Guide to Raising Day-Old Chicks

Advice for Brooding & Rearing of Healthy Chicks

Congratulations! You’ve just received your first order of mail order chicks from Moyer’s Chicks. Now what do you do? Follow the steps in this guide to brooding and raising chickens.

When your day-old chicks arrive, make sure your brooder space is prepared with heat, feed and water:


  • Space – Prepare a tub, box, or large container with 2-4” of bedding (pine shavings or shredded newspaper) to protect from drafts and keep chicks close to feed, water and heat. SPACE FOR BROILERS: .5sq ft. /bird up to 18 days, 1.1 sq. ft./bird after 18 days. SPACE FOR LAYERS: .5sq ft. /bird up to 4 weeks, 1.5 sq./bird after 4 weeks.
  • Heat lamp and thermometer- make sure your chicks are at 95 degrees for the first week. Decrease by 5 degrees each week until you reach 70 degrees.  Remember, chick comfort is a better gauge than temperature reading. If chicks are huddled together chirping noisily, they are too cold.  If they are far from the heat source, panting and listless they are too hot.
  • Waterer – 1 gallon fountain waterer/50 chicks
  • Feeder – 2” of space per bird. Suggested feed program listed below:

Feeding Plan for Day-Old Chicks

Conventional Broilers (inside)
Conventional Broilers (outside)
Specialty Broilers
Egg Layers
Starter
1-2 weeks
1-3 weeks
1-3 weeks
1-8 weeks
Grower
3-4 weeks
4-5 weeks
4-6 weeks
9-16 weeks
Finisher
5-6 weeks
6-9 weeks
7+ weeks
16+ weeks