Before You Buy
- Research the type and breed characteristics for your situation.
- Prepare brooder area ahead of time.
- Clean, disinfect the area, waterers and feeders if used before
- Setup and heat brooder ring 24 hours ahead of time
- Provide heat source in center of brooding area
- Temperatures at chicks level – approximately 6 inches from the floor
- During the first week, heat at 95 degrees F
- Lower temperatures 5 degrees F each week until you reach a temperature of 70 degrees F
When You Buy
- Purchase chicks from well‐known, National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) approved hatcheries
Once They're Home
- Keep dry, protected from cold, drafts, entry by other animals, bed with absorbent litter ‐ shavings
- Observe chicks to ensure they are comfortable, spread uniformly under heat source
Brooder Ring Layout
- Provide fresh, clean, room-temperature water at all times
- Clean waterers daily
- Provide a waterer that will restrict bathing (no open containers)
- Add Stress Pak (electrolytes and vitamins) for first week or two
Feeding the right grain
Start with a chick starter
Formulated to give chicks a healthy start and builds a strong frame. Feed 2‐3lbs per week per bird for 6 weeks (12‐18lbs per chick)
Chick starter for first 2 weeks or broiler ration
Figure 12lbs of feed and 6‐7 weeks to raise a broiler to market weight
At 6‐8 weeks switch to grower ration (12‐13lbs per bird during the 12 week period). When they begin to lay (5‐6 months of age) switch to a layer feed. Layers need 14‐16 hours of light per day to produce eggs. 10 birds should produce 8 to 10 eggs per day. 100 to 195 pounds of feed to produce about 20 dozen eggs per bird in 13 months (.25‐.50lbs of feed per day per bird).
Start with a 5 degree F higher temperature in brooder. Begin with Turkey/Gamebird starter‐at six to eight weeks of age switch to
a grower ration. Depending on breed, your bird will mature in five months and weigh from 18 to 40 lbs (about 80lbs of feed to raise to maturity).
Use turkey starter for first 8 weeks. Feed turkey game bird grower up to market size about 14‐16 weeks. Mature breeders can be feed a grower feed.
Ducks and Geese
Do not feed medicated feeds or medicated water. Use Chick Starter ‐ gives chicks a healthy start and a strong frame. At 4‐5 weeks switch to grower ration for pets. Feed a broiler ration until market size (8 weeks) for meat bird. Feed a layer ration when birds begin to lay.