Chicken Care

Chicken Care

Please remember that chicks are live animals and the hatch process can be unpredictable at times. WA Chickens does our best to meet your order as expected, but this can be impacted by a number of factors, some of which are out of our control. We will endeavour to communicate any such occurrences with you in a timely manner.

Pick up from our family farm in Capel, WA or get in touch to discuss delivery for large commercial orders. 

Transport is a stressful experience for a day-old chicken so please bring a clean, appropriately-sized box or carrier to your pick-up.  To ensure chick health, please return home and place your chicks in your pre-warmed brooder as soon as possible. If you are required to travel some distance to pick up your chicks, please have warmth, feed and water available for them for the return trip.

Your day-old chicks are brand new and very delicate. We want to help you to look after them well.  Your chicks come with a number of vaccinations depending on the season (contact us to confirm for specific orders) but require tender loving care, especially when they first arrive.

Key aspects of chicken care:

  • Shelter: Your chicks require an enclosed brooder, ideally raised off the ground with adequate ventilation but draft-free.  Chicks need flooring that keeps them warm and dry and preferably that they’re able to eat as day-old chicks don’t really know what food is, living off residual yolk in their bellies for the first 72-hours (we recommend pine shavings such as Snoozle, or hemp). Flooring should be replaced if wet or contaminated, otherwise topped-up as required.
  • Heat and lighting: Chicks aren’t able to maintain their own body temperature until fully-feathered at approximately 4-6 weeks of age. Their brooder must be both warmed (60-70% humidity, 32 degrees for the first week reducing by 2 degrees per week across 4-6 weeks) and lit. Bunnings flood lights work well but need careful placement to avoid unintended fires.  Heat plates are best. Please pre-heat your brooder at least 24 hours before your chicks arrive. This also gives you a chance to double-check that your brooder is an appropriate temperature. Your chicks should have room to move as close to or far from the heat source as they need; if they’re clumped together under the light/heat they’re too cold.
  • Feed: We recommend a high-quality chick-starter (such as Laucke Mills) for the first 6 weeks, spread on the ground for at least the first few days (remember, chicks don’t know what food is initially).  Beyond 6 weeks they should be fed a pullet grower until they reach point-of-lay. From there we recommend a high-quality layer feed (such as Laucke Mills’ Red Hen varieties, minimum 17% protein). Feed should be replenished daily.
  • Water: Provide your chicks with potable drinking water in a non-spillable vessel to avoid fungal growth. Replenish water daily.

The biggest challenge for your day-old chicks is stress. Meeting their needs as best you can across each of these domains gives them the best chance of growing up to be healthy chooks. 

WA Chickens offers advice and consultation in support of your chicks’ health, please do get in touch if you need.