How to Raise Baby Chicks? Raising Chickens Tips : Week 1 to 20

Are you looking for amazing tips to raise your baby chicks? Raising young chickens is a very tricky process if you do not know the correct method.

If you are a chicken farmer, this guide will help you grow your baby chicks into coop chickens. Good chicks growing techniques lead to profitable business and good chicken health.

It is no matter if your chicken is a broiler or a free-range chicken breed. Just know the correct caring method for new chicks.

In this article, you will get a complete guide to raise your with required equipment for their caring.

Importance of Caring Baby Chicks

Whole chicken farming business is depending on proper caring of baby chickens. Little chicks are very sensitive.

A minor mistake in the initial stage may increase the chick’s early mortality rate, which may cause a heavy loss in poultry business.

For e.g. you must understand what they eat and what not? Wrong feed may cause diarrhea, constipation and other serious problems.

It is not only about business, sometimes it is also our love and affection towards your chicken flocks. Buying baby chicks is very easy, but raising them is so complicated.

You must take care in every step to raise them as a coop chicken.

Receiving chicks from hatchery to selling off the chickens, every step has its own importance. So, following good chicks raising practices leads to successful chicken farming.

Dos and Don’Ts Before Buying Baby Chicks

Dos and Don’Ts Before Buying Baby Chicks
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There are some important dos and don’ts to consider when you are going to buy some baby chicks.

Dos Before Buying Baby Chicks

Always do these things before ordering baby chicks-

  • Buy chicks only from the nearest hatchery. So, that after hatching chickens reach your poultry farm as soon as possible.
  • Always buy good quality chicks. Do not buy cheap low-quality chicks because they may not grow properly which gives you loss in end of the business.
  • Check the quality of chicks by visiting the hatchery.
  • Always ensure that baby chicks were already treated with Newcastle disease vaccine first dose. This will save them from early infection from this deadly respiratory disease.
  • In winter, tell hatchery to deliver your chicks in the late morning or daytime and in summer, take delivery in early morning and night because it saves them from cold. Also, you can easily manage to keep them inside the brooder.

Don’Ts When Buying Chicks

Avoid doing these things when receiving chicks-

  • Never buy chicks from far hatchery. It may cause dehydration and early chicks’ mortality.
  • Do not buy chicks from small hatchery, even if they were selling chicks at a lower price. Low-quality chicks may have growth retardation problems.
  • Do not accept delivery in daytime in summer. Because of high temperature your chicks may become sick. But in winter you can accept delivery in daytime.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Coop Before One Week of Arrival of Baby Chicks

Ready your chicken coop before one week of chick’s arrival. Below you will read few amazing tips to ready the brooding house for effective raising of baby chicks –

  1. Always make a separate coop for brooding chicken. Do not grow the chickens in the same coop where you provide early brooding to your chicks. It will keep your brooding house cleaner and infection free. You can read our complete guide on brooding chickens here.
  2. Then clean that chicken coop properly.
  3. Remove all poultry droppings in litter dumping area.
  4. Then clean all spider nets, dusts, and insects houses inside the coop. Use insecticides and disinfectants to kill all bacteria, virus, and insects.
  5. Properly clean the floor and corners of the coop using detergent spray.
  6. Remove all equipment, feeders and drinkers and clean them separately from 140 ppm chlorine water.
  7. Then do formalin fumigation. Trained personnel must do it. The fumigated shed must be sealed for 24 hours. Must do ventilation to reduce formalin levels to 2ppm.
  8. Then spread new litter and do formalin fumigation again.
  9. Now clean all outside areas using disinfectant sprays and 3% formalin.
  10. Then wait for 1 week for fully ventilation to reduce all chemical levels.

If you want to know more read our complete guide on cleaning chicken coop here.

How to Ready the Brooding House Before Arrival of Baby Chickens?

baby chicks packing from hatchery
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On the chick’s delivery day, you must do some important things before their arrival- 

