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Do's and Don'ts

By Miller Hatcheries


DO

  • Make sure you pick up your birds as early as possible upon arrival at the Post Office or at one of our Agents
  • Make sure you have proper bedding - at  least 4 to 5 inches deep using good straw [not barley], shavings or a mixture of both. This will help prevent leg problems. Keep litter from becoming damp.
  • Spend some time with your chicks when you get them home. Make sure they are finding the food and water and are comfortable. Remember they are newborns! Left unattended they may drown in the waterers in the first few hours.
  • Use booster in the water for the first 5 days.
  • Make sure you are feeding the proper feed to your birds. Chick starter for chicks, turkey starter for turkey poults. Always use proper amounts of supplement if feeding your own grain.
  • Make sure the area is the right size. If there is too much room the chicks will get away from the food, water and heat. This can cause the birds to become weak and they can die due to stare-outs. Use brooder guard to create confined area.
  • Check the temperature or drafts if your birds are piling up, chirping a lot, or pasting up behind. This is an indication they are too cold.
  • Place a few chicks with your turkeys if brooding them separately - they will get the poults eating and drinking. In 10 days remove the chicks.
  • Beak trim your layers if placing them with other birds.
  • Ask us for free advice when in doubt.

Don'ts

  • Over heat your chicks in transit [do no put in front of a heater]
  • Use cardboard, plain newspaper or any slippery substance on the floor to start chicks or poults. This can cause severe leg problems.
  • Start baby chicks in the same building as older birds. It is very easy to transmit diseases from your old birds to your newly hatched chicks.
  • Cover the chick area with plastic. This will cause dampness and can kill the chicks. Chick need proper ventilation.
  • Overfeed - this is one of the most common reasons for ascites in meat birds.
  • Use white heat lamps or allow bright sunlight into the enclosure. This could cause pecking.
  • Place ducks and geese in with chicks or poults. They tend to create an environment too damp for the chicks
  • Use sawdust or sand for litter
  • Over medicate your birds. Use only recommended medications and follow label instructions.