Food and water shortage

jjared

Chirping
May 21, 2017
33
11
61
Just returned home from a week long vacation and had my father-in-law taking care of my 7 mixed breed 5 week old chicks. He was supposed to be feeding and watering them, but I arrived home today to find the feeder empty and the water bone dry. I know my daughter was home 5 days ago and filled everything (1 gallon waterer with a base, not nipples), but beyond that, I've no idea how long they've been without water. Most are pretty lively, but a couple of the chicks are more lethargic and are holding tails down. All chicks ran straight to the feeder when I filled it, and all chicks have also been drinking. Should I intervene or see where time takes them? I have electrolytes, yogurt, Corid, and multivitamin. Suggestions?
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,203
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632
South Park, Colorado, USA
I would set up a second water station just to be sure they can easily all drink at one time (even if it's just a bowl). I'd probably give them the electrolytes too. You can provide a bowl of moist food as well so that when they eat they are also hydrating at the same time. Hopefully they all perk up soon!
 

jjared

Chirping
May 21, 2017
33
11
61
I would set up a second water station just to be sure they can easily all drink at one time (even if it's just a bowl). I'd probably give them the electrolytes too. You can provide a bowl of moist food as well so that when they eat they are also hydrating at the same time. Hopefully they all perk up soon!
Thank you. I'm heading out now to doctor the girls and clean the coop. Sure hope I don't lose any; feel I've neglected them even though I wasn't here.....
 

CCUK

Free Flying
Jan 21, 2018
5,839
29,311
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North Notts, UK
My Coop
My Coop
I hope they'll be OK. Good advice from @PirateGirl. Reading this makes me very nervous. I'm going away for a week and a friend with no chicken experience said she will feed and water them. I have no alternative. I've had enough problems recently and don't need any more!
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,203
18,537
632
South Park, Colorado, USA
Don't stress too much. It was not your fault and you were not home so there was nothing you could do. It's possible even all the water leaked out if the base wasn't screwed on well. Hopefully they weren't actually out of water for too long!
 
Sep 16, 2017
4
1
9
I have just experienced the same thing. When I returned from a week long vacation the chickens water bucket was bone dry. When I confronted my pet sitter she told me the las time she gave them water was Monday and we returned on Sunday!!! When full, their bucket will last 2-3 days. The best scenario is that they were without water for 2 days.
When I filled the bucket the ladies immediately started drinking water and didn't stop for 10-15 minutes. My ladies range in age from 7months to 3 years old. We have not had a single egg laid since we returned 7 days ago. Has anyone experienced this? will they ever lay again? Any suggestions on what I need to do to help them? They are all acting fine and not showing any signs illness. Any help would be greatly appreciated! And I will be finding a new pet sitter!
 

CCUK

Free Flying
Jan 21, 2018
5,839
29,311
1,182
North Notts, UK
My Coop
My Coop
I have just experienced the same thing. When I returned from a week long vacation the chickens water bucket was bone dry. When I confronted my pet sitter she told me the las time she gave them water was Monday and we returned on Sunday!!! When full, their bucket will last 2-3 days. The best scenario is that they were without water for 2 days.
When I filled the bucket the ladies immediately started drinking water and didn't stop for 10-15 minutes. My ladies range in age from 7months to 3 years old. We have not had a single egg laid since we returned 7 days ago. Has anyone experienced this? will they ever lay again? Any suggestions on what I need to do to help them? They are all acting fine and not showing any signs illness. Any help would be greatly appreciated! And I will be finding a new pet sitter!
If they're looking ok and seem normal I would say they'll probably be OK. A chicken that is in lay will need a good amount of water (I'm not sure how much without lookin it up) to produce eggs. So long as their water intake has settled down to a normal level , they will start to lay again. It could take a couple of weeks though. It may be worthwhile putting some electrolytes in the water to help boost there vitamin and mineral levels. Other than normal layers pellets and oyster and grit I wouldn't give them anything else.
 
Sep 16, 2017
4
1
9
If they're looking ok and seem normal I would say they'll probably be OK. A chicken that is in lay will need a good amount of water (I'm not sure how much without lookin it up) to produce eggs. So long as their water intake has settled down to a normal level , they will start to lay again. It could take a couple of weeks though. It may be worthwhile putting some electrolytes in the water to help boost there vitamin and mineral levels. Other than normal layers pellets and oyster and grit I wouldn't give them anything else.
Thanks for the advice. I have added electrolytes to their water and will see what happens.
 

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