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Momma Hen is not teaching chicks how to drink...what do I do?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Trailcookie, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Trailcookie

    Trailcookie Hatching

    Aug 1, 2010
    My 1 year old hen just hatched out 3 chicks late Monday. She kept them in the nest on Tuesday but by Wednesday they were out in the run with the rest of the flock during the day. She is showing the chicks how to peck and scratch but not how to eat out of the feeders or drink out of the waterer's. I don't think any of the chicks have had any water at this point although there is food and water in their nightime nest and someone is drinking the water in there (it could be momma).

    I am throwing feed out onto the ground so I think they are geting some food but not much. I would prefer not to take them away from her but am not sure what to do at this point to get them eating and drinking more. Any one else been through this and have any advice? Any help would be much appreciated!

  2. Othylocke

    Othylocke In the Brooder

    Mar 18, 2010
    Dothan, AL
    I would dip the beaks into the water if you are sure they are not doing so already. My chicks instinctively drank from day one, but dipping their beaks in would be a big hint and when one does, the others follow. I think they can survive the first three? days without food or water if I understand the yolk absorption properly.
  3. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

    Jun 3, 2011
    Middle Tennessee
    I agree! You can show them what to do without taking them away from the mama hen.
  4. Trailcookie

    Trailcookie Hatching

    Aug 1, 2010
    Thank you both for the input. I ended up taking them out one at a time and giving them water with a dropper which they greedily consumed. Once they returned to the run, they figured out in just a couple of hours how to get water from the nipple feeders. Now, I am hoping they will start eating feed since all they do right now is scratch and peck and stay as far away from the feeders as possible
    Sigh..... I think I will continue to throw out feed until they figure out those darn feeders aren't the devil!
  5. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

    Mar 20, 2012
    You could try throwing the feed near the feeders so they get used to them.

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