Everyone Should Have Chickens - Egg Drops
Backyard Chicken FAQ
(I'll make this fancy when I have time)
The Chick-Kit explained:
You received your Chick-Kit in the mail. Now what?
First, let's take everything out of the box and check it out.
The Box - The Chick-Kit is shipped in a cardboard box. This box is your baby chickens' home for the next 3 weeks. Alternately, you can go buy a storage container or something else, but since I have to ship you the kit, you may as well use the box.
The Substrate - The Chick-Kit also comes with pine shavings to use as substrate. I am testing some kits with 3 bags and others with the same amount of substrate split into smaller zip-locks to make the process even easier, so you may have 3 or more bags of substrate.
The Chick Feeder - The Chick-Kit comes with a small feeder that will work for your chicks for a couple months. Just fill the feeder canister with food and the baby chicks will take care of the rest.
The Feed - The Chick-Kit comes with a three-week supply to feed 4 chicks. If you start with more chickens, everything else in the kit, including the box, will suffice, but you will need to order more food.
The Chick Waterer - The Chick-Kit comes with a quail waterer. This will prevent your chicks from drowning...because they do drown. That is not pleasant to wake up to.
The Heater - Many places say you should use a heat lamp, and I usually do, but because there is a higher fire hazard with a heat lamp, I am including the platform heater. The chicks huddle around and under it for heat.
Ok. Now, that you have everything out of the box, let's start setting it up. Note: Do not tuck the box lid flaps into the box, and do not tear them off.
I would put this in the bathroom or somewhere with hard floors that are easy to clean, and a door you can close at night so you don't hear them chirping all night, but it's your call.
Add a layer of substrate to the bottom of the box. You should not allow your baby chicks to walk around on hard, smooth surfaces because they may get "splay-leg," so be sure to line the bottom of the box with substrate, but there's no need to go crazy. You'll see they like to scratch around, so give them enough to move it around. (I'll post a video soon) Every 2-3 days, you'll add substrate on top of the substrate already in there, to cover the droppings and prevent odor. You can dump and replace, but you'll use more substrate, and it's not necessary.
Fill the feeder and put it inside the box near a corner, leaving enough room for the chicks to get around it. Do the same for the waterer. You can use a white towel under them if you want. It keeps some of the shavings out of the food and water. Start without a towel, and then see how it goes.
Add the heater and plug it in. Check it after about a half hour to make sure it doesn't get too hot. It shouldn't as these are fairly simple devices and I've never had a problem.
Now raise the box lid flaps straight up to extend the height of the walls and tape them, or tie a rope around them or prop something against them: Just do something to keep them up and keep the chicks from jumping out.
You are all set. Let's go shopping for Chicks!!! (video coming soon to show you some places to go and what my experiences have been!)
Everyone should get chickens!