Search Box Blue Star
Bantam and Silky Chicks are TINY. They need special food. These small breeds need extra small food and too much holding when they are tiny chicks can result in an injury or worse.
Commercial crumbles are too BIG for them to eat!
We feed Bantams and Silkys (which are also Bantam Breeds) finely ground food, and we do not touch or handle these birds often as they are so delicate.
Danger! Pine or Pre- Bagged Pet Litter
Surprise! Chickens are BIRDS. So use a bird cage for your brooder instead of a plastic tub. Plastic tubs do not provide enough airflow. Save money and your new baby chicks health by providing them with a BETTER brooding start than a plastic bucket or wood box. Keep the chicks in here for about 3 - 5 weeks for the perfect start!
No more toxic wood chips or poisonous pet bedding
A medium to large sized finch or parakeet cage (with small enough wire at the bottom) is PERFECT FOR RAISING ABOUT 4 TO 8 CHICKS - (more than this amount of chicks you will need a different brooder system.)
And its "cheep cheep" too.. There are lots of styles of pre made bird cages from about $10 / $20 up (get some for almost free at the SPCA or animal shelter!)
You can put your brooder light or small fan/heater nearby the cage or clamp to side of cage. This way you can see your chicks even better AND the chicks will have better ventilation. (chicks need proper HEAT 95 degrees and AIR FLOW!)
Clean up is a breeze as you can change the paper as needed.
Be sure to put some organic matter in the cage bottom for your chicks to play with and to walk on for proper bacteria. (leaves and natural mulch Just a few blades of grass or leaves to play with!)
Don't Do This! Use The Wrong Kind or Size Of Feed For Chicks
Do you want healthy baby chicks?
Then please READ this!
Too many people that buy baby chicks also pick up a bag of TOXIC wood shavings, or other types too, to put in the brooder (really it is toxic!) The wood shavings have toxic poisons in the wood from pesticides sprayed by the lumber mills. Chicks that eat small pieces of wood can DIE. Some chick owners can use magazines or newspapers. Ink and chemicals are not good for chicks either......Or other pet shavings are recycled and bleached rags or paper particles.
(some people get lucky and do not lose chicks but most will have sick chicks and never know why.....) I KNOW WHY!!! the use of wood shavings, a wrong container for the brooder, wrong lights, and overhandling! YIKES!
MOST IMPORTANT! Chicks eat their own "poop" and each other's poop. When feces builds up on litter and combined with wet bacteria, poison in the wood and urine this CAUSES ILLNESS, SICKNESS, AND DEATH!
THIS IS WHY YOU NEED TO PUT CHICKS ON WIRE BROODERS OR BIRD CAGES TO KEEP POOP AWAY FROM BABY CHICKS!
(After 8 weeks old!) Baby chicks need sunlight, dirt, or garden soil, green clover or grass, and some type of organic matter (decayed garden compost or manure) in order to establish a natural immunity to bad bacteria. A chickens gut system NEEDS balanced good bacteria!
DO NOT BUY BAGS OF COMPOST AT GARDEN CENTERS THEY CONTAIN BUG SPRAY!
To all new chicken owners: Baby chicks also need SUNLIGHT! You can keep chicks on a dark shelf, in a plastic tub in your barn or in your bathroom... but chicks that are 'eggsposed" to a bit of early morning or late afternoon sunlight (in a wire floor birdcage under 8 weeks old!) and chicks older than 8 weeks with proper bedding and grass, dirt soil will be much healthier than the chicks grown in storage tubs on a dark shelf in your laundry room with toxic wood shavings and using a light bulb!
Let's think about the health and happiness of our tiny friends.
I won't use "fowl" language here....
Its Everywhere! Grass Or Weeds Sprayed With Toxic Bug Or Weed Killer
Blue Star offers pullets and hens for sale that are in the prime of health. If your coop is brand new and you put healthy chickens into a "sterile" coop there is a possibility that your chicken's immunity from diseases may be reduced. Our chickens are used to the balance of aged and old farm compost in the coops and runs. Our poultry is of sound and healthy stock due to the healthy living conditions that our chickens are exposed to each and every day.
