Friday, January 13, 2012

Baby Chicks!

We visited a Hatchery this week and picked up our chicks. 
They are just Adorable!!!
Are you thinking of raising chickens too?  

Here are a few ideas that have worked well for us on our farm. 

First of all we did a lot of reading and research into raising chickens.  

My go to book would have to be "Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens" by Gail Damerow. It has been a valuable resource for everything from chick care to setting up a coop. 

Another book useful book has been "Keeping Chickens" by Jeremy Hobson and Celia Lewis.  This book is full of beautiful pictures and information about different breeds of chickens.

 If you are looking for a basic country farm life reference book I recommend, "Storey's Basic Country Skills" by John and Martha Storey. They do have a nice section on raising chickens.
 Based on our past experience and research we choose 
Rhode Island Reds and Barred Plymouth Rocks.  

 These traditional breeds are known for their brown eggs, hardiness, and temperament.

They are so cute!! 
Here is our brooder setup

We use: 
35 gallon plastic container 
Chick waterer
Chick feeder 
Heat lamp with dimmer switch
Chicken wire
Chick grower/starter feed
Vitamin pack from the Hatchery
pine litter
My Handy Farmer cut wood blocks for the water and feed to keep them stable.  Then we covered the bottom of the box with wood chips.  

Chicks need a heat source to keep warm and healthy.  
We use a heat lamp on a dimmer switch so that we can control the temperature in the brooder.  In the past we used incandescent bulbs and we would decrease the wattage as the chicks grew, but now we are unable to buy those bulbs so we had to come up with a new plan. 

My Handy Farmer put a dimmer switch together using salvaged parts he had in the barn.  It works like a charm!

Warm Happy Chicks!

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