by Boston Parents Paper
Research Local Farmstock Rules – Depending on where you live, there are certain rules about having livestock on your property.
Ordering Chicks – If you are ordering chicks, inspect the box when you receive it without your children around. Sometimes, baby chicks do not survive the shipping process. It can be devastating to young children if there are any losses.
Prepare for Enough Space- Those tiny little chicks will grow up and will need enough space to live in. Prepare for a space when they are young and for when they are old enough to be transferred outside into a chicken coop. If you are looking to provide your family with steady supply of eggs, you will want between four and six chicks. There are many different options and styles for chicken coops, and you can even make one yourself! Inside the coop there should be a nest box for laying eggs, perches where the chickens can sleep, an outdoor area (weather permitting) where the chickens can eat and run around and dropping boards or straw to collect the poop. Make sure to lock the coop each night with the chickens inside to protect them from other animals. Make sure that the coop is well ventilated.
Bringing the Chicks Home – The chicks will need water immediately. Once you transfer them into their new home, keep an eye on them. You want to make sure they can find the food and water. If they are not eating or drinking, show one chick where the water and food is. Once one of them figures it out, the others will follow.
Housing – Baby chicks can be kept in a medium or large hamster cage. Make sure to have a warming lamp to keep the baby chicks warm. Around four to five weeks, you can transfer the chicks to their outside coop.
Netting – Grown chickens are usually not very good at flying. When chickens are younger, they are much more capable. If their brooder or home is only 12 inches high, don’t be surprised if you see them sitting on top of it. Keep a net on the top just to ensure that this is preventable.
Schedule – Baby chicks require constant care. They should be checked on at least five times a day for the first four weeks.
Upkeep – The chicken coop will need to be cleaned at least once a week, but you should rake the straw around once a day. Make sure to have a feeder and feed, a water container, and dust free wood shavings for the floor.