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How long can a baby wait to eat after hatching

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My hen has been brooding on four eggs today is the 21st day one hatched yesterday and we seen a little of her peek out from under mom. Will mama wait until all is hatched before she shows them how to eat? Also how many days can go by before they have to eat? Do you think I should leave the baby with mama that is what I would like to do. I guess I'm just afraid the babies will starve if she waits for all of them to hatch. Any suggestions for my first time having a hen brood.

post #2 of 6

up to 3 days smile

Muddy Horse Farms where animals and technology collide
Current Residents : Me, DH, DD age 8 and chicken crazy, , 1 catahoula, 1 chihuahua, 1 pitbull 5 cats, 4 horses, 3 guineas, Seramas, Silver Sussex. Coronation Sussex, Polish, East Indies  Drowning in Ducks  NPIP 43-696

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Muddy Horse Farms where animals and technology collide
Current Residents : Me, DH, DD age 8 and chicken crazy, , 1 catahoula, 1 chihuahua, 1 pitbull 5 cats, 4 horses, 3 guineas, Seramas, Silver Sussex. Coronation Sussex, Polish, East Indies  Drowning in Ducks  NPIP 43-696

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post #3 of 6

They can go three days. Some people take the chicks when they hatch and put them in a brooder with feed and water till momma is done hatching. Reason being, momma sometimes leaves the nest too early in order to take care of the chicks.

post #4 of 6

If all the eggs were started at the same time then they all should hatch within 24-36 hours.  Baby will be more than fine during that period.  Right before they hatch they absorb the yolk of their egg into their abdomen, that's why you see new-hatched chicks with the rounded bellies.  That gives them nourishment for a long time, 3 days or so.  That's why hatcheries can mail day-old chicks across the country.  Is there water and chick starter available by your hen?  She should decide to take her chicks for an outing when she thinks it's best.  You can check the other eggs after dark, they may not be going to hatch.  If you remove them it will inspire Mama to move sooner.

It's not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy!
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It's not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy!
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post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your help everyone. Since their is only one chick so far and I take her away from mama to put in  a homemade brooder will the chick be alright by itself or should I wait another day to see how many more hatch?

post #6 of 6

I say leave it; it should be fine. My broody hatched five chicks over the course of four days last year, and she didn't leave the nest completely till the fifth day. I brought food and water for the chicks, gave them a drink, and just left the food out. Sallie showed them how to eat and drink on the second day and got back on the nest. She made sure they ate and drank a little every day even before she left the nest. If yours is a good momma she'll do the same.

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