How long can I wait to feed chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by redsix, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. redsix

    redsix Chillin' With My Peeps

    275
    18
    84
    Feb 14, 2015
    Virginia
    Mother hen hatched chicks today. There is one egg left that might hatch. Chicks are still in nest with hen. How long can I wait to feed and water chicks?
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    20,807
    3,984
    401
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    They can go upto 72 hours without food and water. However, if the chicks are active and ready to go in the morning, and there is still no signs of hatching from the last egg, go ahead and let momma lead her babies to food. It has been my experience that if an egg doesn't hatch within 48 hours of the first hatching, it's not going to.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,531
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    chicks can go 72 hours. They absorb that entire yolk just before they hatch, and can survive off that for a few days. It's how they're able to ship baby chicks in the mail with no food or water.

    That said, I'd have food and water available now. if nothing else, I like to sprinkle a little feed around momma to watch her call them out to eat. That way I can get a head count [​IMG]. But, if you have the feed and water available, you don't have to worry about when she takes them off the nest, she can do her own thing.
     
  4. Hay Belly

    Hay Belly Chillin' With My Peeps

    52
    2
    84
    Feb 7, 2010
    Why did you take food and water away from the hen?
     
  5. redsix

    redsix Chillin' With My Peeps

    275
    18
    84
    Feb 14, 2015
    Virginia
    Thanks, I will wait until this evening to see if the other egg hatches. I candled it and it doesn't look as if it will hatch. They are still in a wooden nest box inside the hutch. I'm going to remove the wooden next box and put some hay in the bottom of the hutch. Chicks can't get out of nest box to get to feed.
     
  6. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,081
    375
    186
    Oct 23, 2014
    Michiana
    Keep food and water in front of them all. The chicks will start exploring and eating the day after they have hatched. All the eggs should have hatched within 24 hours of each other. You can candle the remaining egg to see if there is movement. If no movement remove it, so the mom knows she is free to get off the nest.
     
  7. redsix

    redsix Chillin' With My Peeps

    275
    18
    84
    Feb 14, 2015
    Virginia
    Thanks. This is an odd hen. Since she has been sitting on the eggs, she hasn't eaten any of the food or drank any of the water that I put in the hutch with her. When I let her out she would go and eat with the other chickens and come back. I will discard the egg and remove the nest box this evening. I will add hay to hutch wire floor.
     
  8. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,081
    375
    186
    Oct 23, 2014
    Michiana
    All of my broody hens will leave their nest every day (or I remove them from their nest) to eat, drink, poop and dust bathe. I have never put the food and water in front of the hen while she sitting, until the very end when the chicks are hatching, and she can't leave.
     
  9. redsix

    redsix Chillin' With My Peeps

    275
    18
    84
    Feb 14, 2015
    Virginia
    Seems like when you let the broody hen out she spends more time dusting and scratching than eating. Guess she needs exercise.
     
  10. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,081
    375
    186
    Oct 23, 2014
    Michiana
    She also needs to bathe to discourage mites, as the mites will target a broody hen.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by