Chicks bought, but what else do you need to get?

Decided to buy chicks? Wondering what you should know and need to get in order to take care of them during their evolution? If so, follow these tips.

Don't be alarmed by this fact if you decide to buy chicks: the animals go through a lightning-fast evolution. So you'd better be ready to cope with each new phase. What do you need for this?


To begin with, chicks need a dry, draft-free, sturdy place in a safe and sheltered location. An ordinary cardboard box will certainly do the job. Chicks grow fantastically fast: so adjust the size of the box as they grow. Before you know it, they'll be clambering over the side or fluttering away.

A heat source is indispensable. Chicks need a lot of heat: their environment should be around 30 to 35°C during the first week. After that, the temperature can be reduced by 5°C every week. From the fourth week onwards, 18°C is sufficient. In addition to heat lamps, there are also dark radiators or heat plates. Unlike lamps, the latter do not emit light. They therefore do not disrupt the chicks' normal daily and nightly rhythms.

Provide a substrate with several inches of wood fiber.

Eating and drinking

As soon as chicks hatch, they can chirp, walk, eat and drink. So go ahead and sprinkle some Gold 1&2 Mash on the ground and between the wood fibers: this will teach them to scavenge to find food. Also provide a shallow water bowl. Read all about how to buy the right food for (young) chickens here!

When can chicks go outside?

If the weather is warm, dry and sunny, chicks are generally allowed outside as from two to three weeks of age, in a safe, draft-free coop of course. Limit their outdoor time to fifteen minutes. Never leave them alone: magpies and crows see your beloved chicks as a tasty meal!

Putting chicks with older chickens

What you definitely need is patience! Incorporate a period of time (at least a week) during which your older hens can see, but not touch, the chicks. For example, place the new chickens in a separate coop from the existing coop. When you physically introduce the two groups, there will be some jostling and pushing. This is a perfectly normal evolution and a necessary step in establishing the new pecking order.

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