Care of Day Old Poultry


Start with:
Clean quarters. The environment should be draft and rodent free.
“This is extremely important!!!”
 Chicks should be started at:
95 degrees for the first 10 days
decrease the temperature 5 degrees each week thereafter providing the outside temperature permits.
The ideal temperature for:
6 week old chicks is 70 degrees.
The most commonly used brooder is the 4 bulb, 250 watt (heat bulb) brooder lamp. These lamps are adequate for 300 chicks.
For smaller flocks single lamp brooders may be used.

When decreasing the temperature consider the behavior of your chicks at all times.

You will be able to tell on sight if the chicks are warm enough.

If chicks are cold they will pile up.
The chicks will be moving around, eating and drinking if they are comfortable.

A barrier

Should be placed around the heat lamps to keep the chicks near the heat.
The barrier should be at least 1 foot high and long enough to form a 3 to 5 foot circle around the brooder lamps.
Remove the barrier after 10 days.

Provide 2 to 4 inches of suitable litter, pine shavings is best, Cedar Shavings should NEVER be used!  Litter must always be kept dry.  Avoid slick surfaces such as newspaper, which can cause serious leg problems.

Chicks must have fresh feed and clean water at all times. Feed a good quality medicated starter feed for the first 6 to 8 weeks then change to a chick grower feed.  It is a good idea to scatter fine cracked corn or fine grit on top of the feed for the first 2 to 3 days.  This will assure a better start for the chicks digestive system.  We recommend two 1 gallon water fountains and two 24 inch feeders for each 100 chicks.  Use larger feeders and fountains as chicks get older.

PLEASE NOTE: It’s very important to follow the care and brooding instructions to the letter to ensure chicks get a good start.  We guarantee all poultry to arrive alive and in good condition.  The Chick Hatchery will not be responsible for any losses due to neglect.


When you are raising baby chicks from their early stages of development, your chicks could develop something called “pasty butt.”

How to Prevent Pasty Butt

Chickens have one hole that is used for laying eggs, pooping, urinating and mating.  This hole is called the cloacal vent.  A chick’s mother hen keeps her chicks’ cloacal vents clear, but if you are raising the chicks yourself, the vent can become clogged and you end up “pasty butt.”  I have read that this can happen during shipping – some say from temperature changes, some say from stress. A chick can actually die from pasty butt because it cannot poop until the pasty butt is cleared.  The result:  you need to clean your chicks’ bottoms.  Use a warm wash cloth and move it slowly on the chicks’ bottoms.  You can use a Q-tip and olive oil or mineral oil to rub around the vent and surrounding area.

How to Clean Pasty Butt?

Unfortunately, it can be a bit of a problem to clean pasty butt in baby chickens.  Some people actually run the pasty butts under warm water to help dissolve the poo.  Make sure your room is well heated.  Dry the chicks off before putting them with the other chicks so their bottoms do not draw attention. You may end up plucking some of the pasty goop, irritating the skin, which then may cause other chicks to peck at it.

Check your chicks’ bottoms daily for the first few days to look for buildup, because this is the only way I know how to prevent pasty butt!