Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Baby Chicks, Care, Feeding, and Taming

Baby chicks are pretty much like babies of all species in that they need a little help. First of all, when you first get them as little fluffballs in the mail from your favorite hatchery they need to be shown how to drink. Of course the brooder must be all warmed up and ready for them with their food ready for them. Take them out of the box they arrived in one at a time and quickly dip their little beaks in their water container so they'll know how to drink and where to find the food and water.

They learn very quickly and soon become adept at getting the nourishment they need to reach young adulthood. In addition to keeping the brooder clean and making sure they don't run out of anything, there's one "job" you'll want to do regularly. I usually wait two or three days to start this, but then I begin spending considerable time holding and petting each one . . . not for very long at a time, but a couple of times each day. This starts the taming process, which turns chickens into pets . . . but be sure to continue handling them even after they grow up. (Lot's more info on this over at http://www.fortheloveofchickens.com/ - plus a free book on fitting and showing, if you're interested).

Tame chickens are such a pleasure to be around and they do much better when showing them at the fairs when they're not flighty for the judges.

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