How to Raise Baby Chicks

Raising backyard chickens has grown in popularity in recent years. And I think it’s fun. Perhaps you want to raise your own baby chicks, rather than buying mature hens. Caring for baby chicks need not be difficult or elaborate. You do not need a farm to have chickens. Read on for how to raise baby chicks in your backyard.

1) A brooder pen

First, you will need a brooder pen to keep the chicks in. You can use large plastic tubs, kid’s old swimming pools, or any suitable type of container. Alternatively, you can purchase brooder boxes complete with heating lamps. Be sure to provide 2 square feet of space per chick.

If you don’t want to build one yourself, you can find brooder boxes of excellent quality on Amazon here… (not an affiliate link)


2) Keep them warm

You need to keep the chicks warm at all times. If you made your brooder pen, you will need to add a red brooder lamp.

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the chicks must be kept at a temperature of 92 degrees Fahrenheit at 2 inches above the floor. Once the chicks have grown their feathers, reduce the temperature by 5 degrees per week until they reach 6 weeks of age. Be sure to keep a wire safety guard on your lamp to prevent fires in case of the lamp falling over.


3) Clean water at all times

Provide access to clean water at all times. If you use a bowl of water, keep the water shallow, or add marbles or pebbles to prevent the chicks from falling and drowning. Chicks are clumsy and will easily fall into their water dish.

The smartest thing is to get an automatic one. You can see my recommended chicken waterer list here…


4) Access to food

Provide access to food at all times. You can sprinkle the feed on a piece of cardboard on the first day. The chicks will have an easier time finding it, and the noise of their beaks on the cardboard will attract the other chicks to the area. After a week, you can move to a tube style feeder. But leave the cardboard feed out for at least a day so the baby chicks can get used to their new feeder.


5) Use the right bedding

Pine shavings make the best bedding for baby chicks. You can also use straw, pine pellets, or other soft materials. However, be careful with using newspaper alone, it is slippery for the chicks and can cause a condition called spraddle legs. Be prepared to change the bedding often to keep the brood box clean.


6) Use Chick Starter – not just any chicken feed

Chicks need special food called chick starter. You can find it at supply stores. Don’t feed your chicks anything but the chick feed for the first week. After that, you can give them special treats, such as grains, fruit, vegetables, bugs, and worms.

With proper care, raising baby chicks can be a fun and rewarding experience. With a little bit of research and preparation, you can learn how to raise baby chicks of your own!