• Jon

Preparing for Chicks

Our chicks, ducklings and goslings will be here this week and so the nesting begins, quite literally.

Is there anything more exciting than preparing for your next flock of birds? We cannot wait! We’ve kept chickens for the past several years and ducks over the last couple but it will be our first year raising goslings. We like to raise all our birds together in one coop and yard.

Our first step in preparing for a new flock is washing and sanitizing all of our chickens raising equipment. This includes the trough we raise them in and the jars for food and water.

We use a large livestock water trough for raising our flocks. It has tall sides and oval shape. It is important to have tall sides so the babies can’t jump out (we put a piece of chicken wire over top as well). It’s also important to have rounded sides so the birds can’t get stuck in the corner and sit on each other and smother each other. We’ve also used a plastic kiddy pool for larger flocks.

I am anticipating that the goslings and ducklings will grow quickly and come out of the trough before the chicks. We are using the smaller water trough for that reason rather than the larger kiddy pool.

Day old poultry and fowl need heat when they are young. We have a red heat lamp that we suspend from the coop ceiling over the trough (we also turn this on during extreme cold in the winter). The nice thing about birds is that they will tell you wether they are hot or cold, if they are spaced out far away from the lamp it’s too warm and if they are huddled together under the lamp they are too cold.

We use a large glass jar for our waterer and feeder. There are attachments you can get at your local feed store that will easily screw on to the top of a standard jar top.

Water is essential for the growing birds. Beaks need to be dunked when initially introducing a flock to your trough or chick raising area. Because of the size of the ducks and goslings we will be checking the water container several times a day because they will likely knock the water over on several occasions. Water fowl need constant access to drinking water!


As for food, a good chick starter feed or broiler feed is all you need. Our chicks in the past constantly play in their food so we have to fill it a few times a day. On an added note, the chick starter will not have enough niacin for the water fowl. Waterfowl need an extra ration of niacin to help them develop.

We keep our chicks In the trough for a month or so until they reach a decent size. As stated earlier we will likely take the ducks and goslings out long before the chicks due to their size. Our trough will be right in the chicken coop and we will be able to maneuver the trough so that the fowl will have access to the lamp as needed.


Once the fowl are removed from the trough we will section part of the coop off so they do not have too much space to wander around.

I will posting on social media a lot as we raise the babies make sure you keep an eye out on my instagram, Facebook and TikTok for the growing poultry and fowl!!

Don’t miss it!


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