Dayold chicks

Newly hatched chicks

Day-old Chicks

Day old chicks need special care

Looking after day-old chicks is a rewarding experience for everyone, no matter their age. However, there are some things that needs to be in place before you contemplate looking after dayold chicks in your home.

The list below is considerations that need to be addressed BEFORE embarking on this exciting adventure.

  • Day old chicks are delicate and can easily die
  • Young chicks need a heat source in their first weeks
  • Day-old chicks can drown in a water source
  • Chicks need to be kept indoors for at least 3 weeks in summer
  • They must be indoors for longer when the weather is cold
  • Chicks need cleaning out regularly otherwise they will smell
  • Raising young chicks indoors creates massive amounts of heavy dust from their feathers. This can cause breathing issues in sensitive individuals
  • Most non-hybrid dayold chicks cannot be sexed accurately until they are 6-8 weeks old
  • Unsexed means there is a risk that you will get cockerels which can cause neighbour issues
  • Most important if we have sold them unsexed we cannot take the boys back due to a biosecurity risk for our stock.

All our day-old chicks get sent to their new homes with a full care sheet. The minimum needs are listed below.

  1. Brooder to contain the dayolds. Rabbit or hamster cage. They must NOT go outside in a coop till they are at least 3 weeks old in warm weather. This will be longer in cold weather.
  2. Water dish or drinker, which should be shallow initially
  3. Food dish or specific feeder with chick crumb constantly available
  4. Warmth minimum 28C for the first week which can be reduced as they feather up. Suitable heat sources are electric hens, reptile heat mats or heat lamps. Bear in mind a possible fire risk from unsuitable equipment
  5. Safety from other animals including and especially other chickens
  6. Companion of other day old chicks because a solitary chick is very noisy indeed

Finally please don’t ask us for young chicks if you have no equipment ready we will not sell them to you.

Warning!!!

Don’t expect that a broody hen will take on the day-old chicks you present her with. Always have a backup plan. Broodies can be remarkably fickle, moody and dangerous. Unless a hen is showing clear signs of being very broody then she will NOT look after chicks. She will more than likely try to kill them. If she has not looked after young chicks before then please supervise any introductions and be prepared to intervene quickly if she decides to attack the chicks. A swift angry peck to the head of the chick can render them unconscious or severely bruised. A normal broody/chick communication is a gentle tap to the head. This is the broody telling the chick to pay attention to what she is telling it. If she sounds angry then she is so watch very carefully. More info on broody hens here

Chicks at day old

First chicks of the season

I have uploaded a video of some of our first chicks for the 2018 season. Female only guaranteed. Price is £7 each at day old however the price increases by £1 per week to take account of feed and cleaning costs. They are beautiful and sooo cute. We include full instructions with every sale and support via email or telephone whenever you need it.

We have 10 different kinds; all female. They are top quality commercial quality hybrids. Eggs are a-plenty with these girls. They make ideal pets or allotment birds. Contact us for details.

What is a Hybrid

Hybrid chicks are produced normally to go into the egg trade as they are very reliable layers. They are created by specific hatcheries to a secret recipe using specially selected strains of parent stock. This way the egg producers can get the most eggs out of one bird. This is not something we necessarily agree with on many levels but in a home or allotment setting where they are loved and cared for as part of the family, they can live very happy lives.

Many places sell hybrids that are raised by the barnfull in their thousands. This gives little opportunity to have any meaningful human contact. They pile them high and sell them cheap. We buy the birds in at day old and raise them at home. They get lots of time to interact with people and are confident and non-skittish by the time they are sold.

A hybrid crossed with a hybrid won’t produce the same bird as its offspring.  A pure breed mated to the same pure breed will result in another copy of the parents. This means they breed true. Hybrids don’t breed true but pure breeds do breed true.  A crossbreed (as in our Hedgerow Homemades) are random pairings which also do not breed true, but don’t produce any prescribed results as in the meticulously designed hybrids. Crossbreeds are therefore happy accidents and the colours and characteristics you get are quite an addiction as you never know what you are going to get.

Our current hybrid stock