Poultry + Chick Life Stages – What to Expect
Curious about what changes your baby chicks will go through in the first 6 weeks of life? Here is a quick tour of how they will change.
So, imagine…you’ve just arrived home with a brimming box of peeping chicks, how exciting! You’re embarking on an exciting journey, so get ready to learn about chick life stages and love those new fluffy creatures.
- Before you go to pick up your new chicks, make sure the brooder is ready to go at home. This will prevent any unnecessary stress, for both you and the chicks.
- Expect some peeping as the chicks get acquainted in their new environment. They will likely do this for 4 or 5 days.
- Monitor their comfort. Too hot? Too cold? If they are huddled under the heat source, they may be too cold. If they are on the edges of the brooder (not under the heat source) then they are likely too hot.
Week 2 and 3
- After the first week, their down will start to turn into feathers, and by week 4 you can expect to see more feathers than down.
- With adequate food, water and proper temperature, your chicks should be acclimating quite well to their new home.
- To keep odors at bay and cleanliness paramount, make sure you are cleaning out the brooder once a week and adding fresh shavings.
- Place the waterer in the corner to prevent dampness throughout the entire brooder.
Week 4, 5 and 6
- During weeks 4 to 6 you may notice your chicks starting to test their wings.
- At week 6, the brooder is likely getting a little crowded, and you should consider the transition outside to the coop.
- It’s important to note that during this transition, you should make sure your chicks are fully feathered so they are prepared for the elements.
- Consider a gradual integration of new chicks with mature hens because it may be necessary to prevent older birds from picking on the young birds.
- A good option is to separate the two groups with a gate or some fencing, so they can be exposed to one another before being fully integrated.
Make sure to visit your local Runnings for nutritional Nutrena chick and poultry feed and products.