Taking Care of Baby Chicks How to Raise your Chicks the Healthy Way
Raising Baby Chicks
Raising your own chickens can be a great way to learn some of the intricacies of animal rearing, and allow children a greater understanding of the way chicks grow and develop. With a simple classroom incubator, and chicken egg turner, you can start a project that will be fun and exciting for everyone involved.
The first thing you have to do is purchase fertile eggs from a hatchery or poultry farm. The eggs you buy should be a nice shape, and not have too thin shells or cracked shells. This can result in embryos that get sick from diseases, or do not form properly. Follow the instructions found on the box that came with your classroom egg incubator. You will need a few days to allow the temperature of the incubator to reach the proper temperature. If you have a chicken egg turner, it will make the process much easier and less demanding. The turner will automatically turn the eggs for you, so that the embryos do not stick to the inside of the shell, and they form the way they are supposed to form.
It usually takes around 21 days for chicken eggs to hatch, and when they do, they can be placed inside a cardboard box that is large enough to hold all of the chicks as well as the waterer and food tray. In addition, there needs to be a lining in the bottom of the box to allow for easy cleanup. This can be paper, sand, or other suitable material. The chicks should be fed chicken crumbles until they are old enough to digest regular chick food. Using a heat lamp, make sure the chicks do not get chilled. For the first week, they need to be kept at about 90-100 degrees.
To get your babies used to being around humans, it is important that they get human contact each day. You should hold them gently, and allow them time to just be where you are, so they can get used to seeing you. This will make feeding them later on much less stressful for them and yourself. They also need to have time outside when they are a little bigger. This will give them the chance to scratch and learn the proper way to be a chicken.
When the chicks that hatched from your classroom incubator are about two months old, they can then be transferred into a chicken coop. Nowadays, chicken coops can be made to order, and you can have one made that goes with your existing décor or yard. Each chick will need about 3-4 feet of space in their new home. Be sure to purchase a well-made coop, since it is essential to keep your chicks away from the mouths of hungry predators. Some of the animals that feed on chickens are larger birds, dogs, and wild cats.
Chickens can be feed simple chicken feed, and you can give them treats like vegetables, bread, or even bugs. You will soon discover that each chick has their own favorites, which will allow you to get to know them on an individual basis. Raising chicks from a classroom egg incubator with a chicken egg turner isn't as difficult as you may fear. It can actually be quite rewarding and exciting when you can give your chicks what they need to be healthy and happy.
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