NEPPA Hatchery and The Pasture
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Chick Care
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​Chicks are physically tough,but proper care boosts payback


Brooder – warm, draft free, predator proof, convenient, 36 square inches per chick, limit space until chicks are familiar with their new home; rounded corners help prevent pile-ups

Bedding – softwood shavings (pine, spruce); coarse sawdust; NO newspaper, fine or green sawdust

Heat – 98-100 degrees on floor for first week – infrared heat lamps or gas hovers (more suited for larger operations) set 16” – 18” above bedding

Water –fresh daily; fill trough with marbles for first week; set waterer on a board to help keep clean (about the height of a chick’s back)

Feed on egg carton halves first week; then use trough-type feeders

Separate feed and water from heated area

Initial treatment–add 1 Tablespoon each of molasses and cider vinegar to 1 quart water and dip beaks; you can also use an electrolyte solution sold at farm stores

Cup chicks in hands to transfer from box to brooder, don’t use legs or wings as handles

After feeding and watering, OBSERVE– birds should be moving around looking for food and water or resting under or near heat in a ring (better than watching TV or You Tube!); check often, especially the first few days


Food and water on one side with heat on the other
Rodent proof brooder made from old refrigerator