Getting baby chickens to drink water

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jmurtari, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. jmurtari

    jmurtari Hatching

    Jun 11, 2008
    Lyons, NY

    We've raised purchased chicks before with no
    problems. This time we are hatching them. Just
    had the first little fellow pop out yesterday.

    Dipped his beak in water bowl, but he still
    doesn't seem interested? Has anyone had a problem
    with chicks learning to drink?

    Any suggestions?


  2. Vagirl

    Vagirl In the Brooder

    Jan 3, 2008
    I would just dip his beak a few times a day, I think they will learn from others if you have any others to put in with him.
  3. jmurtari

    jmurtari Hatching

    Jun 11, 2008
    Lyons, NY
    Thanks, unfortunately we don't have any older
    chickens right now for them to watch. I hope it
    won't be a problem.

    If we had to, there is a farm store nearby that
    sells chicks and we could pick up one just to
    'train' the others?
  4. jdypat

    jdypat Songster

    I put a small bowl of water filled with a layer of red marbles. the color attracts them and the water is between the marbles so they cant drown. it works beautifully.
    I also dip their beek in it on the first entry to the area.. and never has it been an issue. jdy
  5. I had a few who were slow to drink. I found out later they were only 12 hours old so maybe they weren't thirsty. But when I offered dripping water off my fingertips they eagerly drank, gently. I think it had other benefits too because they are exceptionally friendly. I didn't feed them by hand to avoid pecking but the water seemed to offer a gentler approach and was successful.
  6. jmurtari

    jmurtari Hatching

    Jun 11, 2008
    Lyons, NY
    Thanks for the great idea on the marbles. We may try using some small rocks in a low plastic dish with a little water. It will keep them from getting soaked if they
    fall down.

    Also, we have been letting them sip water from our
    fingers. They peck at the drip -- just was afraid they wouldn't learn to drink the 'right way.'
  7. I bet your babies were so young and well-hydrated they weren't thirsty![​IMG]
  8. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    If they just hatched it can be day 2 or 3 before they are ready to drink or eat. I have had chicks start to eat and drink the moment they go in the brooder and others that sleep and won't touch it before 2 or 3 days.

    Keep an eye on your new chicks. Don't immediately force them to drink. Give them a little time. A newly hatched chick has a full absorbed yolk sak in the tummy. It can go 72 hours before needing to have a drink.

    Congrats on your hatch.
  9. soctippy

    soctippy In the Brooder

    Dec 22, 2007
    If after a week or so and they still won't drink you could try a little red foodcoloring, or painting the dish red.
  10. Shaun Hagan

    Shaun Hagan In the Brooder

    Apr 16, 2008
    Northern NH
    My Cornish Xs were a little slow, I dipped their beaks five or six times before they figured it out.

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