Chickens can hatch in two ways - from under the hen or from the incubator. If chicks have a mother hen, then she will provide them with everything they need. The chicken will maintain the desired body temperature of the chickens, will monitor the chicks. A person will only have to feed the babies. Everything is much more complicated if the chickens have left the incubator: from the very first minutes to the adult age they will need human care and attention. Read more about caring for chickens from the time of hatching in the article.
Features care for chickens
Nestlings need certain air temperature, humidity, light. They also need water and food. Providing all this is not at all difficult, but the needs will vary depending on the age of the chicks.
Nestlings need certain air temperature, humidity, light.
Chicks after hatching
Newly hatched chicks are wet, weak. It is necessary to carefully remove the shell fragments, which may prevent some of the chicks from escaping. Within a few hours after hatching, the chicks should dry out in a warm environment.
They need a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius, and moreover: constant: the thermoregulation of the tiny chicks practically does not work. There are incubators that allow rearing chicks after hatching. But if there is no such incubator, then the chickens are gradually, as they are born, transferred to the prepared box.
In the box with daily chicks fit flat surface, without coarse lint and holes. The floor of the box should be even, as the chicks legs are very weak, they can easily tuck them.
To arrange a constant temperature, you can use several options:
- incandescent lamp above the box
- a container of warm water (heating pad) in the center of the drawer.
If a lamp is used, watch the behavior of the chicks. Chickens scattering around the shadow corners show that they are too hot. Then you can move the lamp a little further.
An infrared lamp for heating should be installed in the box where the day-old chickens live.
In the center of the box you can put a bottle or heating pad filled with hot water. It should be wrapped with a smooth cloth and replaced every 4-5 hours.
The first days of life
All the first days of the chickens are contained in this box with a constant thermal regime. The chicks do not turn off the light for the first days, and then begin to turn it off for an hour or two daily. Slow shutdown time increases.
If the incandescent lamp served as a source of heat, then at the time of its shutdown, add an additional source of heat to the box or place it at the radiator.
Important! Chickens can easily overheat and die: be sure to observe their behavior relative to the heat source.
Chickens at week and two weeks
By the age of weeks, the light in chickens imitates diurnal changes, it turns on and off according to the light day outside. By this time, the chicks are already inconvenient to keep in the box, they form a lot of litter, in which they get dirty.
Weekly and two-week-old chicks are moved to larger boxes.
Comfortably arrange the chickens in a brooder or its likeness - a box with a replaceable tray at the bottom. The very bottom of the brooder forms a grid with a very small cell, and under it a retractable tray. This design allows you to quickly clean the chickens.
Chicks are one month old
Starting at 3 weeks, chicks no longer need additional heating. They can be kept at room temperature. From the same time the chickens start walking. The very first walking lasts no longer than 1-2 hours.
Be sure to walk should be in sunny, dry weather. Gradually walking time increases. Chicks should not be released along with adult birds; chickens need a separate small enclosure.
We offer to read the article in which you will find answers to important questions about chickens:
Diet after hatching
For the next 5-6 hours, the chicks will not need food.
In the first hours after hatching, chickens are offered porridge made from small grains, such as corn.
If incubator chickens are to be transported, they should not be fed - the chicks will be able to feed from the yolk sac the first day. But if the chicken has already eaten, then it will need to be fed every 2-3 hours. After 6 hours, the chicks will gradually stand on their paws and begin to try to peck.
It is at this time you need to offer them food for the first time. It should be finely ground cereals, for example, corn, mixed with cottage cheese or eggs.
Nutrition of day-old chicks
Feed is offered to chickens at least every 3 hours. Gradually increases the night break for food, simultaneously with the blackout.
The diet of daily chicken is made up of:
- boiled egg - 2 g,
- yogurt, cream - 5 g,
- cottage cheese - 1 g,
- corn or millet - 5 g,
- greens, vegetables - 1 g.
All feed must be homogeneous fine structure. This will allow chicks to peck at it easily.
Daily chickens can be fed ready-made feed.
Chicks should always have clean water. At this time, it is offered warm, warm. Instead of water, it is acceptable to give a solution of glucose or decoction of herbs. The water tank, as well as for food, is placed with low sides so that all chickens can eat.
Important! These days weak chickens may not receive food due to stronger brethren. It makes sense to watch the feeding and set aside the weak or feed separately.
