6 Best Chick Supplies to Start Your Flock

To raise chickens, you need to start with the best chick supplies. I know, for we raised chickens successfully for 30 years. Here is everything you need in one place, easy to order so you can get started!

The other day, I went to the grocery to buy eggs and gasped when I saw that a dozen were selling for $8.99 (Jan, 2023). It reminded me how fortunate we were when we raised chickens. We had the best eggs and could guarantee that they were the healthiest available. We even had enough to share with the local food bank.

eggs in hand with chickens in the background for best chick supplies

If you are just beginning to raise chickens, here is everything you need to get started. Below you will find economical suggestions for the basic supplies that you need to raise baby chicks. Nothing to it! Just click on the links provided to get everything you need.

As with any venture, you should have a business start up plan. Lay out on paper what you intend to do, then modify it as your experience grows. That is the way to be successful.

The best chick equipment will help you get your baby chicks started properly. It will simplify your daily chores, help you raise good food for your table, and if you persist, you can even raise enough eggs to sell.

Create a Safe Place

Their housing doesn’t have to be fancy, just some place where they are contained safely, are warm, and have food and water. Your first consideration should be to have a safe place to keep your baby chicks and chickens. Predators, including neighborhood dogs and cats in that category, find chickens “easy pickins!”

What Do You Need for Baby Chicks?

When purchasing chicks, think about what different breeds offer: freedom from disease, early feathering, feed efficiency, rate of growth, egg production, and egg quality. What is important to you? Many poultry producers can explain their stock to you in these terms.

Don’t just randomly pick out the cutest chicks at the feed store, even though it is tempting. Consider the breed they are for you will live with your choice for a number of years.

How Many Baby Chicks Should You Buy?

three little chicks

Chickens are social animals, so you should plan on at least 3 to 6 chicks, more if you are looking for production. Most chickens produce 1 egg every 24-26 hours, so from 3 chickens, you will probably get about 15-20 eggs per week.

Also, young chicks can die very easily in the first few months of their lives, so you will probably want to buy 1 or 2 extra.

I also recommend that you avoid getting any roosters. This may be nearly impossible, for when they are young, roosters and hens look very much alike. There are a number of hybrid breeds if you can find them, called Sex-Link and then the breed name. There are at least five breeds that have been developed as sex-link. The producers can with about 90% accuracy separate the females from the males. If you can find a sex-link breed, you have a really good chance of only buying hens, not roosters.

Where to Buy Your Baby Chicks

Your first stop should be at a local hatchery. They will have a variety of breeds and can assist you in making a good choice. If you do not have a hatchery nearby, you can google live chicks and find a number of businesses that sell and ship chicks. Chicks are not available for the entire year–they are usually available in spring. With the huge demand for chicks lately, it would be wise to put in an order for the breed of chick that you want and when you want them delivered.

You can also buy live chicks from Tractor Supply. They sell the chicks in units of 10 online. Check out the Tractor Supply Chicks here!

Supplies for Your Baby Chicks

The supplies that you will need for chicks are slightly different than what you need for full-grown, producing chickens. You won’t use most of these supplies past the first couple of months, but they are really handy as you start your baby chicks. Before you bring the chicks home, have these supplies on hand. Here are quick links to everything you will need!

Brooder

The first home for your growing chicks can be as simple as a cardboard box, but don’t leave it square or rectangular. You should modify it into a round or oval brooder–you don’t want any corners that chicks can get stuck in.

Cardboard brooder filled with chicks

A brooder’s main tasks are to keep the baby chicks out of drafts and keep them safe while they are rapidly growing. It needs to be deep enough to hold bedding, but sides high enough to keep the chicks inside. It needs to be large enough that the chicks can sit under the heat lamp light in the middle, but move into the shade when they become too hot.

Buy Now!

orange and gray plastic paneled brooder
from merchant site

If you aren’t interested in building a brooder, the Farm Innovators Model 3700 Baby Chick Starter Home can hold up to 15 chicks and is well-rated.

Easy to set up, durable design that is washable and reusable! Can be expanded to 36″ in diameter. 18″ high panels. Has an adjustable lamp hanger.

$40.99 CLICK HERE to get started with a great brooder!

Chick Bedding

The floor of your brooder should be covered, 3-4 inches, with absorbent bedding so that you can clean up the wet bedding daily. You want to keep them off of the ground for the first few weeks. This bedding should not have any odor for that can affect the chick’s health. You can use wood shavings (again, no odor) or even better, corn cob bedding.

