Baby chicks are a great way to start with backyard chickens. Here is some must haves to get started with baby chicks!

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7 Must Haves For Raising Chicks

If you have been into your neighborhood farm supply store you have heard the distant peeping to those adorable baby chicks.

Am I the only one that looks over the fencing into the livestock troughs and want to scoop up them all and take them home?

Seriously, I think I have a chicken problem. I cannot resist a sweet baby chick. I must have them all.

When I brought our first batch of chicks home from the farm store I had absolutely nothing prepared for them at all. I went to the store for dog food and walked in the house with ten baby chicks and four baby ducks. My husband looked at me like I had lost my mind. After an afternoon of scrambling to get all the necessary gear set up for them, those chicks spent the next few weeks camping out in our mudroom.

I loved it! While making dinner and I could hear those cute little peeps, peeping away. I would put an inch of water in the kids’ bathtub and let the baby duck play for the afternoon. By the way, ducks poop everywhere!

My family, on the other hand, got over the cuteness faster than I did, and it didn’t take long for our house to be overcome with chicken smell. They just have a certain smell, not like cows or pigs, just chicken.

Since then our chicken coup situation has evolved from our mudroom to a dog house, to now a converted shed.

Our backyard chicken adventure is underway.

So hopefully you can learn from my spontaneity and do a bit of prep work before you bring those adorable peepers home.



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Baby Chickens

Here are my 7 must haves for when you bring your baby chicks home.

  1. A way to contain them– Obviously you will need somewhere to keep them. A large Rubbermaid container works well in the first few weeks. You can also use a cardboard box, the one downside of using something cardboard is that moisture from poo and the inevitable water spills may leak through. What I use is a galvanized stock tank that I got from the feed store.[spacer height=”20px”]
  2. A Heat Lamp- This is a must have as soon as you bring your chicks home. Baby chicks like to stay warm and they need a heat lamp to do this until their feathers grow in. The heat lamp I recommend has a clamp on the end so that you can attach it to the side of whatever you are using to house your babies. Also, the bulbs I use are the red ones, but you can also get them in white. I use the red just because it not so bright. You can find them here. [spacer height=”20px”]
  3. Bedding– This can be a variety of things. Pine shavings, shredded paper, straw grass clipping or leaves. Usually, I get one small thing of pine shavings to start them in. I figure that those have the least amount of germs that could make those babies sick. After I get through the bag of pine shaving I switch to whatever I have round the house. Usually grass clipping and straw. Just remember whatever you choose you will need to swap it out for new bedding frequently. Wet bedding breeds yucky stuff and we don’t want that![spacer height=”20px”]
  4. Waterer You will need a waterer for these babies. They drink more than you would expect and it will be filled with bedding and poop by the end of the day. I always try to put the waterer up on a piece of 1×6 or something just to get it up out of the bedding a bit. When the chicks get a bit taller I put the water up on bricks so that it stays cleaner.  There are a lot of different designs for waterers but I have found that simple is better. Ducks can’t use nipple waters and top fill pressure types are finicky and most of the time the water all runs out on the ground. At least around here we just have to keep it simple.[spacer height=”20px”]
  5. Feeder– Just like the waterer just keep it simple.[spacer height=”20px”]
  6. Chick starter Baby chicks will need a special kind of food to start out with. It has extra protein in it that will help them get off to a good start. It comes in both medicated a nonmedicated. What you choose it up to you but we usually go with the medicated just to boost their immune systems.  Quick tip- I start them on crumbles but when they get outside I switch to the pelleted food, I find there is less waste with the pellets.[spacer height=”20px”]
  7. Electrolytes – I always put electrolytes and probiotics into there water the first few weeks. It just helps boost their immune systems and helps get them off to a great start.[spacer height=”20px”]

Baby Chicks

So there you have it, everything that you need to get started with your new baby chicks!

You can check out my post on where the best to buy chicks is here!

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Please let me know how your first time bringing home your new chicks went.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Tanya

    My daughter and I went to the feed store to write down everything that’s needed to raise chicks. I have always wanted them but my husband said no. With this current pandemic I had an arguing point! My 14 year old needs something to do and we may need eggs in 4-6 months…he couldn’t argue. We brought home 4 new babies. He just looked at me and shook his head. Then he picked one up and said that one is his.

  2. Sarah

    I have always used bottle waterers and nipples to water ducklings and chicks. Not sure if you’ve ever raised ducks prior to this, but they will drink from them just fine. As a matter of fact, I only water with them to control water from being splashed everywhere. I start out with a small shallow bowl, then after a few days I introduce the bottles.

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