to peck at each other. For large birds, each bird should have a minimum of four square feet
while smaller birds require a minimum of two square feet.
Don't touch the first born chicks
It is better not to handle first born chicks. Day old chicks can be handled but you want to
be sure that you are doing so with gloves or very clean hands so that you don't introduce
germs. In addition, always wash your hands after handling chicks to protect yourself from
their germs. If you will be raising the chickens as pets you will want to get them used to
being handled but keep young children from over handling young chicks.
Always monitor the growth of your chicks
From the minute you have your chicks they should be monitored in terms of their health,
the temperature and cleanliness of their environment and access to clean water and food.
When should I move the chicks into a brooder?
Day old chicks can be moved directly into a heated brooder or the chicks' first home. Some
breeders move new hatchlings after two hours in the incubator. It is important to remember
that if there are chicks still hatching opening the incubator can cause a loss of required hu-
midity which could lead to loss of chicks.
Place them in a well ventilated coop
Whatever type of shelter you provide for your flock you want to make sure that it is well
ventilated without being drafty. In hot months there should be free air movement through
the coop and in winter months it is essential to keep the chickens warm. Coops also need
to be predator proof.
How long should I light my chicks with incandescent bulb? How many watts are re-
If you are going to be using a light bulb as a heat source then you will need a variety of
standard light bulbs in 100 watt, 75 watt, 60 watt and a 40, and a 25 watt bulb. At first the
chicks will need the 100 watt bulb for the first week, and then you can go down to the 75
for week two, 60 watt for week three and 40 watt for fourth week. A 25 watt bulb will work
fine after the first month.
Proper handling of the eggs
It is important that all eggs from your flock that you will be using for food be handled
safely. Salmonella and other bacteria can be found on the shell. Nest boxes need to be kept
clean and eggs should be gathered at least once a day. Eggs can be cleaned with rinsing
with a spray bottle of warm water and then wiped with a paper towel. Make sure to wash