Once chicks or ducklings arrive, introduce them to the brooding area. Water, at room temperature, should be available, but wait a couple hours to introduce feed. This gives chicks a couple hours to drink and rehydrate before they start eating. Dip the beaks of several babies into the water to help them locate it. These chicks or ducklings will then teach the rest of the group to drink. Monitor the group to ensure everyone is drinking within the first couple hours.
What should you feed your new chicks? For chicks who will later lay eggs, select a feed that has 18% protein, like Purina® Start & Grow® Premium Poultry Feed. For meat birds and mixed flocks, choose a complete feed with 20% protein, like Purina® Flock Raiser® Crumbles. Transition layer chicks onto a higher-calcium complete feed, like Purina® Layena® Crumbles or Pellets, when they begin laying eggs at age 18 to 20 weeks.