If you have a hen whose eggs are going to hatch, you are also going to have some chicks. Whether these chicks are being raised with their mothers or come from an incubator, they will need a specific diet. You can feed the chicks with food made by you, but you must know what to give them and especially how much according to their age. Here’s everything you need to know to feed chicks.
The day the chicks arrive
When the chicks are born, they cannot eat for a whole day because they have swallowed the yolk sac before coming out of their shell. The yolk sac is what remains of the egg yolk at the time of birth. You should know that the chicks are little ones doing perfectly well very quickly. If you choose to feed them, it is just to get them used to their diet that they will have as adults according to their nutritional needs.
Feeding a chick born two days before
When the chick is one day old, it has finished living on its reserves which it has been able to draw from the egg yolk of its shell. From the second day, he must absorb a power supply adapted to its size and its needs. Although there are specific mixtures on the market, you can cook up some sort of homemade mash to feed it. Boil eggs which you then finely chop. Also chop a few lettuce leaves, cooked semolina and crushed bread. Mix everything so that it becomes homogeneous. The mash should not contain large pieces of food. Feed your chicks with this mixture twice a day during the first week. At the same time, make sure that they always have fresh water available.
After the first ten days
When the chicks are ten days old, homemade mash is still a good idea, but it can be coarser and contain a few more varied foods such as a little corn flour for example where vegetable scraps from your meals. In addition to the fresh water that they should always have at their disposal, add a sandbox end so that they can grind the food they ingest and that there is no appearance of coccidia. Coccidia are parasites causing high mortality in chicks.
Feeding chicks at two months
When the chicks reach eight weeks, they will eat the same homemade mash in small pieces enriched with various seeds. We must add to them spinach or some nettles cut daily and needing to be changed every day.
Towards four months, the chicks become pullets or cockerels and must then be fed as adults.
Distribution of food for chicks
The chicks should easily spot the food. It must be accessible to their small size. So, it is better to put it on the floor or on a newspaper. Then put the food in a manger must always be kept clean and fit. Depending on the number of chicks you have, set up a sufficient number of feeders otherwise the stronger ones will eat at the expense of the smaller ones.
Water for chicks
Water is vital for the chicks. We must leave them some permanently available. It must be changed often and put in a specific drinker whose edges are not too high. Never give them water that is too cold, it must be at room temperature and in the shade. In the first days of the chicks’ life, you can add a tiny bit of sugar to the water to give them extra energy.
Daily food rations to be given to the chicks
With age, daily food rations increase. Thus, it is necessary to count:
- From hatching and for twelve weeks, the daily food ration of a chick ranges from 40 g to 100 g
- At 90 days, the chick should eat 100 g of food per day
- Beyond three months, the chick must eat 150 g of food per day
To note that : these quantities of food are given only as an indication, because they evolve according to the breed of the chick and its size. Food must be available to him so that he can eat when he wants.
What if you recover an abandoned chick?
If you have spotted a abandoned chick only a few days old, if it feeds on its own, you have no problem integrating it with others or following the instructions published above. It will continue to grow normally. If the chick is too weak and not eating, a vet can give you some advice. You may be able tobe feed it and make it drink with a syringe until he regains his health and can eat and drink on his own.