Chick Starter-Poisoning chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 77horses, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊ 10 Years

    Aug 19, 2008
    We bought 2 buff cochin chicks back last month from someone at a swap/meet. They were about 1-2 weeks old. Well, one of the ladies there was talking about how baby chicks need chick starter feed and everything. We didn't have any at the time, so she generously gave us some extra chick starter feed in a bag for us, just until we got some from the farmer's supply store. Well, when we got home, we settled the chicks in their warm brooder box, gave them fresh water, and some of the feed. They immediately started eating it. About a week later, one of the chicks(the smaller one, who for some reason had balance problems) died mysteriously. We doubt that it was because of the feed. Pumpkin(the one chick who didn't die) had a runny nose and didn't look too healthy. My dad decided that he would change their feed from the feed that the lady gave us to what we call "grinded up cracked corn". All we do is take cracked corn, grind it up so it's almost a powder, and the chicks love it! We fed it to our chickens when they were babies last year(now they are adults) and they did fine. Pumpkin loved the ground cracked corn so we fed it to her instead of the starter feed.
    A few weeks later, we got a black EE chick. She was put with Pumpkin and named Raven. She also loved the ground cracked corn. And sense we stopped giving them the starter feed, they have been very healthy(except for a little runny nose) and active.

    My question is, was the chick starter feed bad for them or something? Was it poisoning? I'm not sure what brand it was or how old it was.

    Any ideas would help. Thanks!

    (P.S. today, the two chicks are doing great but still have little runny noses. Nothing serious though) [​IMG]
  2. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊ 10 Years

    Aug 19, 2008
    oh and the chick starter was supposed to be a medicated starter, that's what the lady said. [​IMG]
  3. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    It is possible her feed was old and had some mold in it. But your current babies do need grower because it is complete nutrition. They can eat corn, if they have some grit, but to grow right and be healthy they should be on grower. If it was bad for them in itself, chicks everywhere would be dieing, none of us would be able to feed it without losing the babies, so I'm sure the problem was her feed and not the fresh that you would get at the feed store. [​IMG]
  4. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess 10 Years

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    It sounds like to me that the chicks already had some issues to get over before you got them. I as well as many others here feed starter to their babies and have no problems with it. I give game bird starter after they are a few weeks old. Just plain corn does not have all the nutrients in it that a growing chick needs. I am sure your chickens love it and if you choose to feed it, that's fine but I am positive the starter had nothing to do with your chick issues. You say the little one had balance problems. That tells me that perhaps it was not "right" and had something maybe genetic that caused it's death. The runny nose on the other chick is a sign of some sort of sickness and not related to the starter. Hope this helps.
  5. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊ 10 Years

    Aug 19, 2008
    I think i will get my dad some new, FRESH chick starter feed from the store for Christmas. [​IMG]
  6. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊ 10 Years

    Aug 19, 2008
    We are not sure what the runny nose is from. Raven and Pumpkin have it. Otherwise they are both healthy. The runny nose does not smell and it clear.
    Yes I doubt that the starter feed caused the weaker chick's death, but the other two have been doing fine with the ground cracked corn.
    I bet that the stuff was old.
  7. MyraNC

    MyraNC In the Brooder

    Oct 18, 2008
    Central North Carolina
    The 2 chicks you brought home that were only two weeks old needed to be kept warm coming home with no drafts,and under a light to keep them warm. I doubt the feed the lady gave you was the problem as she was feeding her chicks with it and they were fine until you got them home. They probably caught a cold on the trip home and the change of everything was just too much for the one.

    While their bodies are developing and growing they need nutrition. We wouldn't feed a small child just white bread as there is near no value in it. Although corn may keep a chick and chicken alive it will not be healthy and their eggs won't be as nuritious either.

    People feed the wild birds better than some feed their chickens. I give my chicks and chickens a very good diet. Stay away from medications. Read a book on how to care for chickens and educate yourself as it will benefit you and them. My intent is not to hurt your feelings.
  8. becky3086

    becky3086 Crested Crazy

    Oct 14, 2008
    Thomson, GA
    I agree with Myra. My first thought was that they got chilled when they were moved around. I have never seen chick starter hurt a chick.
  9. birdsofparadise

    birdsofparadise Songster

    Nov 15, 2008
    North Kohala, Hawaii
    The problem with cracked corn is that its protein level is too low for good chick development. Starter feed runs 20 - 24% protein. Ground corn is somewhere around 10% or so. Plus, even finely ground, they will need chick grit to properly digest the corn. All in all, stick to starter feed until they feather out and then just feed the corn as a treat.
  10. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Most likely those chicks were already sick and on the way out before you got them. This happens much more than you might think it does.

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