Preparing for Chickens (Video)

Hank Will, Editor-in-Chief of GRIT Magazine discusses the basics of getting chicks started with Purina animal nutritionist, Mikelle Roeder.


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A brooder can be constructed in numerous different ways, but the most important thing is to have a safe warm place for the chicks to grow until they develop their primary feathers. Each chick should have 1 to 2 sq ft. of space until they are 6 weeks old. Then, the space should increase to around 5 to 10 sq ft. Pine shavings are laid down to help absorb droppings and to keep the chicks from slipping around.

Place a heat lamp at chick level, and use a thermometer to keep the temperature between 90 to 95 degrees for starting chicks. As they grow, the lamp can be raised and the temperature reduced by about 5 degrees each week until they are fully feathered. Then it can be removed completely, as long as the temperature doesn’t drop below 55 degrees.