New chicks!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by dkidd1987, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. dkidd1987

    dkidd1987 Hatching

    Aug 17, 2016
    My hen just hatched some chicks. She doesn't hardly ever leave the box and she is still sitting on the remaining eggs. Do the chicks that have hatched need water right away? Will she lead them to water when it's time? I'm not sure what to do.
  2. AstralStorm

    AstralStorm In the Brooder

    Aug 9, 2016
    The chicks live off their yolks for the first 24 hours so they don't need to eat or drink. She should lead them to water soon, if not just take the chicks and dip the end of their beaks into the water and they'll figure it out. Good luck!
    1 person likes this.
  3. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    There's not a big hurry to start newly hatched chicks drinking and eating for the reason stated above. I had a chick hatch two weeks ago, and it wasn't drinking or eating until the end of the second day. Broody-raised chicks will do whatever they see the broody doing. But it doesn't hurt to dip their beaks in the water to jump start the process.
  4. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    This is the biggest lie that has ever been perpetrated on the world of chickdom. Ok, I am going to set you straight, backed by numerous scholarly studies and journal articles if you want to check them out online.
    The yolk is not meant to feed the chick for the 1st 24-48 hours. The chick is meant to eat and drink right away. The rest of the yolk sac is intended to meet the extra needs of the chicks rapidly developing body systems during the 1st 48 hours of life. If the chick needs to use that "reserve nutrition" for living on, the chick will experience a small setback in the nutrition available for these rapidly developing body systems. This means the chick will not completely grow to its genetic potential. The lack of complete fulfillment of its genetic potential may not be noticeable to a great extent by the owner depending on how much and how vital it is that the chick reach this full genetic potential. In the broiler and egg industries, it is vital that the chicks reach their full potential as an extra several ounces spread among several 100K birds does make a difference to the bottom line, or an extra 6 eggs or 12 eggs a season makes a huge difference when one is running several 100K laying hens. To the backyard enthusiast, perhaps it is not important. But the fact remains, the chick does need this extra reserve of nutrition in the yolk sac. Feed your chicks and water them the minute they hatch. The latest research in the commercial industry avidly recommends this.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  5. Trishkabob

    Trishkabob Songster

    Oct 30, 2010
    Schuylerville, NY
    I am very interested in this because we have gotten chicks mailed to us from my
    petchicken and we wonder if this is a cruel process we're helping to perpetuate. If they do need food and water right away, how do you account for the broody mama waiting until everyone hatches to get them to water/food? And how, exactly, does that work? Does she literally lead them to water and feed? Or, since chickens were never really in the wild, do they need human intervention to make that happen ideally?
    A commercial operation is one extreme; the relatively recent "backyard" phenomemon is another but I am most curious about the way chicks are hatched/raised by a mother in a non commercial coop.
    I also think/agree that there is much misinformation out there to convince/make people (like me) feel better about what they're doing.
  6. tinakevin

    tinakevin Songster

    Nov 1, 2015
    New hampahire
    I don't believe it's cruel to have them shipped. I ordered my 18 chicks from ideal and they all survived and r beautiful birds. They didn't seem to be any worse off than my others that r being raised by my Brodie or the ones that I got from the feed store. Most important thing is to learn from this site. Listen to some good advise and do what u feel is the best for u and your chicks. No one person has all the right answers. Good luck on your new chicks.
  7. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    The key to this is the bold type above. If I wanted my birds to be the absolute best, I would buy started chicks. 6-8 week old chicks raised by the breeder. If I didn't want my chicks to lay that extra 6-12 eggs or put on those extra ounces then I would just get chicks and have them shipped. My point was that the absolute best for the chicks was to eat ad drink right after they hatched, as soon as they would. But it isn't cruel to ship day old chicks. The average person really would never notice the difference. Who cares if ones beloved pet or reliable egg layer is a few ounces lighter or the bird lays 8-12 eggs less each season. No biggie. But it does matter if one wants the absolute very last ounce of genetic potential from their birds for whatever reason, be it the bottom line or shows or breeding or?
    I wouldn't worry about shipped chicks being a bad thing. They obviously do just fine as many 100's of millions shipped over the years attest. What I would suggest, is make sure any shipped chicks had an extra vitamin type supplement of some kind on arrival to make sure they have the most nutrition at the earliest age.
    If you have chicks when they are hatched and you have the opportunity, research shows it's fine to feed and water them at hatch. If not, then greet your shipped chicks with a vitamin supplement to give them a boost.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016

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