Diet in the first days of life
From the third day on, the chickens ’diet is expanding and expanding:
- egg - 2 g,
- yogurt - 8 g,
- cottage cheese - 1.5 g,
- cereals - 9 g,
- sunflower cake - 0.2 g,
- greens, vegetables - 3 g,
- mineral supplements - 0.4 g
From this age, oilcakes are added to the chicks as a source of protein and mineral mixes as a source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium. At this time, the chicks are already strong and peck well. It is important to feed the chickens and ensure that they are not hungry. This will avoid slander and death.
A few days after hatching, chopped greens can be added to the chicken ration.
Meals at the week and two weeks of age
By two weeks of age, the chicks can actively walk and part of the greenery peck on their own walking. But the addition of greens and vegetables in the diet does not decrease, as small chickens are still very actively growing.
At the age of 14-21 days chicks should receive:
- yogurt - 20 g,
- cottage cheese - 3 g,
- cereals - 22 g,
- meat and bone meal - 1.4 g,
- sunflower cake - 0.6 g,
- vegetables, greens - 10 g,
- boiled potatoes - 10 g,
- mineral mixes - 1 g.
The number of boiled eggs gradually decreases, after the first week it is removed from the diet completely - the chickens no longer need it. But meat and bone meal appears as a useful mineral product.
The consistency of the feed at this age is already larger. Food is still offered frequently, up to 5-6 times a day. Night break last no more than 7-8 hours, and the last meal immediately before bedtime.
By 2-3 weeks feed pellets can be slightly increased.
Feeding chickens 1 month and older
As an option for feeding monthly pullets, you can consider homemade mash or ready-made feed. If the adult population of the house is fed with domestic mixture, then it is better to feed the pullets.
At the age of one month, the chicken receives:
- yogurt - 35 g,
- cottage cheese - 4 g,
- cereals - 32 g,
- fish or meat and bone meal - 2.8 g,
- sunflower cake - 1.2 g,
- vegetables, greens - 13 g,
- boiled potatoes - 20 g,
- mineral supplements - 2 g.
Chickens a month long enough for a walk on the street in good weather. From one and a half months, and for large breeds a little earlier, it is possible to give the chickens whole, and not ground grain. At the same time, a grown-up chickens have a separate feeder with fine gravel or shell. You can gradually begin joint walks with adult birds, if they are not hostile.
We offer for viewing a video in which the farmer tells all about the care and feeding of chickens in the first days and weeks of life.
Lighting and air temperature when growing chickens
The first weeks of life, most chicks experience discomfort from hypothermia, or from high temperatures. Indeed, until the age of one month, the “babies” organism cannot, in the shortest possible time, effectively adjust to changes in the external environment. Therefore, the poultry farmer is obliged to monitor the indicators of humidity and temperature. In a cool room, you need to put additional appliances heating, and hot - constantly airing. Therefore, the conditions for growing chickens must necessarily include careful control of the temperature in the chicken coop:
- For the first 24 hours, the bird's offspring must survive in such conditions as they were in the incubator, at a temperature of 35 degrees (not lower),
- Then systematically reduce this figure to 30-32 degrees - in the first seven days since the birth of small pets into the world,
- From the 2nd week, the temperature marks gradually continue to decrease, so that by the age of one month the bird can live peacefully at a temperature of 21 degrees,
Important: young people need heating not only during the day, but also at night, as well as on cloudy days and in the cold season.
Provide round-the-clock coop lighting (especially in winter) using artificial incandescent bulbs.
- The first days of the lamp are lit constantly and do not turn off. From this chicks actively move, grow and feed.
- Then the light is turned off for 15 minutes, then for 30 minutes, accustoming the "feathered" to the dark.
- When the young are 4 months old, the daylight is shortened to ten hours.
Light is made at a height of 45-50 cm, and the microclimate is controlled by the installation of a thermometer. If the inhabitants of the house are crowded under the lamp or pressed against each other - obviously, they will freeze. And the heat can ruffle the wings and feathers, a little move.
In the first days of life, chickens live in warm and dry boxes made of wood or cardboard, which must be disinfected and non-slip material laid on their bottom. Humidity of the environment is maintained in the range of 60-70%.
On the litter
The maintenance of future chickens is seriously affected by non-replaceable deep litter, which emits a lot of thermal energy. This warm material protects the feet of young stock from cold temperatures, having a positive effect on the health of pets. With the constant decomposition occurring in the material through the action of bacteria, young chickens have biologically active substances as an auxiliary source. For litter is better to use:
- Straw chopping
- Wood chips.
- They should be clean and dry.
- The correct mode of ventilation and lighting,
- Required humidity and temperature.
