We see them every year, pastel peepers just in time for Easter. They are adorable, however…spoiler alert– they ALWAYS turn into… CHICKENS!
To be fair, most offering baby chicks have information regarding responsible chicken ownership near that most popular section of the store each spring. So before cuteness temptation gets the best of you be sure the following will work for you and your family:
-Know your local laws. Many cities allow chickens though some limit how many you can have and or whether you can have roosters. Most chicks sold in stores are pullets, meaning they are female.
-Have your coop and yard prepared before purchasing chicks making sure they will be safe from predators and that you will be able to easily clean the coop and nest box.
-Have a brooder ready for water, feed, heat lamp and safe from pets. Babies huddled under the lamp need more heat, babies avoiding the lamp are too warm.
-If you already have chickens create a safe transition area connected to the existing coop to allow new chicks and existing chickens to get to know each other before integrating. It’s best to keep young chicks fully enclosed outside, as they are still small enough to be prey for hawks and owls as well as all other predators. Chicks can go outside at around 5 weeks old, weather depending. Integration can begin when chicks are around 8 to 12 weeks old.