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Can baby chicks be left alone for 20 hours?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

So we were planning on getting chicks mid to end of May, but due to a few random things our timeline got moved up by a month. Chicks are due to come home on April 22ish.

 

Problem is we have (expensive) tickets to a charity wine tasting event in the city on the 29th of April. We'd have to leave home at 2 to get to the event as it's an afternoon. And since we'll be drinking we won't be able to drive home until morning (we have a place to stay overnight we wouldn't be home until say 8 am the next morning. Do you think they'll be ok for that long? They'll be in the house in our mud room so there's no worries about predators and our dogs are coming to the city with us. We're staying at my parent's house and my mom HATES chickens so there's no way we can bring them with us (not to mention I wouldn't want to disassemble their brooder and have to set it up in a new area with a different temperature or make the chicks travel).

 

We might be able to have someone check in on them but I already feel bad enough since she's looking in on our place and the chickens and our dogs twice this summer for a week at a time while we go to out of town weddings. I don't want to impose on her again!

post #2 of 3

If it were me, I would feel more comfortable with someone checking to make sure the water did not spill or the heat lamp did not go out, or any of the many little incidents that might occur.  Have you considered contacting your local 4 H group and hiring a reputable kid to check on them?

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Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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post #3 of 3

I do it all the time, but then I don't use a heat lamp.  With my husband's unbelievable schedule and the overnight trips we have to make, and having a little granddaughter who requires a lot of traveling for medical  appointments, I'd just have to go without chicks if I didn't have a plan.

 

My older granddaughter takes care of the adults when we are gone.  She's 10 now but she's been doing it on her own since she was 8 and she's more reliable than anyone I can name!!  But the chicks are pretty much on auto-pilot, so she doesn't need to worry about them.  I fill their feeder before I go, and since it's a hanging feeder they can't waste as much or poop in it.  I use a small pail with vertical nipples which also hangs to keep the water clean.  I fill it before we go and there's plenty in there for quite a few days, plus they can't drown in it.

 

For heat I use a heating pad draped over a metal frame, covered with a towel.  Infinitely safer and more reliable than a heat lamp, the chicks control their own comfort, and they sleep all night instead of being awake,running around 24/7 and eating the whole time.  So it works out very well for me.

 

@sourland gave you some good suggestions if you aren't ready to go the route of "self-care" chick raising as far as seeing if you can find someone to come in and look after them.  MHP system works for me, but Katie still does look in on them once a day or so when she's over gathering eggs.  She just doesn't have to do anything with them because everything they need is pre-arranged. 

 

And welcome to BYC!

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