Raising chickens #2: moving chicks into the space
Time: 2:04 | Get the chicks into the warm space quickly, and introduce them to the water by dipping their beaks.
[Wayne Martin, University of Minnesota Extension educator]: What we're going to do now is take the chicks that are in this box and move them over into the other pen that we have prepared for them. The chicks, they need the heat, so we want to get them in a warm space as quickly as possible.
Okay, so we'll take the lid off. These chicks were vaccinated at the hatchery for a disease called coccidiosis. That is a disease which causes diarrhea and can very quickly kill young chicks. What you can see here is that these chicks have this pink spot on them. And what they do is they spray it on their backs and neck and it absorbs through the skin.
The next thing you would want to do after you open this up of course and make sure that they have been vaccinated is that you'll want to introduce them to the water. So all I do is I just put my hands around the body of the chick and I put my thumb behind its head and then I dunk it in the water. As you're handling the chicks like this, it gives you a chance to look at them, and see if there are any chicks that might have health problems of any sort. But they'll wander and they'll peck at everything in here and gradually they'll find the feed sources too.
What we're using for the chicks is just a standard starter feed that has about 20-22% protein. It's specially formulated for young chicks. You can see here that it's kind of granulated. It's just in small pieces so they can peck away at it and it fits just right for them. One thing that's important to remember is that even though these chicks are all fluffy and cute, they can spread disease. It's important that, after handling the chicks, you wash your hands well with soapy water before you eat or drink.
It's a lot of fun to work with chicks, in part because, they're really so easy to raise. And in 6-8 weeks, you've got fully grown chicks, and it's a wonderful thing.