Transitioning Chicks from the Brooder to the Coop

If you bought new baby chicks this spring, they might be getting close to ready to go from the brooder to the coop. Learn from Nutrena poultry expert Twain Lockhart how to make the transition a successful one!

 

Helpful tips:

  • Chicks should be fully feathered before transitioning
  • Place chicks in metal dog crate for two weeks before moving to the coop
  • Add water stations in hot weather 
  • Keep chicks on chick starter feed for 16 weeks

 

Mixing Poultry Breeds in Your Flock

If you’ve been at the chicken thing for a while, you might be interested in adding some birds of a different feather to your flock. Check out Nutrena poultry expert Twain Lockhart’s advice on mixing breeds in your backyard flock.

Helpful tips:

  • Some breeds that make good producers, layers and are friendly include Naked Necks, Wyandottes and Sex Links
  • Bantams are miniature chickens and exist in every breed, but they do not mix well with the big ones
  • Cornish cross meat chickens do not mix well with other chickens

 

Biosecurity in the Coop

If you are raising backyard chickens, you need to consider biosecurity. Not just for your chickens, but for your family as well. Check out this video for Nutrena poultry expert Twain Lockhart’s advice on keeping everyone happy and healthy.

Helpful tips:

  • Don’t kiss your chickens!
  • Wash your hands after you handle chickens
  • Have a pair of “coop shoes” that you do not wear anywhere else
  • Do not borrow equipment from friends
  • If you bring in a chicken from someone, quarantine them for a minimum of three weeks

 

Brooder Maintenance

Got new baby chicks in a brooder? Then you’ll want to know how to keep them warm and clean, so they stay healthy and strong. Listen in as Nutrena poultry expert Twain Lockhart shares tips to keep your brooder in proper condition.

Helpful tips:

  • Baby chicks self-regulate their temperature and will gather together if they’re too cold. 
  • If you see the chicks huddled together at one side, that is a sign there may be a draft.
  • Put newspaper down underneath the pine shavings to make cleanup easier.
  • Clean the brooder once every couple of days.

Getting Birds for the First Time

Interested in starting a backyard chicken flock? Wondering what you need to know before you bring home those cute, fluffy, little chicks? Listen in as Nutrena poultry expert Twain Lockhart gives a quick overview of what you need to consider!

Helpful tips:

  • Make sure you can legally have chickens on your property.
  • Start with laying hens.
  • It is best to start small, with four to six chickens at most.

Feeding Chick Starter

If you are bringing home baby chicks soon, you’ll need to know what to feed, and how to feed it. Listen in as Nutrena poultry expert Twain Lockhart shares tips on properly feeding chicks for a healthy start and a long life.

Helpful tips:

  • Use baby chick starter crumble. Lay crumble calcium content is too high and may damage kidneys of the chicks.
  • Chicks may pick out larger pieces of crumble if they have a hard time eating them.
  • Feed chicks as much as they want as they self-regulate.
  • Medicated chick starter helps to prevent coccidiosis. It is not an antibiotic.

 

Getting the Brooder Ready for Baby Chicks

Learn what the most important components of a brooder are for raising baby chicks. From the types of brooder containers, to lighting, to bedding to use, you’ll know all the key tips to keep your chicks happy and healthy in the brooder.

 

Helpful tips:

  • An old stock tank, plastic tote or cardboard box work well to hold the chicks and keep the heat in.
  • Make sure heat lamp is secured.
  • Both clear and red bulbs work fine. Red bulbs will reduce cannibalism.
  • Chicks like to scratch in the feeder and will waste a lot of feed when they’re young.
  • Use baby chick starter feed for the first 16 weeks.