Spring Chick List - keeping your flock happy & healthy - Big R Skip to main content
Spring Chick List - keeping your flock happy & healthy

Spring Chick List - keeping your flock happy & healthy

Posted by Adele McCanless on 7th Feb 2023

Spring has sprung early at Big R and spring chicks are here!!! This time of year is always so exciting to see the joy on our customers’ faces when those fluffy little babies show up in our stores. Whether you are a seasoned chicken tender or new to the poultry game, use this Chick List to succeed in raising the healthiest flock!


Environment:  Be sure your brooder (aka heated house for chicks) is big enough so your chicks can move about comfortably. Keep it out of drafts and do not allow the brooder to become damp or wet. Chicks should have about ½-square foot of space per chick to move about and away from the heating source if necessary. You can prevent smothering by blocking the corners of the brooder with cardboard to create wider angles, making it harder for chicks to pile on top of each other.

Bedding:  Larger wood shavings are ideal. Avoid sawdust, sand, cedar chips/shavings, or newspaper as they can become slippery and may contain toxins harmful to your flock’s respiratory systems. Clean bedding daily to maintain chick health.

Heat:  Suspend a warming lamp about a foot above the brooder floor for warmth and always have a second bulb on hand in case one burns out. Chicks should be in a brooding area that has a surface temperature of 90-95° for the first week, then you can lower the temperature about 5 degrees each week until you reach 70°; raising the warming lamp as chicks grow.

Your brooder is too cold if most chicks are crowding the heat lamp; too warm if most chicks are spread out away from the heat lamp; and just right when some chicks are under the lamp, some are near it and others are spread out in other areas of the brooder.

Food & Water:  To help chicks start eating, put feed on a small flat surface on the brooder floor so they can find it, then switch to using a feeder. Have starter/grower feed available 24/7 and they’ll eat when they need to. One chick will eat about 10 lbs. of chick starter in its first 10 weeks of life. Ensure chicks have continuous access to clean water and clean the waterer daily.

Remember to always wash your hands with soap and water after handling eggs, chickens, or anything in their environment.

Common Questions

Where do we get our chicks?

Big R orders chicks from Hoover’s Hatchery.

Can I special order chicks?

Yes! Please ask an associate for details on special ordering. Special orders require a minimum order of 15, chicks with a best-price minimum order of 25 chicks.

What do we feed our chicks?

Chicks are fed Homestead Chick Starter (SKU #2605025) in our stores.