Thinking about chicks doesn’t have to be complicated, difficult or expensive. There are many products on the market for rearing chickens, but most are not needed during the first weeks of a chicken’s life. After many years of trial and error we have found the ideal incubator. This installation is so easy and light that you can use items that are already at home!
Here are the five basic necessities needed to take care of the chicks!
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1. Brother box:
There are many cheap options for looking after chickens, and you probably already have the perfect box for looking after chickens hidden somewhere in your house. Every large dumpster or coffin is perfect for a breeder. Some people even use the toilet to raise chickens!
Our favourite breeder is a transformed rabbit cage. This is ideal because it allows you to control the chicks and entertain them all day long. It’s good that the little ones can see through the fence so they won’t get scared when you approach the breeder. Being able to see from outside the incubator also reduces the boredom of the birds, so they spend less time bothering each other. By using a rabbit cell, it is no longer necessary to use a coating on the incubator, as it is a built-in one. It’s very useful when the birds start learning to fly.
For years we used a large plastic basket to incubate the chicks, and this worked well when they were small, but as soon as they found their wings, they started to sleep at the edge of the breeding area. We found a ring of poop on the ground around the farmer and we often found chicks roaming on the ground when they discovered they could escape. Then we used improvised lids for the bins. It was more trouble than necessary, and when we found the rabbit cage easy to use, we never looked back!
2. Heat source
One of the most important things with caring chickens is to keep them warm and comfortable enough. They need some kind of heat source to keep the hatchery at about 95 degrees during the first week of the chicks’ lives. Most people use heat lamps because they are cheap and easy to find. Every hardware store or Amazon will certainly provide what you need.
The heat lamp itself is not as important as a clamp, which may or may not be included. A strong clamp on the heating lamp is absolutely necessary. The terminals, which are supplied with almost all heat lamps available on the market, are not reliable and cannot be relied upon on on their own.
If you decide to use a heat lamp to heat your Brooder, it is important to mount the lamp in at least three ways. When we install our pin, we use a wire to securely connect the lamp to the clamp so that it does not come loose or fall out. We also use extra clips for extra support. Thirdly, we attach the rope to something so that if the clamps fail, the rope grips the heat lamp before it comes into contact with the fuel.
If the idea of a heat lamp frightens you, there is another way to heat the breeder: Brinsea EcoGlow. The Ecogloo unit is known to be safer than a heat lamp and is more comfortable for the chickens because it does not illuminate their environment at night. The Ecoglowe emits heat and the chicks gather at the bottom when they need to warm up. It’s very similar to the way chickens behave to a mother hen, resulting in a more natural brood than a heat lamp.
We have tried everything that can be used as bed-lighting. The best option we’ve found over the years is pine flakes. You can find them in any pet food shop, pet shop or large cardboard shop. Pine chips are ideal because they are absorbent, inexpensive, easily accessible and healthy for your birds.
If you want cheap pine chips, don’t buy them in a pet store or even a pet shop. If you have an animal feed shop or farm in your area, you should definitely pay a visit. At the feed store, you can get a large bag of pine chips for about $5, and depending on how many chicks you have, this bag is likely to last all the time of conception.
Articles not used for bedding:
- Flat newspaper (too slippery for legs)
- Shredded newspaper (not sufficiently absorbed)
- Cat litter (produces dust that is harmful to chickens when they eat it).
- Cedar wood residues (too smelly, harmful to the respiratory tract)
We use a flat cascade tray, it works very well and the most important thing is that it’s free! When the chicks are less than a week old, we turn over another, smaller bowl in the middle. This prevents the chicks from falling into the water basin and if they are very young, they really need to be protected against accidents. As the chicks grow, from about two weeks, we remove the smallest bowl.
There are many fantastic feeds on the market for new poultry farmers. Over the years, we’ve discovered that you don’t feel like feeding chickens. This is a stock that you only use for a few weeks a year. So save and use what you already have at hand!
Our power supply is as simple as a water pipe. We use all the little ceramic bowls we have in the house. The only real advantage of commercial chick feeds is that they prevent spillage of feed. The chicks drop real food from their ceramic bowl, but that’s not enough to make us spend our money on special food. It is also useful to fill the bowl only half full.
Setting up a chicken farmer really shouldn’t be expensive or complicated. If you meet these five basic requirements, your chickens will grow up happy and healthy!
brooder box,brinsea ecoglow brooder for chicks or ducklings
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