Features feeding chickens
The key to future development and good growth of future chickens is a balanced and nutritious diet, which should be selected according to the needs and age of the “babies”. Feeding the young after birth is carried out as quickly as possible. The sooner food is offered to the chicks, the sooner they will get acclimatized and get used to the new conditions. It will take about a day, during which pets must have water. For three or four days in a row, day-old chicks are given a chicken egg. It should be boiled hard-boiled and finely crumbled. Next, another healthy food is smoothly introduced into the diet.
- The first supplement is boiled millet, which is first mixed with the testicle. Then they feed the chickens with one millet,
- Then crushed corn and shredded wheat are added to the mushy feed. They are well digested, unlike barley and oats. Their seeds have a rough shell and can provoke irritation of the digestive tract (diarrhea in "kids"). These cereals can be used as feed for birds only after they reach one month or later,
- Greens need to fill the feeders in the early days. This includes finely chopped and scalded nettles, alfalfa, clover, green onions, carrots finely chopped,
- Fermented milk products - buttermilk, low-fat cottage cheese, dry milk, whey, sour milk. They are mixed into grain mixtures, wet foods,
- On the 4-5 day set up dishes with shells, small gravel, pebbles, crushed chalk,
- Fish or meat-and-bone meal is mixed into the feed (as a substitute for earthworms or meat, finely chopped waste). For birds, protein in feed is very important.
- Wood ash is added,
- From the tenth day, zucchini, boiled potatoes, and pumpkin can be introduced into food.
The first ten days of the young are fed at intervals of two hours, then at 4 hours, and then the interval between meals is reduced to six hours. The grown chickens eat only in the morning and in the evening. In the house should be daily put clean and fresh water at room temperature, change it twice a day.
It is necessary to regularly wash the chicken coop, disinfect it, remove the old litter.
Growing pets under the hen
A proven and ancient method is breeding chickens under the hen. For this role, an experienced chicken with a well-developed maternal instinct is chosen.
Perform verification using a simple method. When the kusha sits in the nest closer to the night, place two chicks on it. With a good outcome, (if the chicken will accept pets), bring the rest to the next day. In the spring, 13-14 chickens will suffice, in the summer period up to 20 chicks are planted.
If you want to try to lay one or two eggs from the incubator, this should be done in the dark period, when the mother-hen incubates her eggs. If the bird does not "reject" them and will sit on them, you can immediately put the rest on the next day. In the spring season, the hen can “warm” 15 eggs, and in summer in the heat - 20.
Breeding chickens in an incubator for a beginner
For beginners, it is important to properly ensure the process of breeding chicks in the incubator. Before you lay eggs no older than three days, set the desired temperature.
- The first week of incubation requires 38.5-39 degrees. After laying eggs, they must warm up for a day, then they must be turned over. It is necessary to regularly change the location of the egg - from the edges to the middle.
- It will take about 19 days of incubation, so the testicles do not need to be turned over anymore. Provide a temperature of 37 degrees.
- Mass withdrawal of chickens can be expected on the twentieth day, and on day 22 a full cycle should end. Incubating the testicles is no longer worth it.
We have a more detailed article on how to hatch chicks in an incubator.
Growing Broiler Chickens
For broilers, there is a slightly different care, aimed at frequent fattening without walking. From birth, they contain 15 chicks per square meter. meter. Chickens in 60 days can gain up to 2 kg of net weight. Broilers are very fond of heat, so temperature indicators do not change all the time they are raised.
A very important process is the regulation of lighting:
- For five days, the lamps are left on for 24 hours.
- Next, light day is reduced to 18 hours.
The bird constantly needs to be fed with balanced feeds containing sufficient amounts of minerals and vitamins. Therefore, feeders should always be filled with food.
The leading position among the best breeds of broilers is Cobb 500.
An important advantage of broilers Cobb 500 breed - high-quality and tender meat, perfect for dietary nutrition, and the rapid growth of muscle mass of young animals. At low feed costs, the bird remarkably gains weight and after 34-38 days it can be sent for slaughter. Chicks have excellent survival and good immunity.
But there are some minor drawbacks - you can not breed chickens in the usual way. Daily chicks or incubated testicles are purchased only from breeders. Also, the ears have a weak nasitivism instinct. Another significant drawback is that the breed is very thermophilic, and large resources must be spent on maintaining the right temperature in the hen house. The first 2 weeks of lighting and heat (28-33С) - around the clock, after that 18 hours - light day with a temperature of 26-30 degrees. But, no matter what - the cultivation of this breed is almost a win-win.
When you provide your chicken population with a rich diet and quality care, in a few months you will be able to have not only egg, but also popular meat products.