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Get Ready for Chick Days: Facts for starting birds

It’s that time of year…time to get ready for new chicks.  Listed below is a basic ‘quick-start’ guide for starting your birds.    

Broiler: Plan on 7 weeks for a 5-6 lb. bird eating 6-8 lbs. of feed such as Hubbard® Life Homestead® FastGrow®

Layers:  Layers will start to lay eggs around 16-18 weeks of age.   Thus, to raise a bird to egg laying age, plan for a 3-4 lb. bird to eat 13-15 lbs. of a feed such as Hubbard® Life Poultry Developer.

Equipment needed to start with 100 baby chicks: 

  • Feeder:  180 inches
  • Waterers:  A one-gallon waterer for each 25 chicks (so 4 waterers total for 100 chicks)
  • Two heat lamps:  Keep birds space around 90° F for first week then slowly decrease
  • Litter/shaving:  3-4 inches thick
  • Sheet of paper
  • Brood guard: 18-24 in high cardboard
  • Proper feed:  A quality product such as Hubbard Life Homestead Feeds is important for a good start

Setup brood guard (10 ft. circle), place paper over bedding (so chicks don’t eat the bedding), plug in lights and fill waterers and feeders 3-4 hours before arrival. These parameters must be changed as birds become older.  This is a very quick reference.  Go to to get more information.  The links below will take you to more specific guidelines.

Bringing Home Baby Chicks? Prepare your chicken coop for new arrivals

Wild About Waterfowl: Tips for raising ducks and geese

Also visit our Poultry Tips & Tools page for more great information.

Posted on 2/24/2015 by Dr. Ed Bonnette  |  Category: Poultry
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