Frequently Asked Questions
Housing - Feeding - Care - Breeding
Happy Feet Hatchery wants to make sure you have ALL the INFORMATION available to you at your finger tips. Our frequently Asked Questions section has been carefully put together to assist you with questions most asked by our customers. This section is constantly being updated with new information so be sure to Bookmark our website and this page.
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Frequently Asked Questions
- Box/Storage Bin/Tub (the larger the better)
- Bedding (pine FLAKES, NOT shavings)
- Heat Lamp Assembly
- 60w - 100w bulb (DO NOT use red heat bulbs)
- Starter Feed
Medicated feed contains Amprolium which aids in Coccidiosis prevention. Coccidiosis is, unfortunately, a common intestinal disease that birds acquire through feces. Some people that order chicks from large hatcheries will choose to have their chicks vaccinated for this disease. If they do this, they should NOT feed their chicks medicated feed as it cancels out the effectiveness of the vaccine. Non-medicated feed is just that, non-medicated. This route allows the birds to develop their own immune systems un-aided by medications. Coccidiosis can be easily prevented by keeping your birds’ brooder/coop clean and dry.
NO. Red heat bulbs are an EXTREME fire hazard, put out entirely too much heat, and can cause behavioral problems with your baby chicks. A regular 60w-100w bulb is perfectly suitable to use and much safer for you and for your baby chicks.
Your baby chicks need to stay in the brooder (inside preferably) until they are fully-feathered which usually takes anywhere from 4-6 weeks. Their feathers are their protection from all different kinds of weather conditions, therefore once they have all of their feathers they are safe to make the move outside.
You can offer your chick’s fun treats like mealworms (LIVE or dried). However, keep in mind, your little fluff balls need as much nutrition as possible to mature properly. So, offer treats in small amounts and in moderation so their main source of food is their feed.
Once our chicks hatch here on property we use one packet of Probiotics in a one gallon waterer and let them deplete that and then offer them fresh water thereafter. So, you can do the same if you like, we especially encourage our shipping orders to have this available for their chicks once they arrive. The probiotic packs are not something you need to have in their water every time you refill it. They are typically used just as an initial boost for your chicks when they first hatch. It offers an immune system and digestive boost for your baby chicks.
YES and NO. Different poultry hatch in different sizes, grow at different rates, and have different feed schedules. Keeping young varieties of poultry all together can be unsafe for those reasons. The bigger ones may pick on or could possible smother the others. Now, when it comes to keeping older varieties of poultry together, this is much less worrisome and the only thing that needs to be verified is that all of the birds co-exist peacefully.
First, you should always quarantine new birds for AT LEAST two weeks. Monitor them closely to ensure that they’re healthy. Keep in mind when buying from multiple breeders that your risk of disease it higher so be sure to only obtain birds from reputable/clean farms. Some birds can also appear healthy, but can be carriers of diseases. This is why quarantining birds is so important. Next, always follow the rules of size and feed when combining new birds. If they are the same size and they are on the same feed they are safe to integrate. Once the birds are introduced the new pecking order will start to become established. This is a process you will want to supervise just in case one or two birds are getting picked on too much. This is the main reason why we don’t attempt to integrate birds by placing them in the coop at night. Your existing flock will realize that there are new birds and you don’t want picking/fighting to occur without you there to intervene. If you do have hens displaying a little too much dominance while trying to integrate, you always remove the dominant Hens. That’s right! Never remove your weakest links. It only reinforces their low spot on the “totem pole.” Remove the bully completely away from the flock for a couple days. (This is an effort to disrupt their “place in the pecking order.”) Then try re-introducing.
It depends on the breed. Most breeds start to lay at the 5-6 month mark. Some specialty breeds don’t start laying until the 7-9 month mark. Sometimes it can take up to a year for a pullet to lay their first egg due to extraneous variables, but this is a rare situation.
- Starter/Grower Feed (Day-old – 10 weeks old)
- Grower/Finisher Feed (10 weeks old – 18 weeks old)
- Layer Feed (18 weeks old & up) (We suggest using crumble Layer Feed)
You should always offer feed free-choice. This means that you should provide your birds with an ample amount of feed and allow them to eat however much they like when they want. Chickens aren’t an animal that is known to over eat. They eat as they need to, and by keeping feed out all the time it allows all the birds to have access to it. Sometimes you may have a bully hen that won’t let those lower in the pecking order to eat with the group. By providing ample feed it allows all of your birds to get to the feed at any given time.
When Pullets/Hens first start to lay they may lay their eggs in strange places. You may have to step in and “train” them to use the nesting box, just as you would potty train a toddler. One of the most popular ways to do this is to use fake eggs (wooden or ceramic) in the nesting box to teach them that, that is where the eggs belong. Also, nesting boxes should not be introduced to young birds until they’re about to start laying. If they are introduced to them early they might develop bad habits like sleeping/pooping in the nesting boxes that you certainly don’t want. By introducing them when the time is right they learn that they are meant for a specific purpose.
The MAIN things to steer clear of when offering your chickens alternative food sources would be, avacado skins and pits, ANYTHING with sugar, citrus, dried beans, raw or cooked potatoes, moldy foods, and onions. Also, garlic does have some health benefits for chickens, but is believed to be toxic in large doses.
The best ointment to use for open wounds with Chickens is a Triple Antibiotic just as you would use. However, triple antibiotic that is to be used on your chickens should not say “PAIN RELIEF” on the label.
When treating any area your Chickens are exposed to you always want to make sure to use “Chicken Safe” insecticides. We suggest using Permethrin. Permethrin comes in two forms, a powder and a liquid. The powder you would want to generously dust your birds with rubbing it into their feather. The liquid you would dilute according to the label and spray down your coop with it after you clean it first. Make sure your birds are removed from the coop while you are spraying it and do not place them back in until the spray has completely dried. Permethrin does not require any egg withdrawal time.
Safeguard Fenbendazole (Common goat de-wormer found at Tractor Supply) Dosage: (liquid Fenbendazole) Add 3ml to a 1 gallon water and change daily. Do this for 2-3 days. Repeat only once more on day 10 to kill any remaining young worms. Egg Withdrawl time: 14 days *Excessive amounts of Fenbendazole can be toxic to chickens. Fenbendazole should NOT be used on hens during a molt. ***We are NOT Verterinarians. We are suggesting the above de-wormer based on our own in depth research. It is your choice entirely how you choose to care for/medicate your birds.
- VetRX (for respiratory issues)
- Durvet Durastat (for respiratory issues)(organic)
- Durvet Vitamins (organic powder supplement)
- Durvet Layer Boost (organic)
- Triple Antibiotic (NO PAIN RELIEF)
- Vertrycin (spray for open wounds)
- Nutridrench (nutritional supplement)
- Rooster Booster No Pick Solution (to combat feather picking/bullying)
- Apple Cider Vinegar (organic with “the mother”)
- Epsom Salt
- Disposable Gloves
We have tried our best to answer as many questions about raising your “Happy Feet Hatchery” feathered friend. If you do not see an answer to your question please just GIVE US A CALL AT (407) 733-4427 or send us an EMAIL.