How long until they need to drink water?

Weasleymum

Songster
11 Years
Aug 1, 2008
310
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148
Virginia
I picked up my day-old chicks today, and brought them home to their brooder. I tried to show them the water, because I'd read that with nipple-style waterers, they might need to be shown that water dribbles out of it, but none of them are interested so far! They've pecked at the food, but mostly just slept. It's been about 3 hours... How long until they NEED to drink?
 

Keltara

Songster
8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
1,670
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Small Town U.S.A., Michigan
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They will need water right away. You need to take each chick and put their beak onto the nipple so that the water drips out. If they still don't drink, then do it again until they figure it out. Showing them won't work. You need to physically put their beaks to the water so they can learn where it is. Babies do sleep a lot, but it's very important that they know where their water source is.

Kelly
 

Weasleymum

Songster
11 Years
Aug 1, 2008
310
23
148
Virginia
Thank you, Keltara! They seem a bit slow on the uptake re: the waterer, so my husband is putting a dish of water in there for them. I'm at work right now, which is really hard! I want to be home with my babies!

Although I was thinking-- if they were shipped chicks, they'd still be in a packing box right now-- they literally hatched yesterday-- so there must be some window of time during which they can go without water...
 
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Keltara

Songster
8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
1,670
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Small Town U.S.A., Michigan
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There is a window where they can go without food, but they need water right away. They will dehydrate quick since they are so little. Tell you husband to dip each of their beaks in the bowl of water so they know where and what it is.
 

FruitfulFaith

Chirping
7 Years
Dec 19, 2012
150
5
81
Technically yes, they must be *capable* of going one or two days without since they take that long in shipping. But keep in mind, some also die in shipping. The sooner they get water the better. Just be careful with dishes - babies can drown easily. You do need to physically get them, each one- to drink on their own.
 

Weasleymum

Songster
11 Years
Aug 1, 2008
310
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148
Virginia
Thanks! They are all happily drinking from the saucer of water now, and defecating copiously (I don't know if that's a sign of health in chickens, but having raised human babies I tend to look to it as one!). I'm going to give them a week or so with the saucer, then try to transition them to just the nipple waterer.
 

FruitfulFaith

Chirping
7 Years
Dec 19, 2012
150
5
81
Thanks!  They are all happily drinking from the saucer of water now, and defecating copiously (I don't know if that's a sign of health in chickens, but having raised human babies I tend to look to it as one!).  I'm going to give them a week or so with the saucer, then try to transition them to just the nipple waterer.  


I thought the same thing when my chicks arrived. I was in "mommy mode" making sure they had enough poops each day XD

Good to hear they are drinking!
 

Weasleymum

Songster
11 Years
Aug 1, 2008
310
23
148
Virginia
Update: today, at 2 days old, they figured out the drip-waterer. Smart little critters!
yesss.gif
 

MANNA-PRO

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