How to Feed Chicks

Food and water is important for young chicks, and so is the type of feed you choose. You’ll want to start them off with a high-quality chick starter and purchase them a feeder and drinker which prevents mess or drowning. Along with that you have the choice to feed the chicks out of your hand every once in a while to grow a strong bond between you and them. After you read these steps carefully, you’ll soon have yourself some healthy and strong chicks.


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    Avoid feeding your chicks within an hour after they have hatched. You might want to wait until the chicks are a day old first instead of feeding them straight away. Meanwhile, you'll need to purchase a suitable feed for them if you haven't already done so.
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    Purchase a chick started feed. Chick starter is a type of feed for chicks. The difference between chick started and regular feed is that it contains all the nutrients that the chick needs in life, so you don’t need to feed your chicks any extra treats. The crumbles are also smaller so it's easier for the young chicks to digest, where-as they might choke on regular feed because of the large size of the grains.
    • Chick starter can be found at your local ranch supply or pet store. The higher the quality of the brand the better the feed is, but it may be more expensive. There are two types of feeds; medicated and non-medicated. The medicated feed simply helps prevent Coccidiosis which is an illness in chickens.
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    Purchase a chick feeder and drinker. A feeder and drinker is where the chicks will be eating from. Using a feeder is better than placing the food on the floor or feeding the chicks out of your hand as this can create a mess and use up most of your time. Make sure the feeder and drinker is for young chicks and not grown chickens.
    • Drinkers prevent your chicks from drowning; however you can always put some marbles or pebbles in a shallow water bowl to prevent chicks from drowning. The shine from the marbles will encourage the chicks to drink too.
    • If you wish, you can feed the chicks out of your hand. Place small amounts of food in the palm of your hand and let the chicks come to you and eat. This is great for taming the chicks and it grows a bond between you and them too.
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    Provide water and food at all times. Chicks need access to food and water all throughout the day. If you don’t they will become thirsty or hungry. Although you don’t have to provide the food during the night, but that is your choice.
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    Refill and clean the food and drinker once every week. Hygiene is important for young chicks, and if you don’t clean their brooder frequently it will get very dirty and the chicks will be prone to diseases. Rinse the feeder and drinker every week and refill the water/food every day or two. Every two or three weeks you’ll want to bleach the feeders and drinkers.


  • Do not feed your chick’s wet or old chick starter. This can cause the chicks to seriously get ill or even die.
  • Some chicks may not eat food or drink right away, so be sure to check on them every 20 minutes until you have seen most of the chicks eat and drink. If they are not seen drinking place some shiny marbles in the drinker as this will encourage them to drink.
  • Make sure the feeder and drinker is small and not too high so the chicks are able to reach for the food and water.

Things You'll Need

  • Young chicks.
  • High quality chick Starter.
  • Feeder.
  • Drinker.

Article Info

Categories: Chickens