do they need food and water at night?

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


9 Years
Feb 11, 2010
Vancouver Island, B.C.,
My brooder is set up on our back porch, protected from wind, and I have a red brooder light which gives warmth, but its' still cold at night.
It gets down to 9-11ish C. ( don't know what that is in Fahrenheit )
I'm thinking I might need to bring them in at night and put them in the bathtub in a cardboard box.
My question is do I need to bring in their waterer and food too?
If they were with a mama hen wouldn't they stay under her all night?
Normally chickens don't move around in the dark.
If I move their brooder light into the bathtub too to increase the temp would that make them more active and therefore need food and water?
I can move everything back and forth but if I don't have to it would be easier.
I pick them up tomorrow morning so could use advice A.S.A.P.
They will be picked up tomorrow as day olds.
I'm going to go get a thermometer to put in their brooder so I can check the temp. regularly.
I'm retired so am at home full time and can adjust things as needed.
They will be picked up tomorrow as day olds.
I'm going to go get a thermometer to put in their brooder so I can check the temp. regularly.
I'm retired so am at home full time and can adjust things as needed.

Yes, they need a stable temperature that is within the recommended range. And they cannot go without food and water at night until 6 weeks of age, in my experience.

Here are some chick care pages that cover it all:

Now what I do is keep the day olds in the house for three days so I can keep them super stable and watch them. Then I move them to the garage or coop with the heat lamps. I check the temperatures under the light.
Last edited:
Thanks. I think I will keep them in the house full time so that answers the food and water question.
Maybe even for the first week or longer until it warms up.
DH isn't going to be amused but he'll adjust.
I'll feel better if I know they're warm and safe.
It is really just too cold here still.
There will be a LOT of dust coming off the chicks. That is why I boot them out of the house after 3 days. If you can find a nice place where you can keep their temps up (like putting a lid over part of the brooder, for example), it is really nice to get them out.
A house is generally more consistent in heat, say around 19C, night and day, thus easier to keep the temps right for the chicks. The problem I see with a porch is that the temps can swing somewhat between night and day making regulating the heat a little more difficult, but not impossible.

A garage is more stable in ambient temperatures, more like a house.

You can brood in a garage or barn is winter time. I do it all the time. If the environment is draft free, and using a 250watt bulb or two, you can easily make a hot spot. This time of year, in BC is rather temperate, so you shouldn't have much difficulty getting a hot spot of 30-32 degrees for them. The trick is this.

Always have a hot spot to which they can come and get warm, AND always have cooler areas of the brooder where they can go an escape heat. To accomplish this, having a nice, big brooder is a godsend. Excessive heat likely kills more chicks than cold does.
Last edited:
I didn't realize this was posted twice. Here was my answer I posted to the duplicate:

That's about 48-52 degrees Fahrenheit (with a little rounding). That's pretty chilly for the youngest ones and I think most here would probably bring them in until they are fully feathered. Without a light, they would pretty much sleep all night, but with a heat lamp, they will be up sporadically throughout the night. If you don't have food and water in there at night, they will live, but they will probably put up a fuss and get noisy about it.
A huge amount of dust! I had mine in my computer room with a high efficiency air cleaner and it was still miserable, not to mention the smell. They are outside now at two weeks and a few days old for 2 of them, and three weeks for the other 2. Upper 40's at night and mid 50's during the day, and they are doing fine. They do have a heat source, but it will only be present until this weekend. They get food and water at night because they are awake at night (Alaska has a long light period this time of year). My older birds get nothing at night because they are enclosed in their coop so the 3 males don't crow at 4AM - a problem that will be solved by an upcoming BBQ

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom