Feeding and watering for newly hatched chickens

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Four things to consider when preparing to buy and hatch baby chicks

Newly hatched chickens are not absolutely helpless, but you’ll need to keep them moist, dry, and healthy until they grow a full complement of feathers. Like any other infant, they must also be kept clean, and well-fed. Below are a few tips to make sure you satisfy the food and water needs of your newly hatched chickens.

Make sure the newly hatched chickens have access to fresh, clean water at all times.

The waterer should be the appropriate size for the size and age of your flock, the chickens should not use the available water quickly or be able to tip over the fount. The basin should be high enough to keep the water level between the chicken’s eye and the height of its back.

Why newly hatched chickens should have such a waterer in their yard

This is so that a chick drinks more and spills less. Chicks aren’t expected to be able to roost over or jump into the mud.

Should you cut corners with your watering equipment?

No! Don’t be tempted to cut corners and put water in an open dish or saucer. Chicks are going to walk in, track litter, and drops that will spread diseases. They tend to get wet and chilly, and stress will open the way to all manner of diseases. Some of the chicks could drown. Damp conditions in the poultry farm whether caused by spilled water or a leaky waterer are to be avoided at all costs.

How should you clean the watering equipment for your newly hatched chickens?

Do clean waterers on a regular basis, this can be done by using warm water, and vinegar, or other poultry sanitizer approved for use. When choosing a piece of watering equipment for your chicks, make sure to choose one with a drinker that is easy to clean. A piece of equipment that’s hard to clean isn’t going to be sanitized as much as it should be.

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How far should the watering equipment be from your newly hatched chickens?

Don’t get the chicks to travel far for their water. Initially position drinkers no more than 24 inches that are 60 cm away from the chicken’s heat source. Later, as you move the chickens to a larger house, make sure they don’t have to travel more than 10 feet that is 3 m to get a drink. Once upgraded to a larger waterer, keep old waterers in place for a few days, at least before the chicks get used to drinking from the new source.

When is the proper time for the chickens to drink water?

Make sure the chicks are drinking until they start feeding. They seem to have less of a problem with sticky bottoms if they have a good dose of water before they get a belly full of feed, particularly when the feed is commercially formulated as a chick starter.

Should you feed your newly hatched chickens layer rations?

Don’t feed the layer ration to the chickens, even if you run out of the starter ration. The high calcium content of the layer ration will cause severe harm to the kidneys of the newly hatched chickens.

What should you do when you run out of starter feed then?

When you run out of starter or fail to pick up some to feed them, you can make an emergency starter ration by cracking the scratch grains in the blender or, if you don’t have any scratches, by running a little uncooked oatmeal through the blender and mixing it 50/50 with cornmeal.

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Is it proper to use this mixture for your hatched chickens long enough?

You should not use this mixture longer than required, though the grains are high in calories and low in calcium, vitamins, and minerals that the chick requires for good growth and health.

This is important because shortly after they hatch, the chicks start searching for stuff to peck on the ground. If they don’t see anything else on the ground, they’re going to peck their own feet.

Should the feeder be left empty at least for a while?

Don’t leave the feeders empty for too long, and be careful not to allow the uneaten food to accumulate. Load the feeders in the morning, and let the chicks drain them until they load them again. Leaving feeders empty for a long time allows you to pick up, but allowing old or dirty food to collect is unhealthful, so you need to have a good balance. Clean and scrub the feeder at least once in every week.

Where to buy Chickens in Akwa Ibom State

Since chicken is the only meat that has no negative health conditions, you can always use it to prepare any local and continental dishes of your choice. In the Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, you can buy chickens from sofreshchikens.com at the following locations;

  • Uyo, The Akwa Ibom State capital:

    Number 215 Udo Umana Street opposite Akpan Andem Market, Uyo

  • Oron, Akwa Ibom State:

    Number 27 Market Square by Aba Street, Oron, Akwa Ibom State

  • Eket, Akwa Ibom State:

3 park road, opposite Chinese market, Eket.

 

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