The Ups and Downs of Raising Chicks ~ Weeks 0-1

We FINALLY got chicks!!!! Let me tell you how incredibly excited I am about these little babies. We (well me) have wanted chickens for years. Seeing them in the feed stores this time of year, every year, and not being able to get them has been heartbreaking. Okay okay; I “MAYBE” going a bit far, its wasn’t really heartbreaking but I did really want them. After years of hinting at wanting them, my amazing husband. Gave us the go ahead!

We researched everything. From what types of chicks, to the types (and how many) eggs, to the types of food that they would need, to what we would need at home for them to be happy healthy chicks. We KNEW everything about chicks and about raising chicks. Yep we got this.

Till it came time to order, then everything went sideways

We quickly realized that if we ordered the chicks, to get the ones that we really wanted, we would be waiting months to get the babies. (We tried early April and they wouldn’t ship till late JUNE). That left us to go to the local feed store. They get day old chicks in at 8am. The stores open at 9am. And they are sold out of chicks by 10am. WHAT?!?! And there is no way to know ahead of time what type of chicks they are going to be getting. This left us getting some chicks that we have never heard of before, no research done. And I am a research a person.

But my amazing husband did manage to get us 14 totally cute little chicks. Luckily the rest of my research would still hold up. Chicks are chicks, and they need about the same things. So what all do the chicks need?

Before Chicks Come Home What You Need

  • Brooder – a nursery for the baby chicks to live in
  • Heat lamp – baby chicks like to be very warm 90-95 degrees for the first week
  • Chick Feed
  • Waterer
  • Pine Shavings (don’t use cedar or another kind as they can cause respiratory issues)

Bringing Chicks Home Pros and Cons

  • Lets start with the Pros-
    • They are so cute. While I would not recommend this for any pet/livestock, or a reason to get them; it is certainly a perk. They are adorable and fun to watch
    • You are going to have really friendly hens when they are bigger. They will be bonded to you and your family, and know that you guys are family. And be much friendlier.
    • Kids are learning a great new responsibility. Chicks are much different then a dog/cat because they are not a “pet” in the same way. They are livestock. They are part of the family, but they also serve a purpose. (Yes I know many dog/cat owners say they have a purpose, but not like growing them to give you food)
  • And now of coarse the Cons-
    • They don’t all live. We woke up one morning, to one that was not going to make it. And life on a farm (even a backyard farm) comes with life being a full circle. This was hard watching a baby chick struggle before dying. It comes with the territory, but it doesn’t make it any easier.
    • Two words…….. Pasty Butt. Not gonna lie, this was not a glamorous part that I was highly not prepared for lol. But we will go into detail about it later.

So far life with chicks is awesome. Do you want chicks? Do you have chicks? What do you need to know?

 

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