A few tips on raising chicks for eggs

If farming is your passion and you’re thinking about following your heart then poultry farming is a great place to start. Chickens are the least expensive, easy to care for and very rewarding. If you plan on buying baby chicks, the one question you should be asking yourself is whether you’re ready to be mother hen for a couple of weeks?

Today, I’m going to talk about layer poultry farming – particularly keeping chicks.

The first few days of a chicks life

Layer chickens need to be raised from when they are one day old. They start laying eggs from 18-19 weeks of age and continue to lay eggs until they are 71-77 weeks of age. They can produce 1 kg of eggs by eating 2.25 kg of food during their egg laying period.

During the first week or two the chicks need to be in a brooder that is 35 degrees. The heat can then be reduced by 5 degrees per week until the heat is no longer required, which is usually around 6 weeks of age or when they are feathered up. During the first 4 weeks of life chicks will require a heat source at all times, after 4 weeks the light can generally be off during the day and on at night.

Because many chicks don’t want to drink water during the first week after birth due to transporting them from one place to another, you have to make adequate water drinking systems and train them to drink water. It’s also important to mix 5% glucose with water, so that they can easily get energy. Also give them high quality multivitamin by mixing with water. This will help reduce tiredness.

You have to ensure that your chicks are vaccinated to keep them free from all types of diseases. This will reduce mortality rate, increase production and in the long run increase profits.

Below is a cycle of a chicken’s production


A few tips on feeding your chicks

Provide 2% of calcium for two weeks after their birth.
If you notice they are not gaining expected weight, then you have to serve starter feed for eight weeks.
Serve feed two or three times in a day till their 18 weeks of age.
Demand of feed increase very fast when the birds start laying.
Serve them layer poultry feed according to their age and weights.
Don’t decrease the amount of feed while laying (even if their weight increase).
Don’t forget to cut those lips

You have to cut your chick’s lip(beak) at their age of 8 to 10 days. This helps to reduce mutual fights and prevents food waste. It has to be observed by an experienced technician. This is done by cutting the lip of chicks 0.2 cm from their nose. Both upper and lower lips are cut one after another.

Remember not to cut their lips two days after or before vaccination, after or before using some medicines like sulfur. And to also serve the chicken water mixed with vitamin “K” three days before cutting lips.


It happens naturally right? The Rooster sees the hen and it just happens all the time? Well, Yes! But not all the time. Find out how to get your chickens to mate here.

17 thoughts on “A few tips on raising chicks for eggs

    1. Beak trimming is performed early in the life of commercial hens to decrease injuries caused by cannibalism, bullying, and feather and vent pecking. Birds naturally peck at the environment and each other to investigate and work out where they fit into the flock (pecking order). This behaviour can become a problem in commercial situations and many deaths have been recorded among untrimmed hens. It has to be done by a professional if you as a farmer are not trained to do it. There are other alternatives such as beak abrasive materials applied to the feed trough which may enable the chick to blunt the hooked end of the beak while feeding and reduce the effectiveness of pecking. Speak to your Vet about other alternatives.

  1. i want to start poultry farming with layers. what can be advised, is it to start with the small chicks or buy layers which are at the point of lay?

    1. The age at which you should buy a chicken is dependant on a number of factors- your experience with chickens, how much you want to spend and the effort you want to put into raising them. day old chicks can be cheaper to buy but require time and are probably best left to more experienced poultry keepers.
      The usual age to purchase chickens, especially since you want eggs, is point of lay. At this age they are considered adult birds and so are hardy and strong, not requiring special care. However, they will be a little more expensive than purchasing baby chicks.

  2. Thanks for the information on raising layers. Q. Will you kindly share tips on feeding? You just mentioned feed according to their age. Is there a recommended qty e.g. 50 birds starter,grower amount needed….

  3. I have become interested in layering hen for eggs,my question how many types of feeds doers a hen feed to the point of laying egg and how many eggs doer’s a hen lay a day?

  4. I would like to start rearing point of lay hens. Assist me with basic information on how much feed I need to give them and for how long before they start dropping eggs.

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