There are as many philosophies and types of brooding practices and equipment as there are chicken keepers. Everyone has their own method and style of caring for chicks. Again, it is a process a lot like parenting. Your own experiences will inevitably lead to the development of your own technique for brooding baby chicks.
This spring, we returned to the brooding experience as more seasoned chicken keepers. We felt a little more confident when preparing to welcome them to our farm. This year, we chose to use many of the supplies from our first brooding experience. We did make a few changes and, in the end, had another successful brooding experience. Our chicks are now two months old and have left the brooder and taken up residence in their small coop in the garden.
- Brooding pen with a breathable cover
- Supplemental heat source
- Absorbent bedding
- Chick feeder
- Chick waterer
- Small bowl for grit
- Chick starter feed
- Apple cider vinegar
- Parakeet/small bird grit
- Small branches for perching
- Hand sanitizer
First, you’ll need to have a safe place to house your chicks. Specialized brooding pens can be purchased and include a variety of convenient and useful added features. You can also repurpose a container that you already have on hand. For our first batch of chicks, we successfully utilized a simple plastic storage tub as our brooding pen.
The nearby workbench made an excellent place to anchor the heat lamp assembly we used. In order to allow the light’s proximity to the chicks to be adjusted, I attached a pistol grip woodworking clamp to the bench. Using the bar of the clamp, I could easily move the heat lamp up or down depending on the needs of the chicks.
What do you use when brooding baby chicks? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for ensuring brooding success!