Backyard Chickens 101

Whether you live on a farm or live in town, starting a hobby, or looking to diversify your farm, backyard chickens can be a fun and rewarding investment, and we are here to help you along the way. Make sure to bookmark this page so that you can reference this information at any point.

Ordering Chicks

Sharpe Farm Supplies works closely with Frey’s Hatchery to allow our customers to pick up live birds at their closest Sharpe location. For more information please call your local store for details.

Chicken Starter Kits
Hatching Chicks Products

Hatching Chicks

Incubating chicken eggs is a 21-day process and requires an egg incubator to help control temperature and humidity. You will also need to turn the eggs during the incubation process around 3 times a day.

Products Shown:
Little Giant Incubation Thermometer: Shop Now
Little Giant Circulated Air Incubator: Shop Now
Little Giant Egg Turner: Shop Now

Their Home

When raising chicks it is important to have a safe environment that allows them to be comfortable. The FI starter home kit is a great option for someone starting out. It is also important to get a heat lamp if the chicks are under the age of 6 weeks. Once they have feathered then you can take the heat lamp out.

Products Shown:
Farm Innovators Starter Home Kit (up to 15 chicks): Shop Now
Heat Lamps: Shop Now
Phillips 175w Red Heat Lamp Bulb: Shop Now

Chick Home Products
Laying Supply Products

Laying Supplies

Starting off with laying hens? Make sure you have nesting boxes for them so that they are comfortable and feel safe to lay. Nest eggs can help train your chickens to lay in their boxes. Don’t forget the egg basket to collect your farm fresh eggs, and egg cartons to store them!

Products Shown:
Egg Carton Dozen: Shop Now
Nesting Box (enclosed, open, plastic, galvanized options available): Shop Now
Egg Baskets (small or large) Shop Now
Ceramic Nest Eggs pack (white or brown) Shop Now


Bedding is a must to make sure your chickens are happy and healthy. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you have enough shavings to fill 4 inches around their home. Sharpe Shavings are great at absorbing waste to make sure they have a clean environment. Some customers prefer to bed their coops with straw.

Products Shown:
Sharpe’s Shavings: Shop Now
Straw Bale: Shop Now
Flax Bedding 18 kg: Shop Now

Bedding Products


Waterers are all about preference but are a necessity for chicks and chickens. Water should be available at all times. Sizes and styles vary to serve different age groups and environmental conditions.

Chick Waterers

Chick Waterers

Products Shown:
1 Gal Chicken Waterer Set: Shop Now
1 Quart Mason Jar Waterer: Shop Now

Heated Waterers

Heated Waterers

Products Vary By Store Shop Now

Hen Waterers

Hen Waterers

Products Vary By Store Shop Now


Feed also needs to be available on a free-choice basis for your birds. Chick feeders should be low to the ground and spaced out enough for every bird to have easy access. For larger birds, some people prefer to hang feeders for cleanliness.

Chick Feeders

Chick Feeders

Products Vary By Store Shop Now

Mature Bird Feeders

Mature Bird Feeders

Products Vary By Store Shop Now

Feed For Chicks

Having a baby chick-specific feed will help target the growth of your chicks by giving them the proper nutrition. Young chicks are susceptible to coccidiosis so it is recommended to start them off on a feed that is medicated, like Purina MP Purinature Start & Grow. Chick starter should be fed for 4 to 6 weeks, then gradually switched to chick grower over the course of 2-3 days.

Products Shown:
Purina MP Purinature Start & Grow 25kg Shop Now
JFM Organic Poultry Starter 25 kg Shop Now
Purina Golden Start & Grow Non-Med 25kg Shop Now

Chick Feed
layer Feed

Feed For Layers

Once your chicks are fully grown (approx. 19 weeks of age or when you see eggs) it is time to transition over to a layer ration. Layer Rations have proteins and good fats that will help your chickens maintain a balanced diet so that they can lay eggs.

Products Shown:
Organic 16.5% Chicken Laymash 25kg Shop Now
Purina Golden Layena Pellet 25kg Shop Now
Sharpe's Laymash 25kg Shop Now


Flax is a great additive because it has an immense amount of Omega-3 fatty acids but must be portioned out as too much can lead to flavoured eggs. Grit is key for helping chickens with digestion. When you add grit to their diet it helps break down the food particles in a chicken's stomach to prevent any digestive health issues in the future. Oyster shells can also be mixed with grit or used on their own to help boost digestion and create strong eggshells.

Products Shown:
Whole Flax Seed: Shop Now
Oyster Shells: Shop Now
Chick, Hen, and Grower Grit: Shop Now

Chicken Supplements
Health Products

Health Products

Keeping your flock healthy is important. Sharpe’s carries vitamins, electrolytes, disinfectants, etc. to have you covered should you need them.

Products Shown:
DVL Poul-Vite 100g: Shop Now
Vetoquinol Electrolytes Plus 400g: Shop Now
Fresh Coop Dust Bath 2.7 kg shaker or 9kg bag: Shop Now
DVL Stop-Pick, Stop-Bite Spray 200ML: Shop Now
DVL Germe Zone 500mL: Shop Now

Treats & Entertainment

Just like any pet, it is important to keep chickens stimulated. Toys boost energy and happiness in your chickens. And don’t forget to grab your hens a bag of mealworms or black soldier fly larvae as a treat!

Products Shown:
Little Red Hen Treat Spiral: Shop Now
Chicken Toy Ball: Shop Now
Sweetlix Game Bird and Fowl Block 25 lbs: Shop Now
Mealworms 200 - 700g: Shop Now
Sharpe Original Black Soldier Fly Larvae 500g - 900g: Shop Now

Treats & Entertainment