  1. Ready for the brooder guard (Initial brooding house find baby chicks). Its diameter must be 3 meters for every 250 chicks.
  2. Use ½ to 1 feet height poultry beddings in the brooding area and spread two layers of clean papers on it. You can use pine shavings and paddy rind for poultry beddings.
  3. Close the tarpaulin curtains of the sled to keep a warm temperature.
  4. Put feeder and drinker inside the brooder. Use pre-starter feed to your chicks, and mix electrolyte in water. 
  5. Switch on the brooding lights and keep temperature at 75° Fahrenheit before 1 hour of arrival of chicks.
  6. After the arrival of chicks first check their condition and count the number of dead chicks.
  7. After opening chicks packed boxes, put the chicks inside brooder as soon as possible.
  8. Put some grinded corn or pre-starter feed on the paper, so they learn to peck.
  9. If you see watery diarrhea, use poultry probiotic powder in feed and water.
  10. Keep small and weak chicks in another brooder to recover.
  11. If you see any more health issues in your chicks talk to your vet as soon as possible or do not accept those chicks from the seller.
  12. Before touching the baby chicks make sure to wear mask and gloves to avoid any type of contamination.
  13. Also always wear plastic waterproof shoes when entering any poultry coop. Only use those shoes inside your farm.
  14. Never allow chicks delivery persons inside your chicken farm, because it may cause contamination from other poultry farm.
  15. Stop the chick’s delivery vehicle outside of the farm or far from the coop. Try to carry the packed chicks boxes from the carrier vehicle to your brooding coop.
Also Read:  Can Chicken Eat Bananas? Unripe, Peel, Fruit Part

Best Tips for Caring and Raising Baby Chicks

Caring baby chicks in initial weeks is most important in poultry. Raising baby chicks is all about taking care in the first 2-3 weeks.

We all know that chicks were come to your shed after feeding yolk nutrition inside the egg. But after hatching they need to adapt the unfamiliar environment and learning to eat and drink.

There is no hen to train them for feeding and caring. You are the first parents for them so everything they will learn inside your given chicken coop.

Your task is to help them face all these challenges in the best way. This will set up the foundation of their health throughout their lives.

There should be needed to care following conditions:

  1. Perfect temperature balance inside the brooder.
  2. An environment that encourages the chick to be curious eat and drink.
  3. Nutrition for newly hatched chicks.
  4. More nutrients that increase the disease resistance and energy of the chicks.
  5. Clean water for keeping baby chicks hydrate all day.
  6. Use some probiotics required for gut health.
  7. Emergency nutritional supplements to strengthen weak chickens.
  8. The newly hatched chicks needs a pleasantly warm environment, starting at 75 to 95° Fahrenheit for the first week, then decreasing each week until the chicks are fully feathered.
  9. The brooder should have a temperature range allowing the chicks to maintain comfort and health.
  10. Each brooder should contain an area for heating, usually the area in which the heat source is closest.
  11. Chicks should also have an area of brooding where they can escape the heat if it is too much for them. Keep the brooding area drafts free.
  12. Placing a deliberate source of heat in the middle of the brooding area allows the chicks to approach or move away from the source as needed.

Watch the Raising of Your Baby Chicks and Their Various Activities

Watch the Raising of Your Baby Chicks and Their Various Activities
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Understand that the environment is working for them or not. While chicks feel too cold, they will do not eat, and come closer to the brooder.

If the brooder is switched off, they will come closer to each other. So in this type of situation, provide them more heat so that they will become comfortable.

When baby chick feel too hot, they will run away from the brooder light. Sometime excessive heat cause diarrhea and dehydration in baby chicks. To make the situation comfortable, reduce the temperature as soon as possible.

Chicks live best in groups of over 250 chicks in one brooder. Just as it is tempting to keep baby chicks together, there are reasons more babies mean learn faster. Baby chicks energize each other and encourage eating and drinking.

It triggers natural curiosity when they see others eating and drinking. Sleeping or disinterested chicks wake up and become more energetic if their peers bumble them.

However, care should be taken that all chicks babies are eating and drinking well and smaller, milder chicks grow. If you notice that some are not gaining weight, divide them into two groups – one containing leading chicks – can help everyone get their share.

What Do Baby Chicks Eat?

The first food that baby chicks eat is the most important for their heath. All chicks must given a pre-starter feed and a high-quality brooding environment.

Make sure to use the pre-starter feed and brooder first 2-3 weeks with an anticoccidial agent, such as amprolium.

You will also have to cover the top with something that will allow the chickens to move but will also protect against predators like cats, dogs, fox etc. The chicks grow fast, and soon they flap their wings and fly they do not escape from their safe habitat.

To avoid this type of issue most of the chicken farmer set up their brooding equipments inside a close chicken coop. Its makes easy raising baby chicks.

Some Basic Equipment Used to Raise Baby Chicks

Brooder Light and Red Light Bulb

You can buy light and bulbs at the local store. The red bulb is more suitable because the white bulbs can dazzle and distract the young chick that is trying to sleep. The lamp has a clamp attached. You can attach it directly to a constructed container.

