Woohoo! Your new chicks are in the mail! Or maybe you’re about to make a run to the farm-supply store to pick up some peepers. Either way, make sure to set up your brooder about 48 hours before they arrive. This will allow time for bedding and equipment to dry and for the temperature to set.
Also, check the following off your list.
- Check for your brooder drafts.
- Ensure proper ventilation.
- Repair or replace loose or broken windows.
- Check for damaged flooring or walls.
- Check for damaged nesting boxes or roosts.
- Put down fresh, clean litter in the brooder.
- Clean and repair feeders and waterers. (Check metal waterers for rust.)
- Check any lighting or other electrical items in the coop.
- If coop is heated, check your heaters.
- Examine the run for holes or damage that could let predators in.
- Consider wrapping the run in a tarp.
- Check for debris or sharp objects inside and outside.
- Provide a small roost for your chicks for the first week or two.
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2023 issue of Chickens magazine.