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Breeding Your Own Chicks
Pipping & Hatching

Breeding Chicks

A few days before the eggs are due to hatch, turning should cease, and the temperature and humidity adjusted as referred to earlier. After the initial cracking of the shell, the chick usually emerges quite quickly. Avoid ‘helping’ it out because it is easy to damage or rupture the blood vessels. Only if there is a considerable delay should help be given. The best way is to wipe the egg over with a clean, damp cloth in case the internal membranes have stuck to the down feathers of the embryo. Ease it open very gently, stopping frequently to allow the chick to get out alone if at all possible.

Once the chicks have emerged from the shell, they should be left to dry off in the warm atmosphere. They will soon fluff up. There is no need to worry about feeding them for the first day because they have the remnants of the yolk in the abdomen to provide food. After that, they can be removed to a brooder for their initial rearing. Purpose-made brooders are available from suppliers or you can make your own from a large cardboard box or something similar. They should have a suspended heat lamp to keep them warm. Again, suppliers have these for sale. Wood shavings or sawdust can be used as litter, while chick crumbs in a small feeder, and a drinker which provides water without letting them climb in, will provide for all their immediate needs.

The above information is relevant to all birds but there are obvious variations in requirements, depending on the type and species. These are outlined in the following table:

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Copyright © Katie Thear 2005

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