Caring for your chicks weeks 1-6: FOOD & WATER

Updated: Feb 25

This is the 3rd part of our blog to try to give you a place to read up on how to care for your chicks in terms of what to feed them. - we are by NO means experts, nor are we writers -We are learning new things every single day, which makes us in the perfect position to come along on this journey with you. We can share what has worked for us, and in our area. I have decided to link some of the items we have either purchased specifically from Amazon, as with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is harder to find things that are usually readily available. If you click on them from here, and purchase one of the items, I will get a tiny compensation. So thank you, if you see something you need :)

When chicks prepare to hatch, they begin to absorb the yolk with all nutrition they will need for the next 2-3 days. This is how hatcheries can successfully ship day old chicks without food and water. We tend to get a lot of questions about what to feed them. Also many of our farm families purchase a combination of chicks, ducklings, and keets. Everything applies except the following notes you will see highlighted and in BOLD

FRESH WATER (Room Temp & Unsoftened) NEEDS TO BE AVAILABLE 24/7

Around 24-48 hrs after hatch we will remove chicks from brooder and introduce them to their waterer by gently dipping their beaks. The water should be just slightly warmer than room temp, (Cold water can be shocking on a newly hatched chick.) After this first introduction they should know where to go for water, its a matter of keeping it fresh (and slightly warmed) 24/7. A saucer with marbles makes a great first waterer, keeps them from getting super wet, and prevents drowning. After a few days or by end of week they an switch to something bigger like a Tupperware dish idea with holes, or commercial poultry waterer. If you decide to try the chicken cups or nipples for automatic watering, I have heard the nips work best. We have tried everything, DIY, commercial, expensive, inexpensive. Our favourite waterer when they were small, was a dish

with some holes cut into the lid, raised up on a brick or block. The cups, we had really hoped would work, we were close, but didn't trust it not to leak and drop 5 gallons of water on our basement floor while at work. Today, we are trying a smaller version of what we have in our pen. A 2L water jug with a couple of holes cut out of each side. By the time we moved them outside we had gone with this contraption:

Drilled a few holes in each side, and it worked perfectly