Always wash your hands well after handling birds, their equipment and poultry manure. Do not kiss or nuzzle any of your birds. Keep birds outside, away from human habitation and food preparation areas. Always supervise young children around birds, making sure they wash their hands well.
Peat moss, shavings, or ground corn cobs make
great litter. If you are using shavings for litter, be
sure they are kiln-dried and not fresh. This is very important. Place the litter over the floor at least
1-inch thick. Keep the litter covered for the first three days with paper towels or old bedsheets
to keep the chicks from eating the litter instead of
the feed. This is especially important for pheasant chicks. It is important to remove the paper towels after three days.
Sometimes the stress of shipping causes the manure to stick to the back of the chick.
It is important to remove this daily. Pull off gently.
Or better yet, wash off with a cloth and warm water. It will disappear in a few days as
the chick starts to grow. Make sure the
chicks have access to water at all times.
Turkeys & Wild Game
A higher protein feed is needed by the above - 28% to 30% Protein-a must! Many feed companies make an excellent line of gamebird feeds with the needed higher percentage of protein. But if you cannot get this gamebird starter ration, then a turkey starter will be sufficient. For day-old quail, the feed must be ground fine to avoid "starve outs". Quail chicks do best when the brooding floor is warm. Draft free brooding, drinkers with narrow founts are a must for starting quail chicks. Some quail hobbyists add 1-2 T. of red KoolAid to 1 qt. of water for the first few days. The red color seems to be attractive to the quail chicks and encourages them to drink. Turkey poults are slow to start and they like to be warm. Poults have poor eyesight so make sure you have extra feeders and waterers in the brooding area so they can always find one.
Ducks and Geese
Do not feed a "medicated" feed to them - ask your feed dealers advice on this! All major feed companies do make a duck and goose starter. You may have to request your feed store special order this starter feed. If using a non-medicated chick feed, add vitamin-niacin to feed or water. Chicken layer ration has too much calcium for young waterfowl.