can newly hatched chicks be left alone for 4 days?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by kev6in, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. kev6in

    kev6in Out Of The Brooder

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    eggs are expected to hatch next week and 3 days later I need to leave town for 4 days. Any suggestions? Can they be left alone with food and water and heat at 95 in a brooder?
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  2. cukooformarans

    cukooformarans Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have heard that new chicks could be ok in the incubator for up to three days before they need food and water. (Hence the ability of hatcheries to ship day old chicks with no food and water. HOWEVER, IMO, that is a lot of stress on a chick and not an ideal situation. I definitely would not want to go four. Plus, you never know when something unexpected may happen (like a chick getting stuck or the power going out in the middle of the hatch (this has happened to me) or the humidity getting off.) If I were in your shoes, I would have someone come check them at least every day (though twice a day would make me feel even better) and take out the babies that are hatched and dried and put them in a brooder. (Of course, I am blessed to have AWESOME neighbors and family nearby who would do this.) Of course, this is just my opinion, I am sure everyone else has one as well. [​IMG]

    Edited to say: I noticed you said with food and water. Was that a typo? I wouldn't put it in the incubator ... are you talking about leaving AFTER the actual hatch date? At any rate, I would still want to have someone checking ... just IMO
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  3. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    I am assuming you'll take them from the incubator and put them in a brooder with heat lamp, food & water.

    As far as leaving them for 4 days in a brooder - one risk during the 1st week as they could develop pasty butt and die - we lost one to pasty butt on day 3 because I didn't know to check them daily during the 1st week for it. We planned on leaving our chicks for a week at ages 4wk & 8 wk while on vacation, but instead I asked a friend just to check in on them. Personally I would find someone to look them over once a day until you return. After the 1st week you could probably get away with leaving them alone for 4 days without anyone checking on them. Also, if your chicks and brooder are anything like mine - the food and water are on the floor of the brooder and they will knock shavings in and poop into both. You will want to keep track of whether they are eating/drinking as well.

    So, yes, you could leave them for 4 days unattended and they might be perfectly okay - but you may want to ask a friend to stop in and check on them instead and reduce the risks. Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  4. kev6in

    kev6in Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2011
    Quote:thank you
     
  5. kev6in

    kev6in Out Of The Brooder

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    So I had 1 of 15 eggs hatch at 21 days .Its been here for 24 hrs put it cant seem to pick up its head. it moves and peeps and kicks put can't get upright???
     
  6. Cherstin

    Cherstin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To answer your original question, I'd say they *can* be left alone for four days, but it really depends on how guilty you'll feel if you come home and they haven't made it. Would you beat yourself up over it, wondering what happened or what had gone wrong? Or would you be able to accept any losses and go on? Me? I'm a wonderer and an analyzer. It would drive me crazy speculating over what had happened in my absence and I think I'd really regret it.

    Secondly, heat lamps get, well, hot. Any time heat is involved, I wouldn't leave the house. One slip of that clamp light and you might find yourself coming home to a pile of rubble. Think it can't happen? Ask people who go to sleep with space heaters on. Heck, electric blankets have been known to start house fires.

    I'd definitely do as others recommended. You've invested 21 days waiting for the little guys, so why not make a way to ensure that they're safe once they hatch? If a neighbor or friend can't help you out, maybe you could bring a portable setup to a vet's office, or a feed store. I'm sure there's someone around that wouldn't mind chick-sitting for a few days. Heck, I know I would!

    Good luck, I wish I had the answer for your last question regarding the one who hatched. Have you read over the sticky thread at the beginning of this section? I remember it being packed with excellent information .. that I didn't find until it was too late. I have 17 days left before hatch day, so I'm planning to re-read it soon. Take care!
     
  7. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Hmmm. If you've brooded chicks before and know all the mischief they can get up to and have already successfully tested your brooder andv got it set up so none of the bad stuff can happen, then yes, I suppose you could. If these are your first chicks or if you've got a new and untested brooder set-up, I really wouldn't recommend it.

    I brood chicks with an EcoGlow instead of a heat lamp, so there's no overheating or fire risk, and I use hamster type water bottles so they can't foul or spill it, or get soaked and chilled. But I still wouln't be happy leaving them for more than 24 hours without having someone pop in and check on them. Like someone already said, they could get pasted up and die. None of my chicks have ever had pasty butt, so that's not something that I would worry about with my own birds. But they could kick wood shavings up against their water bottle nipple and drain all the water out and die of dehydration, or there could be a power cut and the EcoGlow could go off and they could get chilled or die of cold.

    Personally I just don't think it's responsible behaviour to go off and leave them. Then again, here in the UK I suspect what you're suggesting may actually be illegal. I know there are definite rules and laws about how long you're allowed to leave a dog or a cat on its own. I'm not meaning you shouldn't do it btw, just saying that maybe our laws here colour my judgement of what I think is acceptable. If it's not illegal where you are and you don't have any other option, I guess you just have to use some common sense and do the best you can for them.
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    No....I don't know how many times my chicks turned over their water during the night and sometimes during the day, only they never were without it very long. Also as written above, the occasional pasty butt for the first 10 days, and the heat lamp danger, because I had to change the height of the thing if it was daytime or night. Mine weren't that pampered, but I had to watch them frequently. I wouldn't have hatched them if I couldn't have someone watching them that young.
     
  9. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    Quote:You may have to give it time to get strength to stand up - we had one that hardly seemed like it would stand and eventually it did. Sorry about the other eggs not hatching at the same time - hopefully they've all hatched since you last posted.
     
  10. kev6in

    kev6in Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2011
    thank you for all of your good advice, we won't be leaving
    them alone.... We would miss them too much......so we will stay home
     

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