Chicks that are hatched inside an incubator must stay inside the incubator for a couple of days. Don’t get too excited to take them out. Give them some time to realize that they are already hatchlings and have to cope with their environment. Birds like quails, pheasants and chickens can survive for three days without any source of water or food.
One very good thing about chickens is that when they are still inside the egg, days before they come out, the yolk is drawn to the navel and travels off through the stomach of the young one. The yolk will serve as nourishment for transition of the baby chick from the moment it hatches, to the time it gains sufficient strength till it fluffs out and becomes active to search the world for food. Physically, no gain weight will occur but there will be gain in activity, stature and faculty use.
Upon noticing that chicks get interested with water drops or his companion’s toes, don’t mistook this as being hungry but part of the transition phase where they learn to adapt and familiarize themselves with their environment. It is the point of experimentation of the chicks. When evidences of experimentation are seen in such interest, a baby’s learning and exploration comes in.
You can take the hatchlings out after a day or 24 hours from the time that they hatched. If you have forgotten that you have babies left in the incubator and 48 hours has already passed, that would be fine.
There are three important things to do upon hatching of the baby chicks – brooder, feeding and prevent them from drowning.
This is like a baby chick’s second pit stop after life inside an incubator. A brooder is sort of an incubator but is bigger. It can be made or bought. The thing about brooders is that you have to provide your own heat lamp and make sure that the temperature is adjustable.
Before putting the chicks inside the brooder, you should have it set at an environment that the temperature is not less than 90 degrees. A 95-degree heat can be a start. You maintain the heat lamp until the 6th week. From a 90-95 degree heat, you can decrease the heat by 5 degrees every week until it reaches about 60-65 degrees by the 6th week.
Once you put them out of the incubator, you have to make sure that there is already available food and water inside the brooder. Never let these two essentials run out. They should always have something to put their beaks into.
Babies must be fed with dry mash. Pheasant and chicken babies love baby chick mash. Solid food like grains is unsuitable. Grits aren’t necessary when you choose to use mash feed. You can buy all these in a feed store.
Receptacles can be life threatening to baby chicks especially during the first week of inhabitation inside the brooder. If they are so active, they can drown themselves inside those receptacles. There is an explanation why chicks love to flounder on water. It is said that as baby chicks that came out of an egg filled with fluid, they have this urge to throw themselves in the water thinking that it is still their sac. This is true with younger birds. But don’t worry, they’ll snap out of this once they get older.
To do away with drowning use a water cup that is shallow instead of the one that is deep.