Is the 3-day Rule For Removing Chicks From the Bator True?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Sumatra503, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. Sumatra503

    Sumatra503 Kozy Orchard Farms

    Sep 24, 2010
    I keep seing this idea popping up around here that chicks should be left in the Bator with no food or water for three days before being taken out or that they don't need to be given food or water for three days after they hatch.

    I'm thinking it's false and I'm wondering where this is coming from.

    The yolk reserves on a chick only last 24 hours. After the 24 hour mark chicks will have no reserves of food. They will begin to require food and water to survive. If left for three days without food and water the chicks will be going two days without any form of nutrition at all.

    It even says in chick ordering instructions from hatcheries that chicks should be given food and water immediately upon arrival.

    Leaving them for three days without food and water means that they must starve for two days.

    I think this came from a notion that chicks can last three days if lost in the mail, but this should not have become a common practice.

    So, to all you experts, is this a true or a false idea about chicks?

    I think False.

  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I read someone's post once to leave your chicks in the bator for 24 hours. And I hatched my first chicks this month with my new bator. But it's small and they weren't drying out (the first one was still wet HOURS after hatching). So I removed them and put them under a preheated light. They dried in no time and were warm and happy.

    I offered food and water right away. They ignored it for a couple of days. Then the third day they started eating and drinking.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2010
  3. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    3 days is really pushing it.

    The most I've left a chick in there is 2 days, because the hatch drug out pretty long, and I didn't want to jeopardize the hatch rate by suddenly opening the bator and changing the humidity/temp/pressure.

    I offer food and water in the brooder before they're even put in there. They usually all drink it as soon as the first brave chick decides it's not gonna eat em. And of course the eating also just takes one chick, then it's a cute little fuzzball pile. [​IMG]
  4. Sumatra503

    Sumatra503 Kozy Orchard Farms

    Sep 24, 2010
    I remove chicks after just a few hours. I've never had a jeopardized hatch rate. The longest I've gone is 24 hours.

    My chicks are always eating and drinking the next day.

  5. drafthorse39

    drafthorse39 Songster

    Jan 12, 2007
    Baltimore, MD
    I wouldn't chance it. I've never gone over 48 hours. I usually just pull them out when they are dry and off their hocks. If they are weak and need some time, I leave them in until they are walking around.
  6. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    I also take them out as soon as they are dry and fluffed up (forced air incubator, so they dry quickly). i have always found them to be ravenous! Maybe they can survive for a couple of days without food and water but they very rapidly become bright eyed active little peeps if you do feed and water them
    I suspect their ability to survive for 48 hors or so without food/fluid is a survival mechanism to allow the first and last of a hatch to all cope when hatched by a broody, but they are always hungry and thirsty in my experience.
  7. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick 8 Years

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    I always pull them out when they are dry. They start pecking at eggshells even in the bator and often start eating right away when they get in the brooder. I think they CAN last the 2 or three days, but I don't make them wait that long. My last hatch, all that should have hatched did hatch, no shrinkwraps or other problems from pulling out dry chicks.

  8. halo

    halo Got The Blues

    Nov 22, 2007
    My Coop
    When hearing these off the wall "ideas", I always revert to, what would Mother Nature do? Ive never hatched with a broody hen, but I truly don't think a mother hen wouldnt feed her babies for 3 days.
  9. Tropical Chook

    Tropical Chook Songster

    Jul 5, 2010
    Quote:Oops, I have a little bit of news for you:D My one broody just hatched eggs on late on Wednesday, and she only left the nest on Saturday morning. Another egg hatched yesterday under another broody in the same nest, and as of now, her and the chick have not yet left the nest. There are still three eggs left in there, along with two broodies, but if they don't hatch out within the next 48 hours or so, I'll pull them. If they do hatch, then it means only one failed out of eight. But, I also have one other broody in her own nest, and she's on seven eggs due in a week and a half.

    Anyway, just thought I'd mention about my hens not leaving the nest for a few days, so I guess that's how the three day thingy got started [​IMG]

  10. DAFox

    DAFox Songster

    Nov 7, 2009
    SW MO in Vernon Co
    All the broodies I've had will sit for at least 36 hours after the first one hatches before she will get off the nest.

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