If you’re anticipating new chicks getting, try this DIY mineral rich drink for your new chicks that may be stressed from the shipment.
We just got new chicks from Murray McMurray Hatchery and this is our first time ever owning chicks. The experience has been exciting, tiring, and scary all at the same time.
It’s exciting because baby chicks are just the cutest! Plus, we get to look forward to fresh eggs in a few short months.
The experience has been tiring because we chose to build the coop and run for the chickens. Enough said…
Lastly, it’s a bit scary because this is uncharted territory. We don’t know what to expect with these chicks or what obstacles may come our way. In fact, we noticed one of our chicks acting very sluggish compared to the others. Luckily this mineral drink perked her up in no time!
Why Make Your Own Mineral Rich Drink For Chicks
This is something you’d probably want to bookmark or pin for later when you’re anticipating chicks yourself. A big reason you would want to give them a high mineral drink is from stress. Getting shipped across the country definitely falls under that category.
At first, my husband told me to grab an electrolyte mix from Tractor Supply. I got a pack of 3 for about $3. It seemed simple enough and it was, but when I got home I mixed it in with a gallon of water and it looked like orange gatorade! Of course I should’ve looked at the ingredients in the store, but unfortunatley I did in that moment and couldn’t bring myself to make these new chicks this electrolyte mix.
I already stay away from food dyes for my family, and it just didn’t seem right NOT to treat my chicks with the same caution.
Of course, if it was all you had and needed it in an emergency, then a premade electrolyte mix would be great to have on hand for a chicken’s first-aid kit.
When You Would Make This DIY Mineral Rich Drink for Chicks
The first time you’ll want to give this mineral rich drink to your chicks is when they first arrive in the mail. They’ll have undergone a lot of stress. Stress depletes minerals and so it only makes sense that you’d want to replenish their minerals upon arrival. To be honest, I make my own mineral drink when I’m stressed (although not this same one)!
During the summer months, it would be ideal to give them a mineral drink every so often because heat is also considered a stress.
Some other reason you may want to give your chicks a mineral drink are:
- too much handling
Another thing to take note is your chick’s/chicken’s behavior. Are they acting differently such as: poor egg production, not eating or drinking normal, or panting?
How To Administer Your Mineral Drink to Chicks
When you first get baby chicks, it’s important to teach them how to drink. Simply put their beak into the drink and observe if they slurp it up. Once you’ve noticed they’ve drank it, they’ll know how to drink from then on.
For especially sick chicks, you can get a dropper and drip it onto their beaks.
If they aren’t opening their beaks, you can put a droplet on the outside of their beak and that may get them to open.
Amounts To Give
This totally depends on the situation. For new chicks, you can give this to them for two days and then switch to regular water. For sick or sluggish chickens, I can’t give an exact amount. Be sure to monitor and play it by ear.
- sugar, honey, or molasses: These sweeteners are great because it’s an easy source of glucose, carbs, and calories. It also tastes good and gets your chicks wanting to hydrate. Use sparingly. I like the idea of molasses for the added minerals, but my chicks didn’t prefer it.
- baking soda
- salt: Sodium is an essential mineral that helps growth and energy.
- potassium chloride or cream of tartar: Potassium is another mineral to add to give your chicks an extra boost.
DIY Mineral Rich Drink for New Chicks
- 1 gallon of water
- 1 Tbsp. sugar, raw honey, or molasses (molasses has good minerals but my chicks didn’t seem to like it)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt: Sodium is an essential mineral for chicks. It helps with growth and energy for the chicks.
- 1 tsp. potassium chloride *optional (I used cream of tartar that is high in potassium too!): These ingredients provide the essential mineral potassium to your chicks.
Mix ingredients together until dissolved.
Only give this mineral drink to your chickens on an “as-needed” basis. Offer only a few days at a time, alternating between the mineral drink and regular water. Too much salt can be harmful to the chicken’s health.
More Homestead Chicken Posts:
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- + 1 gallon of water
- + 1 tsp. salt
- + 1 tsp. baking soda
- + 1 tsp. potassium chloride (I used cream of tartar instead)
- Mix everything into one gallon of water until dissolved.
Only give this mineral drink to your chickens on an "as-needed" basis. Offer only a few days at a time, alternating between the mineral drink and regular water. Too much salt can be harmful to the chicken's health.