Can I leave 4 week old chicks alone for 4 days?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by fiddlebanshee, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Songster

    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    So finally I order chicks to arrive 9/20. Then I find out we have to be out of town for 4 days around October 17. If I leave plenty of food and water and they are in a secure coop with a heatlamp, can we leave them alone for 4 days?

    By that time I would imagine that they would have the run of most of the coop (perhaps I would block off the most remote corners) and I would hang a source of heat in one corner so that they have it if they need, but can get away from it too. I was thinking putting up a bucket of water with nipples so that water wouldn't be a problem and feed for at least 5 days, in different places in the coop. Will this work?

    I do not have easy access to someone who could check up on them, although I could try ask the neighbors at one side. We just moved into this place and haven't made much contact with neighbors yet and are new to the area so no network of friends either.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  2. itom37

    itom37 In the Brooder

    May 10, 2011
    I think it's fine if your coop is secure (a rat could kill a 4 week chicken, for instance. then again it could do that if you were home). Just provide enough food, and be sure that your water source is 1) plentiful, 2) secure (they will knock over many setups), and 3) redundant (I'd say have more than one waterer as you suggested. poop and scratchings and what nots will get into the water).
  3. nuttyredhead

    nuttyredhead Songster

    May 3, 2010
    Southern NH
    Just my opinion but i wouldnt leave any of my animals for 4 days alone. You said it isnt till the middle of October, maybe you could try to find someone, even a "petsitter" to check in on them. It would make me very nervous to leave them that long.
  4. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    I'd feel REALLY uncomfortable leaving a heat lamp up for four days unattended. Maybe get an ecoglow if you must leave them!
  5. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Songster

    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    Yea I thought about the heatlamp issue as well, I could put a timer on it, as the daytime temps would probably be ok for them by then, and just have it on at night on the timer.
  6. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Songster

    May 1, 2011
    After raising several batches of chicks this year, I would not feel comfortable leaving them alone for 4 days. They can be fine one moment and down and out the next. If one, or more, would get sick, you would lose the whole batch in 4 days....too big a risk for me.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    They'll be about a month old, but in your area, because of the time of year, you may still need a lamp (it's been down in the 50s at night here the past few days...who knows what it'll be six weeks from now?). I'd get the smallest wattage red bulb you can get, which is probably either 50 or 75 (in the reptile sections of pet stores). I would triple secure your lamp. I would make sure that your waterer is a big chicken waterer so that it could not accidently get knocked over (and chicks go without water for days as a result). Ample food in different areas is good. Does the coop have windows so they'd have light during the day???
    Most likely, they'd be fine if the coop is nice and snug. However, I'd still see if I could get a neighbor to just stop by and at least peek in a window to make sure the lamp is secure and on and that they see little bodies flitting here and there. I don't know that I'd want someone I don't know well/trust to enter my coop - especially if they're not chicken people. I'd almost worry more about them leaving a door unlatched or something.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  8. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    When I go away I have someone come and take care of them. I make sure I have enough containers of feed set and water jugs for refilling. So they just need to switch out the feeders and refill the water.

    Now if heat is an issue and you have the room you might consider one of those "oil filled radiator" type heaters. I wouldn't expect you'd have to set it very high in October for 4 week olds. I definitely wouldn't use a heat lamp. Quite frankly those things get to hot or hotter than necessary. IMO. I keep a thermometer on the wall of the coops to monitor the temps.

    I wish you the best,

  9. You're going to have people here that wouldn't leave one chick overnight but don't let them discourage you from doing it. A year ago last spring I left 10 3-week old chicks under the brooder for a week during midApril while we went to WDW with no one monitoring them. As long as they are feathered out and have a lot of food and water they will be fine. At 4 weeks you should know just how much they are going to eat and drink so you can leave enough. Actually during that time of year there is less apt to be spikes in heat or cold so they will be better off. BTW, mine all survived just fine and are laying now. In fact, when we go away for 3 or 4 days I never have anyone come in to check my 40+ birds, just leave enough food and water to see them through--I fill the feeders/waters just before we leave and as soon as we get back. There is no reason you should be a slave to a small flock if you have adequate feeding and watering facilities.
  10. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I don't go away and leave my adult birds alone for 4 days. Leaving a heat lamp unattended for that long would make me nervous.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: