If you’re headed out to purchase some new birds or have ordered them from a hatchery, you may be wondering what you need to bring home baby chicks.
I found myself in the same boat not too long ago.
The first set of chickens my husband and I acquired were six months old and already laying when we got them. We never had to deal with raising them from babies, and I wasn’t sure what I needed. When we decided to beef up our flock with more laying hens, meat chickens, and even a hand full of baby turkeys, we had to figure out what supplies we needed to bring them home.
Fortunately, it’s not as much as you might think! Here are the top supplies to bring home baby chicks.
Top Supplies for Baby Chicks
The first thing you need to bring home baby chicks is something for them to live in. We used a brooder box made of plywood that we already had on hand. Other options are a stock tank (like this.) Some people prefer to use cardboard boxes or Rubbermaid totes, but since you’ll also need heat lamps, I advise against those because of the fire hazards.
Your brooder box needs to be big enough to house your baby chicks for 6-8 weeks comfortably, and the sides need to be tall enough to keep flying birds from hopping out.
(When our baby chicks hit four weeks, we transferred them to a chicken coop where access to the outside has been blocked off so that they’d have more room to spread out, and we could use our brooder box for our turkeys.)
In the pic below, you can see that we had to add scrap material to our brooder box to make the sides taller once our baby chicks started trying to fly out. (Turkeys pictured in the box.)
The next thing you’ll need is heat lamps and a thermometer. It’s recommended to keep your brooder box at 95 degrees for the first two weeks of your chicks? Life and to lower by five degrees per week after that. The heat lamp you purchase will tell you how big of a space it can heat.
The other supplies you’ll need are waterers and feeders (my husband prefers the large ones, but since I clean them out so often, I prefer the small ones like these), starter feed, which can be medicated non-medicated, and bedding, like pine chips or straw.
Wrapping it Up
Here’s an easy checklist with links to Amazon products so you can see what I’m referencing:
- Brooder Box
- Heat Lamps and Light Bulb
- Baby Chick Starter Feed
- Chicken Waterers & Feeders
Once you get these few things, you’ll be ready to bring home your baby chicks!