Today is a fantastic and big day for me because my broody chook has just started hatching her babies and I feel so excited. This is the first time for me and till now am going on by advise from friends. So this is it...How long before they come off the nest and eat. Does "mama" wait until all the chicks are hatched before she brings them to food and water? There are a dozen under "mama" and the nests are raised about two feet above floor and so they can't get there on their own.