Chick food too big, chick was choking.

the simple life

11 Years
May 2, 2008
Weymouth, Massachusetts
Has anyone else had the problem with the chick starter being too big for the babies?
I buy the purina chick starter and I have to grind it up in my mixer first.
I guess I missed a few crumbles and it got into the feeder.
I almost lost a 2 day old chick this way.
He was gagging and choking, I didn't know what was going on.
I opened his mouth and there was a big piece of starter stuck in his throat.
I had to run and get some tweezers and open his mouth and pull it out.
Thank goodness I noticed this, I think he would have died.
He could not get this thing down his throat or out of his mouth.
Anyone else notice this?
Yes, i have. Recently hatched two bantam silkies and it was clear the Purina Start and Grow was way too big for them. i had to whip mine in the food processor so they could eat it.

So sorry about your little chick. Very lucky you caught the problem before he choked to death!
Yes, I've had the same problem and had to use the food processor to grind up the food for a couple of weeks. I do think it depends on the brand of feed you use.
I guess I am staying away from Purina chick start. We bought ours at the feed store and is very finely ground. I will have to look at what brand it is. Watch it be Purina!!
I am really surprised that they would make it so big.
The bag is clearly marked as chick food and then they make it so big that one crumble can block the throat of a chick.
This wasn't even one of the smaller banty chicks I have raised, this was a black copper marans, a good size chick as chicks go.
I would think that the banty chicks wouldn't even be able to eat it at all, it wouldn't even fit in their mouths.
I have bought this brand for a while and I swear it was smaller.
My husband went to the feed store and picked up a couple of bags of it and poured it into the storage bins.
When I came outside I told him he bought the wrong kind, he was like no, take a look at the bag its the stuff we always buy.
I saw a big difference. I knew the babies wouldn't be able to eat it for a while so I ground a bunch of it up and put it in a seperate container.
Obviously, a crumble was not ground and mixed in there.
I am soooo thankful I happened to be watching chick tv or I would not have known until it was too late.
Then I am running around the house like a maniac looking for my tweezers.
Unfortunately, we don't have alot of options for chick food around here, so I guess I will keep grinding it up for a while.
I have never had an issue with chick starter, although I do grind it for bantam chicks, quail and pheasants for the first week or so to ensure they can eat it and get a good start.

Yep I have little japanese bantams and button quail. I haven't had any choke but they were wasting large amounts of both chick and gamebird starter because they couldn't eat 1/4-1/2 of it. I was wetting the crumble into mash until the chicks were a few days old but it goes bad very quickly so you have to change it out multiple times a day. Now with the button quail as well I bought a coffee grinder and I just grind up all my chick and gamebird feed into powder.
Are you sure you got the crumbles? The outside of the bag doesn't say crumbles on it, so unless you check the tag, it is easy to get the wrong stuff. I know dh has come home from the feed store a couple times with pellets instead of the crumbles. While we've never had a problem with the size of the crumbles, the pellets were too big for the chicks. What you can do is mix it up with yogurt and make small crumbles so it is easier for the birds to eat.
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Oh no, I buy the pellets for the older birds, I know the difference.
Its just that the Purina brand is making the chick crumbles larger than most brands for some reason.
Others have been saying the same thing about it so its just the crumbles are larger and need to be ground up.

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