27 Tips for a Great Baby Chick Experience

BE PREPARED!

1.  Have your brooder area set up and heat source tested before you get your birds.

2.  Clean and disinfect your feeders and waterers.

3. A one gallon waterer and a 12" trough feeder will be enough to start 25 chicks

4. Make sure your brooder area is out of the way of cold drafts.

5.  Have at least one square feet of space for every two chicks.

6.  Make sure your heat source (most likely a heat lamb) won't crowd the chicks into a corner to get warm, causing a piling up of your chicks.

7.  Use large pine shavings or straw as bedding for your chicks.  Do not saw dust (chicks will eat them) or cedar shavings (cedar is highly toxic to baby chicks).

DAY ONE 

8.  Have a gallon of warm water (98 degrees) with a tablespoon of sugar mixed in for the first day.  Don't use cold water (or overly hot water).  Cold water could chill a baby chick and could cause it to go into shock.

9.  Take the time to dip each chick's beak into the water to help them start drinking.

10. Other than dipping their beaks, don't pick up the chicks this first day (I know this will be hard for the kids)😢  These chicks have had a stressful 12-24 hours, so the less they are handled the better it is for them.

11. Use a thermometer.  The temperature one inch off the floor should be 95 degrees for the first week.  

13. Use a high quality chick starter feed (like J & B's) and keep feed in front of them at all times.

DAY TWO TO 4 WEEKS 

14. If you want to medicate your water, wait until the second day.  The water for the second day should also be 98 degrees

15. On the third day the water should be room temperature.

16. Reduce the temperature 5 degrees per week after the first week ( do this for 4 weeks).

17.  After 2 weeks of using a chick starter, switch to a grower feed (a lower protein and usually a lower priced feed)

AFTER 4 WEEKS

18. Increase their area to 3/4 sq ft per bird.

19. Increase feeder space per chick and the amount of waterers/water available ( depending on your situation, you may have to do this earlier than 4 weeks)

20. Chicks can range outside (in a predator safe environment) on warm sunny days

ADDITIONAL TIPS

21. NEVER LETS YOUR CHICKS RUN OUT OF WATER.

22. Always wash your hands after handling poultry. Live poultry can be a source of Salmonella infections.

23. Try to prevent water puddles around the waterers.  This will save you a lot of clean up.

24. Ducks and geese should be raised separate from chicks and turkeys.

25. Do not use newspaper or cardboard with turkeys.  They slip easily causing sprattled-legged poults (baby turkeys).

26.  With broiler chicks, take their feed away at night after three weeks.  This will allow the skeletal growth to catch up with their fast muscular growth, hopefully saving some broken legs later in their life.

27.  HAVE FUN WITH THIS PROJECT, IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.

 

Thanks 

Kerry

 

various sources

Posted on March 31, 2015 .

Feed Capabilities

Do you have a feed recipe that really works for you?  At J & B Feed Company we make custom batches of feed everyday:  horses, dairy goats, show cattle, hogs and chickens.

There are some things we can't do in a 150 year old mill and won't do as a matter of principle: 1). If it is illegal, don't even ask (combining certain medications, using meat/bone meal, etc) 2). Make you a pellet or a crumble (we don't have a pellet mill) 3). Grind oats, barley, flax seed or any other grain than corn (our mill is set up to be dedicated to corn) 4). Make feed with non-gmo corn (while we would like this capability, at this time we have no way of separating it from regular corn.

Enough of what we can't do.  What we do everyday is make some of the cleanest cracked corn you will ever find.  In our mill, we cut the corn and sift out the fines.  This makes the some of the cleanest texturized horse/goat/cattle/chicken scratch and wild bird feeds you will find.  We can crimp oats and barley, fortify your feed with minerals, salt, and vitamins and if you want, delivered it to you bagged or bulk (delivery fees and minimum amounts would apply). On a custom batch we do ask that you get at least 500#.

I have never set out to be the lowest cost provider, so I won't say you can't get it cheaper somewhere else.  What I will tell you is the price will be fair and it will be made by a company that all we do is make and sell feed.  Chances are it will be made by our main mill man, Andy Kuszmaul.  Andy has been making feed for J & B Feed customers since 1976.  He knows what he's doing.

Posted on February 26, 2015 .

Ionophores

Ionophores (most common is Rumension) are chemical compounds that are used as feed additives for cattle.  They do a great job of improving cattle growth.  

The downside of ionophores for a feed company is that it is toxic to horses: deadly toxic.  There have been a couple of cases in the news of horses eating feeds that mistakenly had ionophores mixed into the feed, causing some serious problems.  You may wonder "Could this happen to the feed I get from J & B?".  The answer to that is that is would be highly unlikely.  We do not mix any feeds with ionophores.  We sell some, but those come to us already packaged and we do not run any of these products thru our mixers.  You may wonder about the Purina Horse feeds we sell.  Don't worry about that.  Purina Mills has a feed mill in Milford Indiana that produces all the horse feeds for this area.  That plant is a an ionophore free plant.  They make no medicated feeds for any species at this plant.  The same is true for the Buckeye Feed plant in Dalton OH.

So while I would never say we would never have a problem, the probability of having a problem is extremely low.  I invite you to check out Purina Mills website, www.purinamills.com, and checkout the video they have put together on their FEEDGUARD NUTRITION SYSTEM.

Thanks,

 

Kerry

  

Posted on January 29, 2015 .