New broody with chicks - How long without food or water?

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


8 Years
Apr 7, 2013
Northern California
Our previously unproven broody had success yesterday! Yay!
Three peepers so far.

This is our first broody experience so I need some advice. She is still sitting on two eggs. She is in a coop nest because at the time she went broody we did not have any place to put her, but now we do thanks to DH retrofitting the kids' old fort.

Chicks are not in a spot where they can easily get to food and water, and mom is not budging to take them anyway since there are still two eggs. We are already quite warm during the day - 83+ degrees. How long is it safe to leave the chicks without water? I figure 48 hours should be safe but 72 may be pushing it? Trying to give those last two eggs a little more time. No external pips yet.
Chicks absorb the yolk just before they hatch so they're good for 72 hours. A broody momma will usually stay on the nest 24-48 hours after the first chick hatches, to allow most of the eggs to hatch. When she's ready she'll take the chicks from the nest and show them where to find food and water. I use that time to clean out the nest of shells and any unhatched eggs.

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