Beginning tomorrow March 2 through May 27, 2011, Tractor Supply will have chicks available. The chicks included are chicks, ducks, turkeys, and bantams. The breeds and selection vary by store. You can also special order on over 40 breeds!
Tips for Picking Healthy Chicks
- Healthy chickens are active, but not too noisy.
- If they are disturbed, they get up and move away.
- Content chicks in a proper brooder will be under the heat lamp or near it sleeping peacefully. There will be other content chicks eating/drinking or walking around. They will usually be quiet except for an occasional peep.
- Baby chicks should have two bright, clear eyes.
- The baby chicks’ rear ends or vent area should be clean.
- Beaks should be straight. If the beak tip is missing, do not be alarmed as some hatcheries trim the end of the beak to prevent chicks from picking at each other.
- Toes should be straight.
Characteristics of an UNHEALTHY Chick
- Chicks with cloudy or dull eyes, twisted beak, bent or missing toes or a dirty vent area should not be picked!
- A droopy looking chick may not be healthy. If the chick is touched and responds vey little, it more than likely is not healthy.
- If a chick is lying on its back with its legs in the air, it is definitely UNHEALTHY!
- Chicks which pant with their beaks open are either too warm or sick. If they appear normal after they are cooled down, they should be fine. If the chicks are as far away from the heat source as possible, they are probably too hot. If they are piled on each other near the heat source and peeping loudly, they are probably too cold.
- If the chicks are very noisy but they are not too hot or too cold and there is plenty of water and food available, then something else is wrong.
- The belly area should not look sore and red. The chicks should not have any wounds or bloody area. A slight lump on the belly where the egg yolk was is okay.
You can find more information on how to care for your chick on the Tractor Supply website.