Newly-hatched Chicks and Early Access to Feed

Functional development of the intestinal tract is essential for a successful poultry production.

Functional development of the intestinal tract is essential for a successful poultry production.
The small intestine of the newly-hatched chick is immature and undergoes significant morphological, biochemical, and molecular changes during the 2 week post-hatch (Reference 1).
The timing and form of nutrients supplied post-hatch is critical for development of intestines. It has been shown that early access to feed accelerates the rate of yolk utilization and enhances growth of the intestinal tract.
Usual hatchery practices result in a 24-72 hr transition between hatching and placing of chicks on the farm. The delayed access to feed can lead to a depression in intestinal function which may negatively affect subsequent performance of birds (Reference 1).
Studies have also shown that providing developing embryo with exogenous nutrients (In ovo feeding) may enhance intestinal tract development and lead to higher body weight in in ovo fed chicks.
  • What are your practical experiences regarding early and/or delayed access to feed in newly-hatched chicks?
  • Have you seen any difference(s) in consequences of delayed access to feed in summer vs. winter?
  • Let's share our experiences here.
1- Uni, Z. 1999. Functional development of the small intestine in domestic birds: cellular and molecular aspects. Avian Poult. Biol. Rev. 10: 167-179.


  • no-profile-image

    Dr.fariborz sharifian.iran

    It seems 1 gram feed at day old give 18 grams weight at end .(broiller)My practical experienses early feed with amino acid,probiotic(protexin) ,multivitamin that we can use in drinking water is usefull.

  • no-profile-image

    Bolarinwa Ganiyu

    There is effectiveness in growth rate by placing chicks on aminoacids and vitamins orally in the first 6 to 12hours after placement before introduction of chicks starter.

  • no-profile-image

    Dr.Jahan Zeb Ansari

    My experience in this stage;better to take start with sucrose or any good source of sugar @ 30-33gm per litre of drinking water at least for four hours before offering feed.This practice will help to establish microfloral population & is asource of energy as well.

  • no-profile-image


    Due to experience of un absorded yolk in most of the day-old-chicks I do receive, I normally delay feed gift for about 12hrs and this had being helpful in reducing my early mortality, since the chicks are able to burn off some of the yolk before having access to feed. Theis practice has not shown any negative effect on the growth rate of my replacement chick.However, I did not study their intestinal tract development.


  • no-profile-image

    Dr.Rajendra Kumar

    The chicks basically should be from undiseased parent flocks.Secondly, the incubation process should be good in the hatchery.
    Thirdly, the transportation should be stress free. If all these go well then the aspect of feed being given early or late has little effect as we can make up with the best quality of chicks in the coming days of the chicks life.

  • no-profile-image


    what's the best. feed & water are simultaneously? or water first before feed.

  • no-profile-image

    Ir. Joko Prihanto

    My experience is, as soon as the chicks arrived in the house firstly the sugar solution provided in preventing dehydration of the chicks and right after it used up,the starter feed given.
    But I had no idea how long should we delay the introduction of chick starter before the sugar solution used up?

  • shahid Nisar

    After receiving the chicks, first 6 to 8 hours suger solution mix with multivitamins in drinking water and after 8 hours starter feed should be given and after sensivity of chick antibiotic for 3 days should be given if needed..

Load more comments (4)

Or register to be able to comment.