Monday, April 9, 2012

April is the "official" Buckeye Chick hatching Month....

Hope everyone had a HAPPY EASTER and spent time with their family and friends!

Here at the ABC we have dedicated the month of April as the "official" month for Buckeye chick hatching.  If you are like many of us diehard Buckeye breeders you have been hatching Buckeyes since January but for a lot of newbies April is when they start hatching chicks!  My email mailbox is constantly filled with messages from folks looking for Buckeye chicks or Buckeye hatching eggs EVERY April and so far April 2012 has not been any different.  This is a good thing, its certainly a sign that perhaps the economy is improving or maybe some folks are making an effort to be more self reliant.  Either way it's good for the Buckeye breed.

As everyone prepares for the arrival of their Buckeye chicks we would like to share some tips that will help your Buckeyes mature healthy and safely.

1.) When using Heat Lamps for your Brooders make certain the Brooder Lamp is suitable for the Wattage of your Infra Red Bulbs.  Some are rated for 300W while others are rated lower and using a bulb that is not suitable for the Brooder Lamp could result in a fire!

2.) Make sure Brooder Lamps are secured with wire or rope (not just a clamp) and NEVER rely on hanging by the cord.  When clamping the Brooder Lamps its also a good idea to add a nylon rope or heavy gauge wire to secure the lamp should the clamp fail.  Thisd too can prevent a fire.

3.) Use paper towls on the floor of the brooder instead of pine shavings or sand for the first week or so.  NEVER use news paper to line the brooder floor because it can get slick and cause leg problems for the chicks.  Chicks can find feed easier on paper towls instead of sand or pine shavings, in addition these other bedding materials can be ingested by chicks causeing other health issues.  After 7-10 days you can switch to sand or pine shavings without much worry!

4.) Some research has shown chicks started on a medicated feed do better in later months than chicks that are not medicated.  This is a personal choice but if you live in an area where Coccidiosis is an issue it might be worth while to use medicated chick feed for at least the first 2 weeks of life.

5.) Fresh water is a must for baby chicks and adding an Electolyte with Vitamins and Minerals can't hurt.  We find chicks grow stronger, healthier and feather faster when given these supplements on a routine basis.  Several brands of water soluable products are available at your local feed mill or poultry supply source.

The American Buckeye Club hopes everyone has a productive Buckeye hatching season and if you have any questions please don't hesitate to log onto the Buckeye Yahoo Group or Facebook page and post your questions there!  There are lots of very knowledgable members willing to share their experience with you or help you find a breeding to purchase chicks or hatching eggs from.

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