Spring is here and as the days slowly grow longer it seems that many of us are dreaming of spring chicks. It's that time of year when we page through breeder catalogs, search the internet for our must have breeds, and begin to hear the peeping of baby chicks at our local feed stores. Soon enough you and your family will welcome chicks into your backyards and into your lives.
Starting your chicks off right is important for many reasons including their health, proper growth, preventing nutritional deficits, and their overall longevity. When providing for your flock you will need to make decisions about the brooder (temporary first housing), types of feeders and waterers, brooder bedding, a heat source, and chick feed. Creating the first home for your flock is just as important as the breeds you select.
As you set up the brooder be sure to place it in a draft-free environment, then fill the brooder with bedding. A great choice is Manna Pro Fresh Flakes®. Manna Pro’s all natural and compostable Fresh Flakes® are harvested from renewable forestry resources, kiln dried to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria and spores, and are screened to help eliminate dust.
Then, add the brooder's heat source and remember that new baby chicks like to be kept warm, around 95° degrees Fahrenheit during their first week of life. As they grow, their temperature requirements will decrease by 5° degrees Fahrenheit each week until they are fully feathered, around six weeks of age. A thermometer can help you get things just right.
Just before the chicks' arrival, you can prepare by filling up their feeders and waterers. Waterers should be cleaned and filled with fresh water daily.
The chicks can begin to eat starter feed from the time they hatch until they are about 8 weeks of age. Both the Non-Medicated Chick Starter and the Medicated Chick Starter are excellent choices for feeding your baby chicks. Both contain 18% protein and provide the necessary nutrition to build muscle and weight gain. Included vitamins and minerals also support sound development and overall health.
Confused about whether to put your flock on medicated feed verses non-medicated feed? The main difference is that medicated feed contains Amprolium, a medication that is used to prevent Coccidiosis. Coccidiosis is an illness that can affect baby chicks. Amprolium can help to prevent your baby chickens from becoming ill from coccidiosis.
Finally, for those of you who prefer organic chick feed, you can use Manna Pro® Organic Starter Crumbles. This feed is certified USDA organic and non-GMO. It is non-medicated and serves as an excellent food source for your flock that is just beginning to grow.
Manna Pro® is proud to be your partner in providing superior poultry products to keep your flock happy, healthy, and thriving in your very own backyard. No matter the size of your flock, consider Manna Pro® for all of your flock's needs.
Melissa Caughey is a backyard chicken keeper, beekeeper, gardener, and cook who pens the award winning blog, Tilly's Nest. She lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts with her family of four and her Miniature Schnauzer.