Urban Chickens: The First Two Weeks

Bringing your new chicks home is very exciting, but it's important to keep a close eye on them the first couple of weeks.

Things to Know:

Here are the biggest things to remember in those first few weeks.

Clean Up Their Poop

Every day. You don't need to completely empty all of the wood shavings every day, but clean up as much of the poop as you can as you see it.

A dirty brooder box is the easiest way to create an unhealthy environment and let disease to spread among your chicks.

Get Medicated Chick Starter:

Speaking of disease, keep your chicks on a medicated feed for the first eight weeks. This will help prevent some of the most common diseases, like Coccidiosis.

After eight weeks, switch to a non-medicated chick starter feed.

Check Their Butts:

I've talked about this before, but CHECK THEIR BUTTS EVERY DAY, TWICE A DAY.

If they've got poop stuck to their butt, clean it off immediately (and gently) with shampoo and warm water. Then put some vaseline on there.

Clean Their Water:

Everyday. They will kick pine shavings into their water. They will poop in it if the waterer is low enough for them to roost on.

Chicks, and chickens for that matter, need constant access to clean water.

Handle Them Often:

This is the best part.

Chicks should be handled as frequently as possible, at least once a day. Handling them will help you build the relationship that is going to be important as they grow older. They should be used to you so that they:
  • Respond when you call them back to the coop after free-ranging.
  • Let you pick them up if they're hurt, sick, etc.
  • Don't spook when you're in their coop or around them in the yard.

Share the experiences you've been having with your new chicks!

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