Healthy baby chicks

6 Solid Ways You Can Take Care of Your Baby Chicks and Reduce Mortality to the Barest Minimum.

6 Solid Ways You Can Take Care of Your Baby Chicks and Reduce Mortality to the Barest Minimum.

Taking care of your baby chicks and Reducing mortality to the barest minimum should be your number one priority.


Most especially if you are a new poultry farmer because you can be easily discouraged. If you suddenly begin to lose your baby chicks and having high mortality could be discouraging as well.


High mortality for many farmers’ especially new beginners in poultry farming, could make some persons quit poultry farming altogether.


So you must take all necessary steps in taking care of your baby chicks to avoid any pitfall.


 READ: Poultry Farming: Why Some People Fail

A baby chicks

The followings points will considerably help you in reducing chick mortality in your farm:

1. Collecting Your Baby Chicks

If you work from 9 am to 5 pm job Monday to Friday it is strongly advisable, you collect your baby chicks towards the weekend preferable on Fridays.


This is to enable you have enough time over the weekend to take good care of your baby chicks, both day and night.


At least the first three days are crucial to the overall survival of your baby chicks.


It doesn’t matter if you have been keeping birds for several years. Challenges may come in different form, all you need to do is to be observant at all times.


The baby chicks should be received with open arms with tender loving care on arrival. They have been through a lot, most baby chicks are transported from far distance to their various destination.


As a result, they go through a lot of stress, so on arrival refrain from causing further stress.


They need to be calm and relax immediately, any action or activities that may cause them further stress should be avoided at all costs.

  Take care of baby chicks

2. To Take Care of your Baby Chicks Involves Paying Kin Attention to Temperature

Before the arrival of your chicks, you are supposed to seal up the chicken house depending on the prevailing climatic condition.


The idea is to protect your baby chicks against draft air, cold, wind and to keep them warm and active. Their pen should be kept warm at least 24hours before arrival.


Efforts should be made to allow for free movement of air ventilation (both inlet and outlet). Into their pen to discourage any complications that may arise from a respiratory disorder.


This implies that if their brooding area is kept warm, on arrival they should be provided with lukewarm and clean water.


It is also advisable to give them glucose to reduce stress and increase energy levels.


So that they can start drinking immediately on arrival. Subsequently mineral, vitamins should be added in their water.


And then some feed additives such as coccidiostat will follow later.


It is very important to note that it is not always necessary that you heat your birds on arrival. In most cases, the temperature is already way above the brooding temperature.


Which is the case with some African countries particularly Northern Nigeria. It can be used as a case study during the Dry/heat season where cities like Maiduguri can attain a temperature of almost 400C.


In such a situation, all you need to do is to administer anti-stress and multivitamins, ensure maximum ventilation and fresh air.


To reduce the effects of heat stress and bring some relief to the baby chicks as a result of excessive prevailing hot temperature.


One of the best ways to avoid overheating your baby chicks is to observe, monitor and study their behavior with the help of a good thermometer.


For instance, if they are clustered in one place, it means they are cold, but if they move away from the source of heat.


Either burning charcoal, bulbs 100/200watts or gas heater it means the heat is excessive. But if they are evenly scattered and feeding comfortably, then it means the heat is ok and they are enjoying the temperature.


Providing adequate feed for your baby chicks

Recommended for READING:

Brooding Day Old Chicks and the General Management.

Coccidiosis Disease of the Lazy Farmer


3. Feeding

Taking care of your Baby chicks involves providing them with quality feed, well balance ration for optimal performance.


They should be fed chicks mash for layers, for the next six to eight weeks while for broilers they do well with starter mash with at least 24% protein level.


And should be given ad-libitum at least for two weeks after which the hours of light and feed can be regulated.


This is to allow the rest of the body to grow with the legs to avoid growth abnormalities or complications.


4. Providing good Litter or Beddings for your Chicks is a good way to take care of your  Baby Chicks

Care must be taken as well in providing proper and good litter materials for your baby chicks.


The floor should be covered with enough wood shavings, not sawdust to avoid the baby chicks not mistaken the sawdust for feed.


Which if consumed can easily impact their digestive system and can cause harm to the baby chicks.


To be on the safer side at least the first three days you can cover the sawdust with paper completely.


Evenly spread their feed on the paper as well as using the normal plastic chick tray feeder specifically designed for day old baby chicks.


And for brooding purposes after 2 to 4 weeks you can change it to the normal feeder.



READ ALSO: How to Achieve Optimal Poultry Production with Good Deep Litter Management practice


5. Selecting Good Day Old Chicks

One of the surest ways to reduce chick mortality and to avoid heavy loss or disappointment is to get your baby chicks from a reputable hatchery or a very good source.


The parent’s stock of your baby chicks should be free from all forms of disease to avoid vertical transmission of disease from parent to offspring.


You don’t just purchase your day old from just anyhow farm. We made a very costly mistake some years back. When we acquired some baby chicks from individual farms that were not properly vaccinated.


As a result, we suffered a devastating loss from mareks disease, back then we don’t know much about the care of baby chicks.


We contacted the hatchery/farm and they told us they did not vaccinate the chicks against mareks disease. They were actually supposed to be vaccinated against mereks disease on day one but they did not.


Which later cost us serious economic loss. Not only viral infections bacterial infections such as E-coli and salmonella can also be transmitted vertically. From infected parent stock to their offspring.


Especially if the eggs are infected can results in serious contamination thereby posing serious health issues to your baby chicks. 


Healthy baby chicks

Recommended for READING

Five (5) Solid Ways You Can Create Wealth through Poultry Farming

Broiler Farming, How to engage in profitable production.

Chickens: 9 Reasons Why Your Family Needs This Amazing Bird


6. Protecting your Baby Chicks against Predators is a Good Way to Take care of your Baby Chicks

Predators such as cats and some giant snakes feed on baby chicks if the coop is not properly protected.


Some few years ago we lost about 11 baby chicks to cats and giant rats. We forgot to close their door properly unfortunately in the night while we were asleep.


Wild cats just sneak into their house and began to kill/eat the baby chicks while he injured some of them and left.


That is why it is strongly advisable as a farmer to keep dogs around. This is because dogs will always chase cats away from your farm premises.


Ensure that your dog is properly trained for this purpose or else the dog might end up eaten your chicks. If your dog is not properly trained to protect your baby chicks.


If you cannot keep dogs, endeavor to properly secure your farm, always remember to lockup your chicken house at all times.



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