Getting Ready For Spring

Starting Chicks In The Spring

So I like to start my flocks in the early spring. We live in northern Michigan and our winters like to linger and I feel like starting them in the early spring gets them ready to be out in the coop by the time we have nice weather. Typically chicks need to stay in the brooder for about six weeks. This gives them time to get their feathers and for there bodies to learn how to regulate body heat. Just for all you new homesteaders out there that think brooders have to be fancy and elaborate, they do not. I currently use a plastic tote with a heat lamp and a waterer and a small bowl for food. I can hold about twelve chicks in this brooder. Yes, we will build a nicer one in the near future just to be able to start more chickens at once. I always make sure I have two of the same totes that way I can put wood shavings in the new tote when their old one gets dirty and transfer the chicks their water and their food into the new tote easily and clean the other with soap and water after I have dumped the old shavings covered in magic chicken poo into my compost pile.

Feeding Chicks

I only feed my chicks non-medicated starter crumble. After about three weeks start mixing in a little of my homestead mix feed of cracked corn, black oil sunflower seeds, whole oats, and diatomaceous earth. While still giving them the starter crumble as well mixed in so that they can get used to the feed. I add diatomaceous earth to all my feed for all my animals. Including my dogs and cat. It has amazing health qualities that we will talk about in a later blog.

Chick Care

Be sure to clean your chicks brooders at least every two days there health is very important. You don’t want to spread disease in your flock. Make sure you also keep there food and water full. You will notice your chicks consume a lot of feed and water. We also interact with the baby chicks as well so that when they are older there is not a lot of fear when we enter the coop. We want our chickens to live a calm and happy life. Happy healthy chickens mean big and beautiful eggs. When they reach about five our six weeks old is when you would move them to a coop. We currently have a coop of 6 golden comets and 1 bantam, but we will put these new chicks in a coop by themselves because I like to keep age groups separated.

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