Raising chicks(baby chicken) is different from raising adult chicken. First and foremost, being tender, the chicks are prone to diseases and virus attacks. Even the chicks that look healthy may have Salmonella germs in their droppings. These germs may also pass on to children who come into contact with those germs. Always wash your hands and feet before and after visiting the poultry.
New born chicks should be taken care of by setting up a brooding area. For raising a few chicks a card box with kept in a safe area (away from predators) with proper ventilation is enough. For larger number of chicks, a metal tank can be used. It is not advisable to use plastic can or box, as the lighting can melt the plastic. Chicks usually require about ½ sq.ft space for the first two weeks which gets doubled in two weeks.
As we told about lighting chicks need a warm atmosphere till they are fully grown up. Typically they require the temperature to be around 95 to 100 degrees, which can be gradually reduced as days pass by. The brooder lamp should be kept at one side giving ample space for the chicks move closer to/and or away from the lamp. If all the chicks clog together near the lamp, it means that they are cold.
The floor of the box should be provided with bedding to catch their droppings. For ease of cleaning, sheets of paper can be rolled on the floor and covered with pine shavings, chopped straw and any such material so that the surface is not too slippery for the chicks. Firm footing helps their legs to develop correctly.
Keep water and food in separate containers. The food and water should be kept clean and free of droppings. Chick fountain is the best way to give water to chicks as they may not drink at first. Never let chicks go without water.
Raising baby chicks takes a little more time than older chickens but once they are 3 to 4 months old, there is no looking back.
Some of the additional accessories or supplies that may be required while raising the baby chicks are, big cardboard box, wood shavings, chicken feeder, chicken waterier, heat lamp and chick food. The specially designed chicken feeder and waterier helps keep the food and water clean, free from droppings. It is a good idea to feed organic food wherever possible. Regular food is made of Genetically modified organisms which make chicks sick. Improper use of antibiotics is another issue that needs to be tackled.