People have raised chicken for
thousands of years. They are raised on small and commercial farms,
but can also be raised in anyone's backyard.
hatching takes 21 days. If you are going to
raise your own chicken and the hen is not laying on the egg, you
will need an incubator. An incubator keeps the eggs warm. Before
the eggs are in the incubator, it needs to be warmed up to the
temperature of 99.5 degrees F. Eggs need warmth, but be careful to
not overheat them. Temperature should not be more than 103 degreed
F. Another thing you will need is hygrometer. This is a measurement
tool that measures humidity. This is extremely important because chicken eggs
should be in 50% humidity until the day 18. Then, it should
increase to almost 80% until the chick is born. One of the ways to
keep moisture in incubator is to put a small paper cup of water in
it. When water evaporates it will keep the moisture up. When you
buy an incubator it should come with directions and you should
definitely read them carefully. But, incubators can also be made.
Here is the external link to some homemade incubators.
CANDLING THE EGG
the egg is done to see if the chicken is developing in the egg.
This can only be done with white shells with even colors. The
reason people candle eggs is because not all eggs will produce
chicken. Candling is done on days two or three.
should be marked before you put them in the incubator, because you
need to know which side is which. Eggs need to be turned at least
three times a day. Hens do this on their own. If eggs are not
turned embryo inside could stick to the shell membrane and this can
cause problems in development. It also allows embryo to move inside
the egg. Eggs should be turned the first 18 days. Last three days
they should be left alone to hatch.
chicks in the incubator for 24 hours. They need time to get used to
new environment, just like every baby. Before the chicken hatched,
they got fed by the yolk. Therefore, they do not need to be fed for
OUT OF THE INCUBATOR! RAISING A BABY
Our black chick comes out of the egg!
Click on the image to see the movie!
chicken feathers will not protect them from cold. Therefore, baby
chicks should be indoors for at least five weeks. First place that
chick lives is called a brooder. Brooder is simple to make because
it can be a box, empty fish tank or a small cage. It should be
lined on the bottom with newspaper or with mulch. This liner should
be changed every few days so it is clean and dry. This is important
to keep out the diseases. The brooder should be big enough so
that chicks can move and sleep and has enough space for food and
water . Brooder can be home to more than one chick. It's important
to keep the brooder warm, but it's also important for chicks to get
used to outside temperature. Therefore you need to adjust the
temperature of the brooder every week. Start with 90-100
degrees F the first week. Then, lower down temperature by 5 degrees
every week until the chicks have feathers that will protect
them.Often, temperature is kept by lamps. You can move them closer
for more heat, or away for less heat.
FOOD AND WATER
chicks drink a lot of water. Always make sure there is enough.
Also, clean the water as often as possible. Chicks leave droppings
everywhere - even in their water dish! As soon as chocks
hatch, they start scratching for food. This can get messy, so a
good idea is to get a feeder. This will keep food in one place.
Just like with water, change is often! The first thing you should
feed the chicks is called "crumbles". Buy this in any pet or
feed store. It has everything chick needs as well as medicine to
prevent diseases that can kill them.
all babies, chicks need play time. They are curious and run around.
But, they are babies and need to be watched carefully. If it is
warm outside, you can take them out to play for a little bit. Make
sure to watch out for cats and other animals!
best to trim beaks of a baby chicken when they are one or two days
old. Then you should trim them again in few months. This is
just like clipping fingernails. The reasons to clip the beaks is
because chickens start pecking on each other and they are actually
cannibals. This means that they will peck and eat other chicken.
When they are trimmed they can't do it. Therefore, they lose the
habit. Once they learn not to do it you don't have to trim them any
GROWN CHICKEN !
clipped so that chicken does not fly. This does not hurt chicken
because only the feathers are clipped. These feathers will grow
back and you may need to clip them again. To clip the wings use
scissors or shears that are really sharp. Then trim the first ten
flight feathers on one wing. This makes the bird lose balance when
they try to fly.
chick is done living in the brooder, it will need a home. Many
chicken live in the chicken coops. Chicken coops can be any shape.
You can buy them or you can build them yourself. The important
thing is that is protects the chicken for weather and predators. It
should have enough air and allow air in to cool it down when it is
hot outside. The floor needs to be covered with sawdust or mulch.
It should be kept clean, which is not always easy. Floors made of
concrete are easiest to clean well because you can just clean them
with water and droppings will not absorb in it.
put adult chicken in the yard, they will find their own food. This
may be grass, seeds or insects. But, they will need a lots of space
to find this every day. Many free range chicken live only of this
kind of feed and do fine. But, they also move around to look for
food. If your chicken is just in the backyard it may run out of
nutritious foods. The simplest way to feed you chicken is to
go to the store and get a bag of chicken feed. These are quite
cheap and have all the nutrition you chicken need such as protein
and grains. Put the feed in the feeder (and clean it often).
You can buy feed that has medicine in it to prevent diseases such
as coccidiosis. This disease
can wipe out your flock. But, if you do not want your chicken to
have medicine, you can also buy feed without it. Some people think
that store bought food may have hormones in it, but this is not
correct. People stopped using these hormones decades ago. Store
bought chicken feed is a good, safe and nutritious choice for your