Yesterday we received 100 day old Cornish Cross chicks. I thought it would be interesting to post weekly on raising pastured broilers from start to finish. Below is a picture of the new outside brooder my husband and two of our sons built. A brooder can be made out of all kinds of materials. Some people use large plastic totes, cardboard boxes, anything that can keep chicks confined but at the same time allowing room for them to move about. Baby chicks have to keep very warm the first few weeks of their life. The first week they like it HOT! Ninety-five degrees is their preferred temperature. Since this temperature has to be kept constant during the night and day, we use heat lamps to mimic being under mama hen. In the past we have used a section of our garage as a brooder. We prefer to have the chicks in an outside brooder so that they can get fresh air and sunshine. Sunshine is a must for a developing pituitary gland. We cover the ground with hay and/0r wood shavings which gives the chicks a dry surface to lie on.
Baby chicks have to be one of the cutest critters around! It won’t be long until they loose their fluff and their feathers will come in. Here is a picture of a one day old chick.