Hand Raising Chickens
Do you have a hen that has rejected her chicks? Don’t worry, it is a normal thing that
poultry lovers encounter quite often. If this happens, then the best solution is to hand-rear the chicks.
Hand raising chicks is not as easy as it may sound. It is not just the usual taking care of baby chicks stuff but a relationship-building process. Through this, you earn the trust of the chick and help in the taming process. It requires commitment and dedication for you to succeed in this.
The following steps are critical determinants of how successful the project will turn out to be.
1. Determine Whether Your Home can Accommodate This Exercise.
There are many factors to be considered in this crucial step. You have to countercheck
your availability, how your lifestyle will be affected, your free time, career, housing and finally, your finances. You need to understand that the chicks will need time, space, money and shelter. Money is a critical factor because it will determine how you hand raise the chicks. You will need finances to set up items like the heat lamp, drinker, incubator, and feeds.
2. Space Determine
whether you have enough space to accommodate the chicken coop or even for free-ranging. A fully grown hen needs about 4 square feet in the coop.
3. Setting Up the Brooder
A brooder is just a small box containing a heat lamp where the chicks will stay for the
first few weeks. For the brooder, you need the following materials:
· A large container box: plastic containers, wooden boxes or tubs
· Dry, absorbent bedding: hay straw, paper towels, or wood shavings
· Feeders and drinkers: smaller chicken feeders are advised
· Chick feeds: high in proteins
· A heat lamp: Set this to about 95°F (35°C) but reduce by 5 degrees per week until you reach the standard room temperature.
The brooder should have enough ventilation so that you avoid dampness and to protect them from direct sunlight, and extreme weather conditions.
4. Chick Care
Feed your chicks daily and provide clean water at all times. Clean the bedding regularly, and check on the chicks every time.
5. Handle the Chicks as They Grow
This is a crucial stage in the taming process. Handling the chicks creates the much-needed trust and helps them to be tamable. It also leaves the impression that you are their mother!
6. Move Them to the Run
At between 4 and 6 weeks, you can comfortably move the chicks to the run. This gives them
more space and allows them to interact with the outside world. The area they should be moved into should be large and spacious, and the coop becomes their new home
7. Take are of the Pellets
The chicks can now start receiving extra feeds such as bugs, fruits and vegetables. It is
more interesting when you feed them straight from your hand. Use crushed oyster shells to supplement their feeds because this increases calcium intake which is important if forming strong eggs when the pellets reach laying stage. Do not feed them the following items; chocolates, avocado, sugar sweets, citrus, caffeine and raw potato skins.
Get in Touch
Want to find out more? Give us a call on 01903 756121 to speak to one of our friendly team members today, or head over to our contact page for more information.