So you’re thinking about getting chickens, huh? Good for you! As you’ve probably read, if you’ve done some research, there are many, many benefits of raising a flock of your own.
In case you haven’t done your research and you came to Marty’s Acre first, welcome! We’re flattered.
Before we get to the benefits, here are three tips on getting you going with a flock of your own.
1. Most chicks become available for purchase in the spring, hence this timely article. When you go to pick out your chicks, you typically have several options of breeds. You can buy them based on how awesome they’ll look as adults or the quality of eggs or meat they’ll provide your family.
2. Heat lamp and housing container. When your chicks are brand new, you’ll want to keep them warm with a heat lamp, around 95-100 degrees. Each week you will need to lower the heat by 5 degrees as they will become more tolerant of cooler temperatures and you don’t want to overheat them. Once the nighttime temperatures are consistently above 55 degrees and your chicks are older than 5 weeks, you should be good to put them outside.
As far as what they need to live in, you can use either a pond liner, a wire pet kennel or anything that will keep them contained and comfortable.
3. When purchasing feed and water supplies, keep in mind that they can drown easily so simply using a dish or bowl for water can be dangerous. Pick up a chick waterer that is specially designed for young birds. If you’re feeling extra generous, put marbles in the trough section as chickens tend to walk and/or fall asleep wherever and whenever they feel like it. Also available is electrolyte solution that you can use to give your baby chicks a boost in their new environment.
As far as food goes, the birds typically aren’t picky and there are many varieties of chick feed available that will be just fine.
Whew. This should be enough information to get you started. Stay tuned as we will dive more into the wonderful world of backyard chickens in the coming weeks. We recently received our first shipment of baby chicks, and they’re housed at Johnson’s Garden Center on West 13th St. in Wichita. You will find everything you need including feed, water, coups and more so stop by and we’ll get you set up!