Also Read:  Can Chicken Eat Potatoes? Raw, Cooked, Skin, Baked, Mashed

Thermometer for Chicken Coop

It may be bought from a local agricultural store should have thermometers specific to brooders. Using them will help monitor and regulate the correct temperature in the brooder.

Chicken Feeders

You may use the base of eggs cartoon as a feeder, but remember that the chicks will move and jump, probably knocking them over and making a mess.

In petty cash, it may buy commercial feeders for little chicks. The upper and lower parts curl safely, resulting in a smaller mess if it knocks them over.

Chick starter feed recommends because chick babies start to live. Commercially produced it enriches chicken feed with vitamins and minerals to support healthy growth and development.

Always keep food for the chicks inside the brooder. You can see the instructions mentioned on the bag for feeding time. Check the food and container regularly and keep it clean.

Chicken Waterers

It is best to use an open container, such as a plastic bowl. As mentioned in the food container, the chicks will move and can knock it over, causing a cluttered mess. As with food, always water is available for the chicks. Keep it clean.

Keep containers for food and water at the opposite ends of the brooder and away from the heating lamp.

Chicken Floor Bedding

We can use many things for bedding – newspapers, paper towels, and pine shavings are common. The chicks will eat, drink, and sleep here, so it is essential to keep them clean.

If using pine chips, do not create a thickness in which the chicks will be “lost.” It is enough to cover the hatchery floor enough for small chicks.

A Place to Keep Brooder and Chicks

Keep the chicks in the brooder under a heating lamp for 5 – 6 weeks before they are ready to live in a coop.

It is essential to set the brooding container in a place free of drafts and safe from predators (cats, dogs, etc.). A basement or a spare room in your home are secure places.

They will need constant care during their brooding phase. Baby chicks will grow fast, but they may be sloppy.

Little chicks like grown-up chickens like to scratch the bedding. This creates fine dust that can be in the air and get into the stuff. Remember this by choosing a location.

A good, complete starter or breeder feed for chicks in the first week will provide almost everything they need nutrition. Remember not to cut it with seeds and delicacies.

However, this food must be digested, and its digestion depends partly on good bacteria in the digestive tract of the chicks. Encourage the use of nutrients and discourage coccidiosis with probiotics.

Once a week offer some yogurt a teaspoon or sprinkle probiotic powder. On the feed, it helps in improving the health of the intestines of the chicks.

Clean Drinking Water

Clean water is one of the crucial requirements for raising chicks, which most people do not see and then have to remedy.

The baby chickens are Klutzes. While they learn to control these long legs, they often end up walking in the stern, followed by feed and water.

It is essential to make sure that their water is always fresh and clean. Lift the sucker above the floor by 1 inch to stop the chicks from entering and contaminating the water.

Pure freshwater encourages chickens and encourages them to drink more frequently and increase their volume. Hydrated chicks are healthy and energetic, likely to become healthy adults.

Essential Medicine and Vitamins for Weak Chicks

Anyone who grows chicken should have a product in the kit box, such as Save-A-Chick or Doultry Nutri-Drench powder.

These products are mandatory for anyone who raises chickens, and for adults, chickens are not an objection. These are vitamin products that can be temporarily used in water or dropped to the side of the beak.

Both products contain supported nutrients for raising chickens, vitamin B, an essential vitamin for infants who lose their vitality or are under stress.

Vitamin B will not only stimulate energy, but it will also increase the appetite, it is a real salvation for any chick that may not have the power to eat differently.

Having these products in the cupboard will also benefit adult chickens if they ever lose their vigor or refuse to eat or drink.

How hard is it to raise baby chicks? Raising baby chicks is not complicated or painful. Knowing these secrets in the real health of the chicks means that the chicks will get the start needed for a strong foundation and lifelong life and savings.

Week by Week Guide on Raising Baby Chicks

How to Ready the Brooding House Before Arrival of Baby Chickens?
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Week 1st:

After hatching, the baby eats the yolk sac for 72 hours inside the egg. This will give them all the nutrition they need, which will allow hatcheries to send their day-old chicks.

After 72 hours, their yolk blisters get disappeared, and they need food and water. New baby chicks need extra care for their survival.

Small chicks under one week of age will have to keep at 90° F. We have explained all about brooding chickens here.

When you take the chicks for the first time, dip the beaks in the waterer to “teach” them to drink. Do the same with food. They are addictive creatures and will quickly learn this life skill by watching the other flocks.

