This baby chick is less than a day old. On day one, we keep the temperature around 90 at the floor level. Baby chicks need to be kept warm and dry and have plenty of food and water to be profitable at the end of grow-out. Chicks have part of the egg yolk still inside that provides some nourishment and immunity passed on from the mother hen. Our job is to brood them better than nature would so they survive and perform to their genetic potential.
This chick is 7 days old and should weigh about .35 of a pound at this stage. The temperature in the house has dropped to the lower 80s. He has learned to eat and drink from the automatic feed systems, so we start removing the additional feed trays placed for baby chicks.
This chick is 2 weeks old and should weigh about .85 of a pound. The house temperature is around 80 degrees. This stage of the flock is what I call the coast time. I get asked all the time what the mortality rate is. The rate for the first seven days is usually under 1 percent – most of the time 1/2 percent. Week two will drop even more if we have done a good job the first week of keeping them at a near-perfect environment.