Here are a few guidelines:
Environment – Keep It Clean, Keep It Dry.
Provide warm, dry housing without drafts. Make enclosure predator proof. Clean and disinfect housing, feeders and waterers before chicks arrive. Disinfect regularly. Litter (bedding) should be 2″-5″ deep; use wood shavings, straw, etc.
Space Requirement – No Crowing Allowed
Hatch until 6 weeks: 0.8 – 1.0 square feet per chick
6 weeks and older: 1.0 – 2.0 square feed per chick
Temperature – Avoid the Bill Chill
Day old, 90°-95°F. Heat lamp or light bulb, approximately 20″ above chicks. Heat in advance, raise light to adjust temperature. Place thermometer at chick level. Comfort can be observed. If chicks huddle under light, it’s too cold. If chicks huddle in corners, it’s too hot. Reduce 5° each week until minimum of 65°F.
Water – Wet Their Whistles
One 1-quart fount per 25 chicks. Use fresh, cool (not cold) water, clean daily. Disinfect waterers prior to use and then weekly. Dip beaks to induce drinking. elevate waterer after first week to reduce contamination from litter. Waterer should not be higher than the chick’s back. Double waterer capacity at 6 weeks.
Slower to understand eating and drinking, watch closely first few days. To get poults started, dip beaks in water and feed.
May swim in water after 4 weeks. Keep dry until then. Place marbles in waterer to reduce splashing.
One foot long per 25 chicks. Keep full at all times, scatter Purina Mills Start & Grown ration on newspapers first 2-3 days to encourage eating.
Free-Range and Confined Chickens:
Backyard Flock, Meat Birds & Medium to Heavy Breeds
Feed Purina Mills Flock Raiser to finish. Pullets being kept for egg production should be fed Layena beginning at 18-20 weeks.
Feed Purina Mills Flock Raiser from hatch on. (Medicated feed not approved by FDA.)
Use Purina Mills Game Bird Chow Startena 0-9weeks, Purina Flock Raiser 9-18 weeks and finish with Purina Layena.
Requirements are different for each species. Ask about Purina Mills Game Bird Life Cycle Feeding.