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Selecting Chicks Selecting A Breed
Brooders Feeding And Caring For Your New Chicks
Setting Up Your Coop And Run Preparing For Your Hens To Lay

Selecting Chicks
Start with healthy Chicks.If you buy chicks from a breeder or a feed store, observe the chicks before making your selection. Look for chicks that are clearly eating, drinking and have plenty of energy.
Young chicks will frequently sleep, but avoid chicks that are puffed up, with drooping heads, you may feel the desire to save these chicks, but more then likely, the chick will die regardless of your efforts.
Check the tail end of each chick for pasty butt, and examine the beak for any discharge.
Selecting a healthy chick will save you from continued headeches in the future.

More information on selecting chicks here

Selecting A Breed
There are a great number of breeds available, your choices can be narrowed by your paticular needs.
Egg production, the amount of space you have available, egg color, disposition, and general appearance are just some of the factors you may wish to consider.
may give you some ideas to help you get started.
The all around best Chickens for Egg production are

Both have been known to be a bit flighty and many people have reported that these breeds are not friendly.

Several breeds combine good egg laying with a friendly disposition.
These breeds do not produce quite as many eggs as the breeds listed above, but the will give you eggs nearly everyday.
Chickens that lay medium to large eggs with a friendly person
ality we recomend the following breeds

Australorp Medium Brown Eggs
Delaware Large Brown Eggs
Easter Eggers Large Eggs Green/Blue/Pink
Faverolle Medium Creamy Tint Eggs
Plymouth Rock Large Brown Eggs
Red and Black Star Large Brown Eggs
Sussex Medium-Large Creamy Brown Eggs
Wyandotte Medium-Large Brown Eggs

Your chicks will need to be in a brooder until they are featherd out.
There are any number of things that could be used for a brooder, including Rubber Maid Tubs (As Pictured Below), Small Plastic Swimming Pools are also a popular choice.
Keep in mind that your chicks will grow fast; Choose a brooder that will accomidate your breed and number or chicks.
A heat lamp should be placed above the brooder.
For day Old Chicks: Be sure that there is a constant 90-100 degrees, in some area of the brooder, and a cooler area as well.
This temperature should be dropped by 10 degrees every week, until the chicks feather out;
For this reason, it is important to have a termometer in the brooder.

More Brooders and Brooder Ideas on the forum
Brooders in the Complete Guide

Feeding And Careing For Your New Chicks
Use Medicated Starter Crumbles for the first weeks.
Switch to All Purpose Chicken Feed after a few weeks.

Layer crumbles/pellets at around 20 weeks old, or when their combs and wattles grow significantly and turn red.
Scratch- Should be given as treats only.
Hand feeding your chicks with cracked corn or scratch, will help to make them friendly.
More on Feeding and Care

Setting Up Your Coop And Run
If you plan to keep your chickens in a Coop House with an attached Run,
our Coop House should have a minimum of 2 Sq. Ft. of floor space per bird.
The Run should have a minumum of 10 Sq. Ft. per bird
There are differing ideas on these numbers.
You may find that your birds need more or less space, depending on factors such as cliamate, or if you are unable to let them out at dawn and let them in at dusk.
In most areas. Chicken wire is too flimsy to be used for Coop construction, and Hardware cloth is prefered.
Roosts can be made from 2x4's - Avoid useing materials that do not allow the chickens to stand on the roost.
Chickens prefer to roost - (not perch), while sleeping; their feet are not designed for gripping on to a perch.

Prepareing For Your Hens To Lay

At around 20 weeks old, the chickens should start on Layer Pellets or Crumbles.
Extra calcium should be available in the form of oyster shell or crushed egg shells.
Nest Box
A nest box should already be in place and ready for them to lay in.
Place a wooden egg, in the nest box to give them the idea of where to lay.
You can use a real egg or a golf ball if you prefer, however some chickens are not fooled by golf balls
Nest boxs should be approx 12x12 or larger; be sure they have enough head room.

You should have one nest box per 3-5 chickens, although you may find that more then 5 will use the same box, regardless of the number of boxes you give them.


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Photo's and general information on care, housing, coop design, feed and more.
Photographic illustrations of Chicken development of large breeds, including : Dominique's, Wyandotte's, Australorp's and Easter Egg Chickens, Can be found in the
Photo Gallery, and in the Esther Winnie Archive

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