First thing to remember, while chicks can be delicate they are actually quite resilient. You want to allow them time to settle in to their new environment but there are a few steps that you can take to help the transition go smoothly. Your chicks have the natural capability to absorb nutrients from incubation for 72 hours after hatching, so like their mother hen you need to show them where the feed and water is.
The following tips are what we suggest for their arrival:
- Dip each chick's beak into water when you take them out of their shipping box. Only use room temperature water, because if it is cold it can chill them and cause them to expire. Be sure that all the chicks are eating/drinking.
- Periodically check your chicks for “pasty bottom” (blocked vent), as this can kill them. You must keep their vent cleaned off with a warm/wet rag and dry them lightly afterward. It's best to lightly soak the area and then once moistened, lightly remove the blockage.
- Keep the brooder temperature at 90F-95F degrees and be sure that the brooder is in a temperature controlled area (then decrease each following week by -5F degrees by raising brooder light). It is also important to be sure your chicks are able to have their feed and water on one end of the brooder so they can cool down when needed. (For more tips on this please view our Digital Catalog on Page 7)
- A Vitamin and Electrolyte mix for their water (whether it be Vital-Pack or Save-A-Chik) is very helpful in helping your chicks transition and you can also use it through out their lives daily, or periodically in times of stress or extreme weather changes. If you do not have our Vital-Pack on hand Save-A-Chick would be another great option.
- Do not use newspaper or cedar – we suggest pine shavings. Newspaper does not provide them enough grip, while cedar is overpowering to them to the point it's considered poisonous.