Also Read:  Feeding Chickens: What, How & How Much To Feed Chickens?

Keep the bedding clean from moisture and pooh. For the first week of life, the chicks will sleep a little.

In the first week lasota vaccine for Ranikhet disease is given to baby chicks. The route of dose is intra nasal or intra ocular.

Week 2nd:

Reduce the temperature of the brooder by 5° which is at 85° F. Raising the discharge lamp by a few centimeters will help achieve this.

Chicks should always have access to an enormous amount of food and water. It allows them to eat and drink when they want and helps them grow into healthy chickens. Keep food free from moisture.

Clean and replace the bedding material with new ones.

The feathers will start replacing “fluff” on the growing baby chicks. As they grow, they have a natural craving to scratching. Consider adding perch in the coop. It can easily make one with three minor branches, placing them in the “H” shape.

Interact with the chicks. This will help them become familiar with you and learn to trust you.

Week 3rd:

Reduce the temperature of the brooder by a further 5° which is about 80° F. Keep accessing an extensive amount of clean food and freshwater. Clean or replace the bedding material.

As the chicks grow, switch to a larger container if it seems that the chicks are crowded. A lot more feathers start appearing on chicks.

In the third week IBD (Infectious Brusal Disease) vaccine is given to chicks. The route of vaccination is intra ocular or intra nasal.

Week 4th:

How much to raise the heat lamp for baby chicks? Reduce the temperature of the brooder by a further 5° setup to 75° F or raise the heat lamp an add few inches height to achieve this.

Continue to keep food and water for chickens all the time. Keep chicken feed clean and dry. Replace water if necessary.

If necessary, clean or change the bedding.

In the fourth week booster dose of lasota vaccine with R2B strain is given to baby chicks. The route of dose is intra nasal or intra ocular or in drinking water.

Week 5th:

If the temperature does not down below 60° F, you can remove the heat lamp. This time you can move the raised chickens and container to another bigger coop.

Adult feathers begin to appear on chicks.

After the starter feed ends, start mixing it with some finishing dishes. Continue to provide them sufficient food and water to help them grow. Clean or change the bedding. Add another perch.

Week 6th:

When can chicks go outside? In the 6th week it is best time to let the chickens go outside.

If the weather allows, you can move the baby chicks outside. It is best to keep them in a fenced area. Make sure that they enter the cage at night. Close the door at night to protect it from predators.

Chickens are addictive creatures. Routine chicks will help them know what to do in the evening. Once they learn this habit, you can let them release coverage during the day. They will return to the coop every night at the same time.

Start putting kitchen waste into its diet. Lettuce, tomatoes, and strawberry tops turned out to be the favorite of the chickens. Want to know more about what can chicken eat? Here is our complete list of chicken treats.

Week 7th to 15th:

Now, when the chickens live outside, they will scratch the ground and eat lots of stuffs, such as worms, insects, and grass. Feed them to finish their food at least twice a day to help them grow. Also, continue to give them kitchen scraps. Give them fresh water every day.

They will trust you. Growing chicks get to know their daily routine. Let nature go in the way and be happy that your chicken flocks are becoming self-dependent.

In week seven you need to give a booster dose of lasota in cold drinking water and In week eight give R2B vaccine using injection.

16th to 19th week:

Now its time to encourage them for laying eggs. Try to add some chicken nesting boxes inside your coop. Just put a plastic egg (click here to get one) inside the nesting coop, and they will start filling the box with eggs.

If you still confused here is our complete guide in chicken nesting home.

When the chickens finish eating the normal finisher feed, start mixing them with the layer feed. After completing the food, they will be on the layer of food. Feed them twice a day (morning and afternoon). Change water daily or, making sure that you always have access to water.

20th week:

During this time, most of your pullets start laying eggs in their nesting coop. Getting our first egg is a lovely movement because it is the first step for raising chickens.

You will also hear crows of your rooster’s everyday mornings. This is an amazing experience after a long waiting time.

The first time you will feel the result of harvesting, of raising chicks in the form of eggs. Smile and be happy. Enjoy fresh eggs and chickens on the farm!


In this article we have supplied complete guide on raising baby chicks till coop chickens. This guide will sure help you to grow your small chicks without any problem.

What you learned from this informative post, and how you have implemented our tips in your backyard coop? We will happy to read your comment below.

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I am Bijaya Kumar and I have been raising chickens for the last 10 years. Backyard poultry farming has been our family business for the last 30 years. We raise multiple chicken breeds in their backyard.

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