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Baby Chicks, Turkeys and Ducks at DeRuyuter Co-Op
Serving the Farming Communities of New York State from Oneida to Skaneateles; Richfield Springs to Binghamton


Time to order baby chicks, turkeys and ducks!
Orders can be taken starting in March.
Chicks will arrive in May. Payment is due at pickup.

The following are things to think about before you order:
Start off on the right footSelect the right breed of bird for your needs
  1. Meat producing breeds
  2. Egg producing breeds
  3. Dual purpose breeds (Meat and Eggs)
Egg Producing Breeds: Layers
  • Smaller bodies
  • Start to lay eggs at approximately 20 weeks
  • Average hen lays 20-23 dozen eggs the first year
  • Molts at approximately 14-18 months
  • Healthy hens lay for 2-4 years
  • Example: White Leghorn

Meat-Producing Breeds:

Broilers & Fryers
  • Broad breasted and larger than layers
  • Produce 1 pound of meat for every 2 pounds of feed
  • Can weigh 5-6 pounds at 8 weeks
  • Harvested at 3.5-5.0 pounds
  • Examples: Cornish and Cornish/Plymouth Rock Cross
Dual-Purpose Breeds:
Meat & Eggs
  • Your classic "backyard" chicken
  • Large bodied birds
  • Very hardy and self-reliant
  • Most lay large, brown-shelled eggs
  • Example: Rhode Island Red
  • Are often raised for their meat-producng qualities.
  • Various breeds within each species are available with varying qualities


Project & Equipment Checklist
  • Healthy chicks
  • Brooder & Brooder Guard
  • Litter (Bedding Material)
  • Feeders
  • Waterers
  • Fencing
  • Feed
Get ready ahead of time
  • Create a comfortable, sanitary and controlled environment for chicks that is safe from predators
  • Set up for proper heating and lighting
  • Provide for proper access to water
  • Provide for proper feed
Getting ready: SPACE
  • Create an area to hold chicks for 7-10 days
  • Objectives:
  • Keep them warm/comfortable
  • Keep them close to feed and water
  • Help them adjust to their new environment
  • Approximately 1 square foot per chick
  • Housing options: Wooden/cardboard box, stock tank, brooder guard
Getting ready: HEAT & LIGHT
  • Set up lights and start heat lamps 24 hours in advance
  • One 250-watt infrared heat lamp for every 25-100 chicks
  • Provide a second lamp in case one burns out
  • Recommended temperature is 90-95*f at bird level for first week
  • Hang lamps 18"-20" above floor and adjust as necessary
  • Provide a light source to keep chick out of the dark
Getting ready HEAT & LIGHT
Temperature Control
  • Week 1 90-95f
  • Week 2 85-90F
  • Week 3 80-85F
  • Week 4 75-80F
  • Week 5 70-75F
  • Week 6 70-75F
  • Week 7 70-75F
  • Week 8 65-70F
  • Week 9 65F Minimum
Getting Ready: FOOD & WATER
  • Provide a one-gallon waterer for each 25 young birds to start
  • Add electrolytes to water
  • Provide 1" of feeder space per chick to start
  • Clean and place feeders and waters before birds arrive
  • Set the height of feeders and water even with the backs of young birds
Receiving Baby Chicks
  • Good quality birds are essential for successful results
  • Young birds should be vaccinated at the hatchery before shipping
  • Check young birds carefully before placing them in the brooder
  • Cull any stickly birds immediately
Don't leave chicks in the dark
  • Light improves their growth rate & performance
  • Keep light on for at least the first 48 hours
  • Turn lights off at least 1/2 hour the first two nights so birds don't panic if electricity is lost
Don't leave chicks in the dark!
  • Use natural light during the day
  • Provide 18-20 hours of light daily for days 3-7
  • Reduce light gradually to 10-12 hours daily thereafter
Lighting programs for Poultry
Hours of Light per day

Period Broilers Layers Turkeys Gamebirds & Waterfowl

1-2 Days 23.5 23.5 23.5 23.5
3-7 Days 18-20 18-20 20 Standard day length
1.5 Weeks 14-16 16-18 16-20 Standard day length
5 Weeks 10-16 N/A 16-20 Standard day length
to market
6-18 Weeks N/A 10-12 N/A N/A
Production N/A 15-16 N/A N/A
Feeding Recommendations
  • Scatter some feed on a newspaper the first day to chicks start eating sooner
  • Keep feeders and waters full the first week
  • Reduce feed in feeder to half-full after the first week
  • Keep feeders and waters clean
Disease Prevention
  • Coccidiosis
Characterized by diarrhea, unthriftiness and in some cases, mortality
Minimize contact with other flocks to prevent the risk of infecton
Clean, sanitary conditions are best defense
Medicated chick feed can help prevent coccidiosis
Amprolium is most common medications, no withdrawal period
More management tips
  • Provide more space as chicks grow for living, feeding and watering
  • Reduce temperature gradually by approx. 5*F per week until 65*F
  • Keep litter clean and dry, adding bedding as necessary
  • Disinfect waterers several times a week
Keeping Your Birds Healthy
  • Clean & disinfect facilities in advance
  • Buy Chicks from a reputable source
  • Avoid mixing birds from different sources
  • Keep facilities clean & dispose of litter properly
  • Locate or build pens to minimize contact with wild animals
  • Avoid borrowing or sharing equipment with neighbors (always wash & disinfect)
Keeping Your Birds Healthy
  • After a show, isolate birds for a couple of weeks before exposing other birds to them
  • Don't let friends or neighbors handle your birds
  • Know the signs of sick animals (contact veterinarian or USDA Extension Office immediately)
  • Go to this site to learn more about keeping you and your poultry safe: www.cargill-poultry-biosecurity.com
Options for Housing
  • Coops are ideal
  • Allow at least 4 square feet per bird
  • Provide enough roosts & laying boxes for each bird
  • Provide bedding at least 6 " deep
  • Make sure the space is draft free
  • Provide an adjacent pen good for turnout
  • Pen made of chicken wire is ideal
  • Secure wire underground to protect against burrowing predators
  • Netting or wire overhead protects against hawks, falcons or owls
Options for Housing, Cont.
  • Runs for gardens are available
  • Good option that safely provides birds an opportunity to eat bugs
  • Free range or pastured poultry is another option but be mindful of predators
Poultry Fun Facts
  • Commerical Chickens lay between 265-280 eggs per year
  • Chicken eggs can range in color depending on the breed of the hen.
  • You can determine the color of egg that a chicken will lay by looking at her earlobe.
  • Chickens with white earlobes lay white eggs
  • Chickens with reddish-brown earlobes lay brown eggs.
  • Chicks are relatively quiet when they are happy
Poultry Digestive System
  • Beak: aids in breaking down food
  • Tongue: move feed around in mouth
  • Esophagus: passageway from mouth to stomach
  • Crop: serves as holding and moistening reservoir
  • Proventriculus: site of gastric juice production
Poultry Digestive System
  • Gizzard: reduces particle size of ingesta
  • Ceca: emptied every 8 hours and secretes intestinal feces
  • Cloaca: ureters empty into here and are excreted as a pasty white urine
  • Many different factors influence the nutritional requirements of poultry, including
  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Degree of production
  • Health status
  •  Environment including temperature, humidity, air quality and flock density




©2011 DeRuyter Farm & Garden Co-op
All Rights Reserved
Serving the Farming Communities in New York State
from Oneida to Skaneateles, Richfield Springs to Binghamton