Do you want to have healthier eggs from your own backyard? Would you like to add some vibrant feathered friends to your family? Start keeping chickens this year and change your home into a homestead. Chicks are available this spring at several locations in Santa Fe. They require care, feeding and protection but are not complicated or expensive to own.
Basics for the First 60 Days
When you first bring the chicks home, they’ll need a brooder box. This is a warm, dry and safe place for your chicks to live for the first two months. The brooder box can be a large box or crate that is 18″ high with straw or wood shavings in the bottom. It will need to be located in a place that is safe from curious pets or children. Chicks must be kept at 95 degrees during the first week, so you will need a lamp or heat source. Make sure that the area is warm before bringing the chicks home.
Water and food are the next items on the checklist. Clean water must be available at all times. A fount is a way to provide water to your small chicks and can be purchased at the local stores listed below. Chick feed is higher in protein than adult feed. A feeder will help keep the feed dry and in one place, so that it is available to the chicks at all times. The local feed stores below can provide more information and options.
Checking on the chicks several times per day is important to make sure that the environment is dry, draft-free, warm and they are safely growing. Human interaction is recommended to have them be used to people and living in your backyard chicken coop.
Pick Out Your Chicks
Here are three locations in Santa Fe that have chicks available this spring.
Critters & ME
1403 Agua Fria Street
Monte Vista Fuel & Feed, Inc.
3155 Agua Fria Street
Mon – Fri 9am – 6pm
Sat 9am – 2pm
The Feed Bin
1202 West Alameda Street
Mon – Fri 8am – 6pm
Sat 9am – 5pm
Other Resources for Your Backyard Coop
Enjoy your baby chicks. Start planning their coops, eating areas and protection from predators. There are resources locally as well as online. Here are a few magazine websites that have covered chickens in the past month.
Mother Earth News – click here for the website
Urban Farm- click here for the website