The Space-Farm New Chick Cheat Sheet: From Brooder to Coop

In preparation for spring fence building, I pulled out our folder with all of our backyard ideas and drawings and found this gem: our week-by-week chick cheat sheet from last March.

20130303. New chick checklist.

I thought it might be useful to document this in a slightly more permanent place, both for us if we ever decide to get day-old chicks again and for anyone jumping into the backyard chicken ring this spring.

The Space-Farm Chick Cheat Sheet: From Brooder to Coop in Six Weeks!

Week/Day Chick Tending Tasks
Week 1, Day 1
  • The chicks arrive!
  • Brooder temp: 90-95 degrees
  • Cover pine shavings with paper towel for first several days
  • Leave extra light on for first two days, 24/7 (this can be very dim – you should JUST be able to read a book in the light emitted)
  • Mix crushed oatmeal/cornmeal mix in with food for first three days
  • Check bums every day, twice a day for pasting up/sticky bums! Tend to immediately if you discover any pasting up
Week 1, Day 3
  • Add chick grit
  • You can turn the extra light off during the day; turn it on for about 30 minutes each night for the rest of Week 1
Week 1, Day 5
  • Clean brooder, remove paper towels from pine shavings
  • Put mini perch/roost into brooder
Week 2/Day 8
  • Brooder temp: 85-90 degrees
  • Clean brooder
  • Put cover on brooder – the chicks will start using their wings soon!
Week 3/Day 15
  • Brooder temp: 80-85 degrees
  • Clean brooder and upsize it if necessary
Week 4/Day 22
  • Brooder temp: 75-80 degrees
  • Clean brooder
Week 5/Day 29
  • Brooder temp: 70 degrees
  • Clean brooder
  • Begin introducing the girls to the outside on warmer days
  • Prep the coop
Week 6/Day 36
  • It’s a big day: time to move out to the coop (assuming it’s not still really cold where you live)!
  • Switch to developer feed
Extra Notes: All About Feed
  • Chick Starter: 0-6 weeks (20-24% protein)
  • Developer Feed: 6-20 weeks (14-16% protein)
  • Layer Ration: 20 weeks (16-18% protein); also introduce calcium/oyster shell around this time

Calling all chicken tenders (HA!): any major things I’m forgetting here?

2 thoughts on “The Space-Farm New Chick Cheat Sheet: From Brooder to Coop

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