Do chicks need access to food and water 24/7?

cajun41887

Songster
Nov 25, 2015
134
137
121
Parrish, Florida
Planning to move 5 week old chicks out to the coop tomorrow. Do they need access to food and water 24/7 in the coop? Planning to let them out in the run during the day and the coop them up at night obviously. Do i put their food and water in the run or the coop? If outside, would be under the coop that is raised a couple feet off the ground. Run is fenced all over and covered in hardware cloth with a 2 foot hardware cloth skirt, so I don't think rodents will be an issue. Suggestions? If they should have access to food and water at all times, at what age do they no longer require 24/7 access?

Thanks for any info you can provide. This is our fist time with chickens and just trying to get it right. Maybe I'm overthinking things?
 

sarnold1

Chirping
Feb 12, 2015
192
9
61
They need access food and water all day but they don't really NEED it at night but mine have access to food and water 24/7.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,722
34,171
1,122
Colorado Rockies
There are two camps on this subject. Many folks keep a light on in the brooder 24/7 and the baby chicks, of course, awaken easily during the night by the constant light and eat, of course, since the food is there.

Over the years, I've seen what constant light does to chicks and around five years ago, I gave my chicks simulated night time by blocking the heat lamp. The chicks slept. They didn't eat during the night.

Then this year, I used the heating pad system of brooding and the chicks had only natural sunlight and night time, no electric light whatsoever. Not having access to food during the night in no way caused any developmental problems. On the contrary, the chicks were amazingly hardy and self assured, and their development far surpassed any of my previous broods.

So, now that your chicks are graduating to the coop, let them have natural night time, and that means sleep and not eating at night. You will be very happy with the outcome, I assure you.
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
56,785
226,850
1,687
*2 on the above post - i was writing something similar, but azygous beat me to it
smile.png


CT
 

song of joy

Crowing
9 Years
Apr 22, 2012
1,191
663
281
Central Pennsylvania
They don't need access to food 24/7. I agree that it's healthy to get them on a day/night schedule so they can have normal sleep/wake periods. However, you may want to use a dim light in the coop the first couple of nights until they get used to their new surroundings.
 

pinkyorpington

In the Brooder
Jul 12, 2018
18
5
29
What about water in the coop overnight? I have 7 week chicks -- been outside day and night for ~ 2 weeks, but tonight i am taking the food away overnight. Is it safe to leave them for ~10 hours of overnight with no water? (I realize this post is way old.)
 

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