to be sure you have them at the correct temperature.  You will lose chicks if they are too hot or too cold.  If they huddle together, they are too cold.  If they huddle in corners, they are too hot.  Reduce 5 degrees each week to a minimum of 65 degrees.

BEDDING:  Straw or Large Flake wood shavings are the best choice for chickens and turkeys.  Allow approximately ½ square foot per chick, and 1 ½ square feet per adult.  Straw is the best choice for ducks and geese.

Space Requirements for the Home Flock

*A 10’ X 10’ brooder house is adequate until 8 weeks of age.

AutomaticChickenCoopDoor.com

What kinds of table scraps are safe for chickens?

Food scraps for chickens

Did you know that grass and insects can make up about 20% of a chicken’s diet in the summer months? Unfortunately, cooped-up chickens don’t have access to that same scrumptious feast. But you can fill in the gaps with chicken scraps of nearly any sort.

Although some websites report that certain human foods are bad for chickens (notably dried beans, avocado stones and skins, green potatoes or tomatoes, and chocolate), I have my doubts that a non-starving chicken would even attempt to eat something hazardous. (Except possibly chocolate — but why are you throwing chocolate out?! Oh, and rotten meat — Harvey Ussery learned the hard way that dangling a corpse above the chicken coop in hopes maggots would drop in for free food wasn’t as clever as it seemed at first.)

The food scraps I actually consider hazardous in the chicken coop fit into an entirely different category. Anything high nutrient and tasty is likely to attract vermin (raccoons, opossums, rats) that will stick around and nibble on your eggs and/or flock. Specifically, I sincerely regretted giving fresh sweet-corn cobs to our flock because it jumpstarted a raccoon infestation that lingered for several months.

In the end, I recommend using your best judgement. If your flock has plenty of laying pellets around and the coop is tight enough to keep out critters, you might get away with tossing in anything at all.

Easy backyard egg money accounting

Egg money

So many of us get into critters through love…while also harboring a hope that our livestock will pay for themselves. There are high- and medium-tech ways of keeping track of cash inflow and outflow in such a situation, of course — spreadsheets and apps come to mind. But what if numbers give you the willies and you still want to make sure the eggs you’re selling are bringing in enough cash to pay for the flock’s feed?

One easy solution is an egg-money jar. Put in cash when you sell a farm product. Spend cash (only from this jar!) when you need to pay for a farm-related expense. At the end of the month, you’ll know whether your flock is in the red or black based on how much money is left in the jar.