Setting Up A Brooder

Chicks hatched in an incubator have no Mother Hen to keep them warm. Without care and warmth they won’t survive, so you need to have a brooder ready before they start to hatch.

If you’ve ordered some day-old chicks, they too will need a brooder waiting for them.

Even if you use a broody hen for hatching, it’s a good idea to be aware of what is required for artificial brooding in case of emergencies.

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Caring for a Broody Hen and her Chicks

A good broody hen will give her chicks the best start in life. She will teach them how to eat, drink and scratch for food, call them under her wings when danger approaches, and provide warmth at night.

Theoretically she is capable of raising her brood without any human help, but little chicks are very vulnerable to both predators and disease. Even adult hens may attack them. Although Mum will try to protect her family, she can’t be everywhere all the time. Continue reading

Heating the Brooding Area

It is a wonderful moment to find chicks cheeping away in your incubator when your eggs hatch but you do need to ensure the brooding area is ready for them and is heated to a suitable temperature before moving them in. This article provides you with essential information about providing the correct temperature in the brooding area and how to heat it.

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Rearing Chicks

Rearing your own chicks is certainly not that difficult and certainly doesn’t require any expensive equipment. A cardboard box, heat lamp, wood shavings, chick crumbs and water are all that’s required.

You can hatch your own chicks in an incubator from fertile eggs, or you can buy day old chicks from a breeder and as long as you provide them with their basic needs, they should thrive.

Raising Chicks

This article covers everything you need to know in order to successfully rear chicks from day old to Point of Lay or POL as it is called which is generally around 16-20 weeks old when they are ready to be integrated with your flock.

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