Premium corn cob bedding
From merchant site

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This is 100% Natural Corn Cob Bedding and it is the best for new chicks! After you move your chicks out of the brooder, you can add it directly to your garden for it has been produced with no pesticides. .

Provides a comfortable, pleasing home for your chicks! It is super absorbent and it will control ammonia and prevent puddling in the brooder. EASY CLEANUP!

$28.42 for a 12 lb bag CLICK HERE to line your brooder with the best bedding product on the market!

Heat Lamp

For the first 6 weeks or so, you will need a heat lamp to keep the chicks warm. Each week, you will need to lower the temp as they grow. Hatch to 1 week, the temp should be at 95 degrees; 1-2 weeks, at 90 degrees; 2-3 weeks, 85 degrees; 3-4 weeks, 80 degrees, and 4-5 weeks at 75 degrees.

Brooder heat lamp
from merchant site

The heat lamp needs to be about 20 inches above the bedding. This should be turned on the day before the chicks arrive so that the brooder will warm up. It should be set up so that the chicks can go under it for heat, or move away into a cooler spot if they are too warm. Purina has excellent directions on how to start baby chicks.

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You will find many uses for the JobSmart Brooder Lamp after your chicks are grown, but right at the beginning of their lives, this heat lamp is critical. The lamp lights 50% more area than a standard clamp light. The clamp can be connected to a number of different surfaces. There is a fully enclosed steel guard that makes it safer than most brooder lamps. It’s nice that it has an energy-saving on/off switch and the lamp has an adjustable ball joint for easy positioning.

$11.99 CLICK HERE to purchase the brooder heat lamp

Heat Thermometer

thermometer

The heat thermometer will help you to regulate the proper heat for the brooder. As you can see from above, the heated area from the heat lamp needs to be monitored and regulated on a daily and weekly basis. This is to make sure that any chick has enough warmth, yet a place to retreat to if she gets too hot.

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The Producer’s Pride heat thermometer is cost-effective and easy to use. It requires no button to operate, and it is made of aluminum. It is best used to measure the temperature in a brooder.

$6.49 CLICK HERE to buy this easy-to-use thermometer!

Chick Feeder and Chick Waterer Kit

Chick Feeder

When chicks eat, they tend to make a mess out of their food, so chick feeders that have small openings will help to keep their area clean and prevent wasted feed. Other feeders, such as the trays, give them too much access to walking through the food and they scatter it. To prevent waste, use a feeder with small holes.

For your young chicks, you shouldn’t need a metal chick feeder for chick starter feed. Plastic is more than adequate for their first feeder, and the red color on baby chick feeders is great for attracting them.

Chick Waterer

A chick waterer that is slightly elevated will keep the brooder dryer than one placed directly on the floor. These are baby chicks and like all babies, they are messy. You will need to remove, on a daily basis, any wet material from the brooder. Using an elevated waterer will allow less spillage. Plastic chick waters work just fine for your young chicks since you are probably raising them in the springtime with no fear of freezing.

Later on, you will want a heavy gauge galvanized steel chicken waterer for your grown chickens to have, especially if you live in an area with freezing weather. A metal waterer can be set on a heated metal base to keep the water fresh throughout winter. You don’t need it at the beginning, plus you can’t use a warmer with a plastic waterer.

Buy Now!

chick waterer and feeder

This set of chick waterer and feeder will get your chicks off to a great start. The waterer has 3 adjustable heights, so you can raise it as the chicks grow. The feeder allows the chicks to access their food through holes in a red base which will attract them. Being a plastic feeder and waterer, it is easy to see when you will need to refill them.

This set is easy to wipe out and refill–very simple to use with twist-off bases. The water tank is made with non-spill technology to prevent tipping and spilling in the brooder. The waterer can also be hung in their coup, as the chickens graduate to a bigger space. There are muti-uses for this well-thought-out pair!

$22.99 for the set CLICK HERE to buy a super useful chick feeder and chick waterer!

Those First Six Weeks With Your New Chicks

A chick asleep in a hand

Those first six weeks are critical to the healthy growth of your new chicks. They will require warmth, safety, food, and water to prosper as they grow.

Create a secure home for them from a purchased brooder or a DIY cardboard box. Fill it with soft bedding, and hang a heat lamp above it. Place the chick feeder and the chick waterer where they can get to them easily. Check your baby chicks at least once a day and make sure their new home is warm, dry, and secure.

Enjoy your time with those little balls of fluff. It goes by fast.

Want more information about chickens?

Purchasing a Chicken Coop

Free Range Chickens

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