Hens and chicks and mice! Oh my! Do my 4 week old chicks need access to food and drink in their nest box thorough out the night still?

BantamBabies

Chirping
Sep 1, 2019
27
59
59
My frizzled satin hen is 10 months old and hatched two babies 4 weeks ago. She’s an exceptional mother. They’re sharing a large coop and run with two silkie Roosters and 3 other Silkie/satin hens who are all about the same age.
We have their chick food and water in the ground level nesting box. But I see evidence (poop) of a mouse having a hay day in the food. I vacuumed all the droppings up and will add fresh bedding but wonder if it’s time to only have food and water accessible during the day and limit it to the run. Mom and babies are still sleeping in the nesting box with the food and water and the chicks can go in and out of the coop by themselves. Do they still need to eat and drink at night? There are no lights to keep them awake. My plan was to make a creep feeder for them in the run so they can access their own food and water and also have a safe place to escape in addition to their mama. Advice? Thanks. B3A29301-223F-4E50-8A88-986C50B59E8D.jpeg06CBD018-8701-4D13-812D-D9D7C8F3674E.jpeg
 

CluckNDoodle

Hatchaholic
Premium member
Jan 12, 2019
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They're so cute!! :love They don't need food and water at night, they just sleep when it's dark so there's no need to leave it there for them...or the mice, lol. I typically still have extra feed and water stations in the run for them just in case you happen to have a hen or roo that is chasing them off of the main feeder and water.
 

BantamBabies

Chirping
Sep 1, 2019
27
59
59
Thank you for the response! Last night I got up in the middle of the night and checked on them. I’m kind of a hovercraft chicken mama lol and one was eating and the other was under mama. Just to clarify, you guys don’t think they actually need food at night. I picked up the same one tonight before I went to bed and felt his crop was huge so I figured he probably wouldn’t be needing anything.
 

gtaus

Crowing
Mar 29, 2019
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I would keep water available 24/7, but like the others have stated, chickens don't normally eat at night without light to see where they are going. If you have a mouse problem, I would take out the feed in the evening and/or cover it up to prevent mice from eating the chicken feed. I have my chicken feeder suspended on a chain in the coop 24/7 and have not seen any problems with mice. But I think mice would be getting into the feed if it was on ground level.
 

CluckNDoodle

Hatchaholic
Premium member
Jan 12, 2019
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Thank you for the response! Last night I got up in the middle of the night and checked on them. I’m kind of a hovercraft chicken mama lol and one was eating and the other was under mama. Just to clarify, you guys don’t think they actually need food at night. I picked up the same one tonight before I went to bed and felt his crop was huge so I figured he probably wouldn’t be needing anything.
Do you have a light in there? The only reason they would be up and eating or drinking is if they have a light on to see what they're doing.
 
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