Receiving your Chicks
Buy chicks from a reliable hatchery and buy the type of chicks or strain that fit your needs. If you are interested in eggs, order leghorns or pullets of a brown egg-type strain. For meat, order a popular broiler or roaster breed.
Before the birds arrive remove old litter, clean & disinfect the ceiling, walls and floor. Let dry thoroughly. Also, clean and disinfect all equipment.
Start heating the area 24 hours before the birds arrive. Provide plenty (5” – 6”) of clean, dry shavings, sawdust or peat moss over the floor. Dirt floors, hay or straw are not recommended, as they tend to be slippery, do not have moisture absorbency and harbor disease organisms.
Put out feed and waterers a few hours before the chicks arrive. Use a brooder guard (12” to 18” high) to confine birds near the heat lamp. Remove the guard after one week.
After the birds arrive, temperature in the first week should be about 95%, and adjusted downward 5 degrees per week depending on the comfort of the birds. Day old chicks should be dry and draft free. Keep litter dry with frequent stirring and replacing when necessary. This is important to prevent coccidiosis and other diseases.
Be sure the birds drink and eat soon after arrival!