Raising chicks and things you need to consider

October 8, 2014

Chick Flick

Once your egg has hatched and has been left in the incubator until it is dry and standing, you will need to transfer the chick to a small, dry area that has a heat lamp. Chicks will live off their yolk sac for about three days but it is always good practice to provide water and food for when they are ready.  Chicks will need to stay under a heat lamp until they are feathered but you can reduce the heat by 5 degrees every week until the temperature around the chick is the same as the room temperature.

Chicks will grow quickly and their food intake will increase and you will find that they will begin to attempt to fly out of their enclosure when they are big enough. Once they are fully feathered, chicks should be acclimatised to the outside and can be put with other birds. If the weather is cold and it is winter time, you should be aware that chicks may need longer to acclimatise, especially in the wet weather.

Once the chicken s reaches 20-22 weeks, it will be easier to sex the birds and this is about the time when they will begin to lay eggs. The eggs will be very small to begin with but will gradually increase in size and before long; hens will be laying regular full sized eggs.

Many people prefer to buy chicks and rear them themselves although it cannot be said that it is cheaper to do so. Hybrid chickens will normally set you back around fifteen pounds with the thoroughbreds being more expensive. If you raise a chick into a chicken you will of course have to pay for the food and heat lamp and house them indoors until they are feathered and able to go outside.

Chicks will also need special chick crumb to begin with and should be fed this until they are six weeks old when they will be ready to switch to smaller pellets and then finally onto complete layer pellets. It is always best to put them outside when they are ready to eat the layers pellets along with the other chickens, this way you can ensure that they are having the correct food.

Remember to keep your eye on any chicks that have recently been put outside especially if they are with other chickens as it may take them a while to settle in.


UK Chickens offer a wide variety of chicken breeds and also offer advice on keeping chickens. http://www.ukchickens.com

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