The WORST thing to do is to raise baby chicks on the "pine shavings" that come in a bag. Or even bales of hay that has been treated with pesticides Why? In some cases, this pinewood before shaved is full of TOXIC CHEMICALS and baby chicks are prone to respiratory problems. (they breathe the fumes and get sick) Or some grass fields are sprayed with toxic bug spray. THE LESS YOU HOLD, PLAY WITH AND HANDLE THE CHICKS THE BETTER CHANCE YOU WILL HAVE FOR SURVIVAL. BABY CHICKS DO NOT (N-O-T) MAKE GOOD PLAYMATES FOR YOUR KIDS AND DOGS TO HANDLE. STRESS IN CHICKS CAUSES ILLNESS! AND INJURY!
So start baby chicks (8 weeks old & up!) on real farm compost, mulch, grass weeds, or leaves that have not been treated. If not, you may get sudden baby chick illness or death!
Careful! Baby Chicks Are Delicate Do Not Hold Too Long - This Causes Stress & Can Make Them Sick! ( or injuries from falling! squeezing!)
You can make your own starter compost from garden soil, leaves and dried grass or hay for your coop or chicken pen as your chicks get older. Or we sell bags of aged non GMO compost here at Blue Star Ranch. Simply pour aged dry compost into your coop add warm water and cover it with fresh grass to begin building a healthy bacterial growth for your coop. Your chickens will be healthier.
Along with a safe and predator proof coop, a healthy diet of bugs, grasses and grains, fresh water and occasional worming too, your chickens need bacteria to grow and prosper.
If you do not offer old compost from an aged chicken coop, there is not a healthy balance of bacteria in which to balance the overall health in your chickens coop. This can cause illness or diseases in your flocks.
Caution! Your Pet Dog May Play Too Rough
Hidden Dangers To Your Pet Chicks & Chickens
Remember! String Is Dangerous-
Chicks Will Eat It
Place A Piece Of 1/2 Inch Hardware Cloth To Cover Bottom of BirdCage If Wire Is Too Far Apart For Baby Feet - This Will Prevent Foot Problems
For the healthiest baby chicks use wire caged to brood them under age 8 weeks old. You need proper ventilation and heat.
Full-spectrum light from WHITE lights, not RED lights
IT'S EASY TO GROW BABY CHICKS IN FINCH OR PARAKEET CAGES- AFTER ALL, CHICKENS ARE "BIRDS!"
Re-Think Tubs - Use A Wire BIRD Cage - Instead Because Plastic Tubs Do Not Have Enough Air Flow (chickens are birds!)
Read This Page For Proper Care Of Baby Chicks
Learn This To Solve 95% Problems Raising Poultry
Top Dangers For Baby Chicks:
1) Too much handling
Chicks are too tiny to be played with!-Overhandling causes stress & illness!!!!!
2) Too hot/cold/ poor ventilation
Chicks need fresh air circulation and proper temperature (90-95 degrees)
3) Your pet dogs/cats
Your other pets may hurt your chickens
4) Not using proper bedding
Pet shavings and pre-bagged material NOT healthy! - AFTER chicks are 8 weeks old use natural garden compost for bedding and BEFORE chicks are 8 weeks old use wire cages for chicks
5) Wrong kind of food
Bantams and small chicks need almost powdered or finely crushed feed commercial feeds that are too big for them to eat!
6) String! or small objects like plastic toys - Keep away from chicks.
7) Smothering in corners of the bedding area to find a comfortable area to sleep and trampling and smothering on top of each other.
8) Bad bacteria from wet or soiled bedding. Remember the HEALTHIEST chicks are grown in wire cages with NO bedding. Make sure the wire is not too large
Grown chickens need bacteria in their bedding like fish need bacteria in the water in the fish tank! Chicks under 8 weeks old should be raised in wire cages! NOT plastic tubs walking on litter and without ventilation.
So here is an example of how balanced bacteria works. Let's say you go to the pet store to purchase new fish. Do you add your new fish to "new clean sterile water?" No you don't. why not? because your fish need a PH balance of "good and bad bacteria" for a healthy life. Most aquarium setups require "a percentage of "dirty fish water" or "fish wastewater" to get the proper balance of bacteria started for new fish. The same is true in any chicken coop.