Can you leave chicks overnight?


8 Years
Mar 11, 2011
Western WA
Newbie here, and maybe this is an appalling question to ask, so forgive me!

We haven't bought our chickens yet (I'm driving my husband crazy), and will most likely get pullets b/c we may need to be gone overnight a couple times over the next couple months. I would love to go with chicks but would hate to have anything happen to them while we were away. I'm subtly working on enlisting my parents who live nearby, but they really aren't into chickens. Strange!

Thanks a million
It's all according to your set up. I keep mine in the basement and wouldn't feel comfortable leaving overnight with a heat lamp on.
The food is usually gone by morning and the water filthy. And I fill it at night before I go to bed.
If the heat lamp burnt out,it's warm enough here that chicks might be alright with no heat,not sure where you're at.
There's a big difference from day old chicks and chicks a couple weeks old. Once they get a week or two under their wings I'd say leave'em overnight,no problem.
Again, it's all according to how your brooder/pen is set up.
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Thank you! I'm sure we could be here for at least the first two weeks. I thought it couldn't be any sooner than 6 weeks. Our animals are family, and I'm sure we'll feel the same about our chickens. I feel much less stressed - thanks again
I agree, with the only caviat being that I have had the breaker trip on my heat lamp at night while I was home and never knew until I checked on them in the morning. It was probably 60 in the garage but they were all huddled in a little ball and were fine! Now that they are a month old and have feathers, I leave them over night and they are fine (I work 24 hour shifts). Its also a lot warmer here. So maybe it also depends on what the temperature is where the brooder will be. They have very basic needs - heat, food, water. all the rest is just fun!
Chicks regardless of their set up do require constant care, keeping feeders full, waterers cleaned and filled (a biggy) and litter cleaned. Perhaps you should wait until you can have more time to devote to them. Leaving chicks/chickens with non chicken folks can end in disaster they must know what to do and then may not be dedicated to their care, Just sayin.
I agree with previous poster... I would wait until you have more time to devote to them. As much as we love them, they are not a smart impulse purchase as they do need lots of care.
I currently have 10 adult chickens that, when they were 2 weeks old last April, were left under a brooder lamp with adequate food and water for 7 days while we went to WDW. No problem except, had the electricity gone off they probably wouldn't have made it. Of course that wasn't my first time with chicks, I knew everything was in working order and how much food/water they would need, checked them just before we left and as soon as we got home. We often leave our adult birds cooped up for a couple of days when we go visit our daughter--again with enough food and water to last them beyond the time we plan on being away. Anything more than 3 days we hire a pet sitter to care for our animals--cats and chickens. I didn't get chickens to be a slave to them--at least as far as away time is concerned. Once you have experience with them you'll fairly well know how long you can leave them without immediate care. Some people obsess too much about it--I doubt chickens suffer separation anxiety.
Very true statement, I myself have done the same thing without any problems. But man to let a newby manage chicks this way is not a good idea, first off they don't have a clue on how to care for the chicks and their habits, and don't really know enough to instruct another person to care for them. So in the newby case I would say don't get the chicks or postpone the trip, cause if they do get them and then also go on their trip. Well we all will be seeing a common post that says OMG I just killed all my chicks and they won't learn a thing except how to be negligent, and recieve post coddling her and encouraging her poor judgement, by saying ooohhhh so sorry for your loss. Get where Iam on this woody ??.
I think you're ok with overnight as long as your food and water setup is such that they won't be spilling it or sratching shavings into it and block their access to both. I would still have someone stop in and check the food and water and heat situation, but in a brooder they don't require much other work. Pasty butt is a different situation, but if they are started pullets and not day-olds, they should be alright.
Thanks, everyone. My husband's parents are elderly and it's important to see them once a month or so, and I don't see our schedule changing in the near future. And I am NOT going to wait for the distant future to get chickens! So, I'll look for pullets or even grown chickens. I'll do everything I can NOT to be one of those posters who killed her chickens. Gotta start somewhere, right?

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