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I believe the concern with holding the chicks is not because they are messy or gross etc but because of disease.

And I am talking not in the way you might think.

Chicks are very fragile when first hatched and in their first week and then in their 4 week I believe it is they are most vunerable to any diseases we as humans bring into their environment.

So if you are housing them in your house or garage and want to handle them from time to time, go for it BUT wash your hands first! Make sure any kids that hold them are clean before doing so. The slightest bit of bacteria can kill a little chick even when they seem so healthy and are thriving at 4 weeks old. My mom says that at that age it is when they are most vulnerable for some reason. We lost 2 chicks at that age last year out of 10 when they were looking healthy and growing.

Another thing you want to do with chicks is clean out their water container with bleach every day. With the heat lamp on them the water grows bacteria quickly. THey need fresh water at least twice a day even if it is still full.

Clean betting is important as well. We found that kitty litter was the best after years of raising them off and on this past year we used kitty litter and WOW was the clean up so much easier and the smell was 50% less!
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