Homesteading Uncategorized

Pros and Cons to raising chicks and ducklings under a red light

I will throw myself under the bus when I say that I was clueless when I started my homesteading journey.  And I’ve had quite  few failures before finding my groove.

With each passing month, then years I have acquired useful knowledge.  Failed at quite a few things, and excelled in others.  Found what I enjoy to increase our sustainability and what I don’t enjoy.

I think sometimes we neglect to look at our failures and see where and how we can improve.

Homesteading isn’t easy.  It is however a simple way of living by bringing healthy foods to the table and eliminating ones carbon footprint.

Two years ago we decided to add backyard chickens to our homestead, it has had it’s own failures and successes.

I would need a novel to include all of the failure and successes, so today I’d like to chat specifically raising baby chicks and ducks under a red light.

Our first set of baby chicks we hatched outside with the help of a mama hen and our surprise Rooster.  The process was simple, and natural and really required nothing from us.  I loved it.

Fast forward to a second attempt at raising baby chicks and ducklings.  We decided to try purchasing 4 baby chicks and 2 ducks from our local Tractor Supply.  I read that duck eggs are excellent for baking so I figured why not add a couple to our homestead.   I’ve found for the future this is definitely not a desired route for our own needs.  It’s exceptionally time consuming, messy, and to be quite honest has been an experience I never want to repeat.  You may think differently but let me share with you the pros and cons to raising baby chicks and ducks under a red light.  And you decide.

Let’s start with the pros

  •  You have the ability to choose specific breeds of chicks and or ducks.
  •  Handling young chicks and ducks can increase their friendliness towards you.
  •  Simply, they are cute.
  •  Raising them from chicks and ducklings assures you of the healthy diet they receive from a young age.
  •  It’s a fun experience for children.
  • Future farm fresh organic eggs.
  • An inexpensive way to start a backyard flock.

Now let’s chat cons

  • The MESS.  When I say mess I mean mess.  Poop gets into the water feeder as well as the food feeder.  Requiring their brooder to be cleaned multiple times a week.
  • Baby chicks and ducks eat and drink A LOT.  Multiple times a day I find myself changing out their water and food to keep things as clean as I possibly can.
  • They stink.
  • They need to be under a red light until they are feathered this takes anywhere from 7-10 weeks.
  • Time, time, and time.  Baby chicks and ducks require time, it wasn’t until we decided to try the red light that I realize how time consuming it really is.


I’ve had friends raise their own chicks under a red light with minimal complaints.  I however could write a novel on my complaints.  All jokes aside I will enjoy them once they join the big hens in the yard and provide us with fresh organic eggs.

This isn’t to dissuade you from trying to raise your own baby chicks and or ducklings but I think I could have benefited from hearing the reality of raising them under a red light.  They require a lot of time and attention until they are old enough to go outside.


Do you own baby chicks and or ducklings?

Do you find that the cons outweigh the pros?

Happy Homesteading!