baby chick not really eating


5 Years
Mar 25, 2014
So my first chick hatched last night. Ive given her all day in the incubator to dry and have been dipping her beak. Earlier this afternoon I put her in with my blue silkie. {shes the same size} and It looked like she was trying to copy her scratching and pecking but she barely walks and I haven't seen her eat. She drinks when I dip her beak but again I haven't seen her do it herself. She basically sleeps. Is this normal?


6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
Yep. When babies hatch under their mothers, they generally spend their first 48 hours drying off, resting after the strenuous activity of hatching, getting their landlegs under them, and learning the whole locomotion thing. Depending on genetics they will do all this within an hour or within a few days but 48 hours is the typical end time for this behavior. They don't need to drink or eat within that 48 hours, though depending on temperature etc they may want a drink and it should be available to them just in case.

The more egg white the fertile egg contained, the fatter and more sluggish the baby, and the longer it takes to get up to speed, get active, start eating, etc. It generally waddles and needs to rest between short walks, and sleeps a lot.

The less egg white the fertile egg contained, the slimmer, fitter, faster and more active the baby, and the more likely it is to begin acting like an older chicken, eating, scratching, etc from the first few hours of hatching onwards. It generally starts running almost before it starts walking, lol.

Bantam babies are normally more active than large fowl babies because of this. The larger the yolk in comparison to the albumen, the less 'extra' the baby hatches with. I found it a false economy to hatch the largest eggs, because by the time the larger chick is up to speed, the smaller ones are more developed because they got up to competitive speed sooner, and after that the fat babies can't catch up. Of course, this only applies to mixed flocks.

Best wishes.

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