How constant must supervision be for new chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by eedelavan, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. eedelavan

    eedelavan New Egg

    Jan 16, 2014
    I'm a newbie about to get my first chicks. My biggest concern is that I keep reading that new chicks must be checked several times per day for all the common new chick concerns. My husband and I both work, so after the first 3 days (holiday weekend), there will be 9-9.5 hour stretches most days when we won't be able to check on them. Are we dooming little chicks in this scenario? Thanks for your input!
  2. GarthRyan

    GarthRyan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2013
    I'm away from home for about 8 hours a day on weekdays and I just check them in the morning then a few times after I get home and out of 17 chicks I've only lost one. You would just have to be sure that they have food, water, and warmth around the clock.

    I think the one I lost died because of no heat, it was my first time raising chicks and I hadn't done much reading about it. But after I lost that one I went and bought a heat lamp and I haven't had a loss since.

    Good luck.
  3. Sarevan

    Sarevan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2013
    White Swan, WA
    Right after we got our girls last Spring, my Great Niece, Sister and I were gone for up to 12 hours at a time for 10 days. (Normally my Sis and I are always home) Whoever got home first checked to make sure they were ok, food, water, heat etc. A bit low on food but not out.

    I think you being gone for 9 hours or so will be fine. Only thing we did was left a radio on for them. They turned into Nickelback and Staind fans. :D

    I forgot to add we started with 13 and didnt lose any chicks.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  4. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2011
    Post Office delivered mine just before noon. I took them home and out to the coop, dipped their beaks in the water and feed, then I went back to work.

    I got home about 5:30 PM and went out to check on them. Watched them until I saw a few of them eating and drinking.

    Before I went to bed I did a head count (I have a video camera in the coop).

    Next morning another head count via video camera and off to work. Check up on them again after work.

    As long as they have access to warmth, food and water they don't require supervision.
  5. eggsellentfarms

    eggsellentfarms Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 26, 2010
    Just make sure they have access to warmth and access to a place to cool off. If the light is not warm enough they could snuggle so close some suffocate, but if it is too warm and they have no place to go they could die too. And of course you want to make sure your heating device is reliable, sturdy, and safe so you don't start a fire. You don't want their water to run out either. Food should be available all the time also, but if it runs out briefly it's not a big deal. Once you've got things adjusted they should be fine unattended for long periods. Just make sure you don't let things get too dirty and give them some attention when you are home.
    1 person likes this.
  6. GarthRyan

    GarthRyan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2013
    X2 on space to cool off. That way they can adjust their own body temperature. My brooder is rectangular so I put my heat lamp on one end then they get to decide where they want to stay and if they get hot or cool they'll adjust for themselves.
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    x3 on a cool space. Folks tend to over heat the chick's entire living space. A chick raised by a hen has only one warm area--under momma. The rest of the world is whatever temp it happens to be outside. Folks here have pics of chicks running around in literally freezing temps and thriving.

    I brood my chicks in the barn. I check on them twice a day and have very, very minimal losses.

    make sure the feeder and waterer can't be tipped over, have a warm area and a cool area, and you should be good to go. A lid/cover if your brooder's smaller than 2 1/2 feet tall or you have animals/predators to consider. Set the feeder and waterer up on bricks or 2x4s, whatever you have, to keep the bedding out of it.

    Baby chicks are so much hardier than folks realize. Enjoy them!
  8. creepygothnursi

    creepygothnursi Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 27, 2013
    We checked ours between 2-3 times a day depending on if someone was home during the day or not. Morning and evening or morning, noon and evening depending. They were absolutely none the worse for wear on the days they were only checked morning and evening. I think a lot of well-meaning first time owners are prone to "hover" too much- if you make sure of the things Donrae has laid out in her post, they will be just fine.
  9. eedelavan

    eedelavan New Egg

    Jan 16, 2014
    Thanks everybody! Looking forward to starting my wee flock!

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