Poultry for Beginners

This is the time of year many people start getting excited about raising poultry. You get a shiny catalog in the mail with all kinds of cool looking birds. You start seeing the local feed mills and farm supply stores running “chick days”. You stop into the post office early on in the morning and hear the cheeps of mail-order chicks waiting to be sent to their new owners.  

For those who are not old hats at raising poultry, caring for young birds isn’t hard, but does require some attention to detail.  What do chicks need to survive and thrive? A draft-free enclosure, dry bedding, clean water, and a good starter feed.

The brooding area might start out in an old stock tank, a large cardboard box, or a small section in your poultry coop. This area is generally heated with a heat lamp and a 250 watt bulb that gets hot.  Some safety precautions need to be taken to ensure that if something happens to the lamp, it does not end up on a pile of dry shavings creating a fire hazard. Generally the brood area has tall sides to prevent drafts of cold air from sapping the strength of your chicks. 

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