Chick Photo Gallery

 Here are some of the many babys Iv bred and hatched over the years. 
 
 
  TIPS ON  HATCHING AND REARING CHICKS         moving hatching chick
  
One of the simple pleasures in life is hatching a few chicks, weather you chose the natural way with a broody or an incubator, it's a great experience for the whole family to enjoy.
  
NATURAL INCUBATION AND REARING.
  
Provide a broody box with a run attached ,seperate from the other birds so she does not get disturbed.    
Spray the broody and her box for the prevention of red mite and lice.
If the broody is not sitting on her own eggs make sure you get the correct colour match, for example don't give a black hen yellow chicks as some broody's may reject them.
Place the hen in her broody box and introduce the eggs at night, if she is properly broody all should be well in the morning.
Make sure she is well fed while sitting, feed a mixture of layers pellets and mixed corn, the corn will help to maintain body weight . Allow her access to the run in the day time so she can leave the nest to stretch her legs and feed.
After 21 days the chicks will hatch ,keep disturbance to a minimum and provide chick crumbs for both the broody and the chicks. Water should be given in a chick drinker with a narrow lip.
The hen will rear the chicks till they are six weeks old, all you need to do is provide clean accommodation food and water and let her get on with it, there's not a better manager of chicks than a broody hen. 
At six weeks start to mix growers pellets in with the chick crumbs, the broody by this time will start to distance herself from the chicks so allow her out of the run so she can join the other hens, the chicks will still  follow her for a while, eventually they will all mingle in with the rest of the flock. If you have a cockerel keep an eye out for bullying especially if the chicks are not his. 
 
ARTIFICIAL INCUBATION AND REARING.
 
Chicks can do just as well when hand reared , in fact they have less chance of red mite problems and will become very tame.
When choosing an incubator automatic turners are ideal, its all too easy to forget to turn the eggs, which is a crucial part of incubation.
When hatching starts, again leave well alone, just check humidity levels and temperature are correct, 101 degrees F  is the correct incubation temperature. Chicks can take up to twelve hours to hatch after pipping, most chicks will hatch on their own. If it's your first attempt at hatching choose a breed which is classed as incubator friendly such as light Sussex.
Allow the chicks to dry before putting them in the brooder, this should be ready warmed ,although chicks feed from their yolk sack for the first twelve hours chick crumbs and water should be in the brooder ready.  If you have large numbers of chicks put them in brooder ring to prevent smothering in the corners. 
Feed should be put in a flat dish to start with, scrape your finger in the dish to encourage them to eat and gently dip their beaks in the water drinker. Keep a close eye on the chicks to make sure they are all feeding and drinking. Chicks will die very quickly without food and water.
The correct amount of heat is another important part of artificial brooding. The chicks should sit comfortably under the heat lamp, If they are huddled they are cold so lower the lamp slightly, if too hot they will be spread round the side. Listen to the noise your chicks are making, cheepy chicks are happy chicks, long shrill cheeps are signs of distress.
Don't  be afraid to handle them ,they like to be gently stroked. When the chicks are a week old give them toys to play with such as something shiny to peck at, old cd's hung up work well, and a low perch to jump on and off, this will keep them occupied and help prevent feather pecking.
Every week slightly higher the heat lamp until the chicks are weened off heat at six weeks old, at this age start to mix growers pellets in with chick crumbs and feed these till they are sixteen weeks old. They can also be put outside in a run at six weeks, make sure they have shelter and keep the grass short, feed chick grit  to help with digestion. At sixteen weeks old they should be sprayed for red mite and wormed, you can also allow them to mingle with other birds if you have them.        
 
These are just basic tips, if you run in to more in depth problems feel free to contact me, Im always happy to help if I can.