chicks won't eat starter

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by seminolewind, Dec 15, 2007.

  1. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Hi, I entered this under "illnesses" but it might be important enough to post here as well.
    I have 3 day old chicks, polish, small like silkies, one was weak, and the rest, I noticed were basically picking at the starter, and dropping it. I ran the starter thru the blender, and they turned into raging chicks, eating like vultures!
    Just keep an eye out in case it happens to your chicks.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2007
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Wetting the started to make a mash can work wonders too! They will go after it like I'd go after a half gallon of mint chocolate chip. [​IMG]

    It's worked wonders for Hoppy - I couldn't get him to eat the regular starter feed, and I was worried about dehydration also, but wetting the feed helped on both accounts.

    Just be sure if you wet the feed, to only make enough 'mash' for 6-8 hours and change it/wash the pan frequently so it won't start to ferment or get moldy.

    Oh, and one more suggestion, Seminole - you might want to change the title of the thread to 'chicks won't eat starter' or something like that in case someone is searching.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2007
  3. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I often put the first feed I give them in a baggie and squish it some with a rolling pin.
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Thanks Arlee and Katy, I took your advice. I think the rolling pin will work better than what I'm doing now.
    Arlee, I changed the heading.
    Katy, are you crushing the starter because this happened to you?
    I have to say that the feed never moved all day, I thought, gee, they don't eat much. I put about half a cup of crushed starter in there, and its almost gone! Its only been a few hours! One of the chicks fell asleep face down in the starter, LOL, and one of them was sitting and eating.
  5. Pinenot

    Pinenot Songster

    Sep 11, 2007
    Thank you for this info!!! I will keep this in the back of my mind when my little silkies hatch.
  6. fdnick

    fdnick Master Chicken Hoarder

    Aug 22, 2007
    Spokane, Wa.
    Never thought about it but, We always run the starter theu the blender for the first 3 to 4 days for the seramas.. but they are soooo small..
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2007
  7. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I guess I just always thought the pieces looked a little big for them....I usually only do it for a couple of days and by then they've got the eating thing down better. I should have said something earlier I guess, but it's one of those things...I'm used to doing it and don't think much about it. How's your little one doing? I think mine that I lost had more than one issue going of it's legs wasn't quite right.
  8. earthnut

    earthnut Songster

    Sep 18, 2007
    Seattle, Cascadia
    I found that out because initially I was using a homemade mix of hard boiled egg yolk, ground oats, and ground corn. (because I didn't get feed in time) I had ground the grains simply because there was no way they were gonna eat the whole grain. Then when I got the feed, I just gave it to them and they pretty much ignored it, trying to get the last little bits of the emergency feed that had fallen out of the old container. So I sifted it to get out the big chunks, and they're devouring it quite fast. I found mine had quite a bit of powder, so I just sifted it and I'll give them the bigger bits later.
  9. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Hi Katy, the chick is more active, not constantly peeping. She has been eating a little out of the feeder cup, and I also take her out and give her moist mush starter, which she eats. But, she seems to be breathing faster, and sometimes open mouth breathing. I don't think that's good.
    No leg problem.
  10. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I hope she continues to do better. Sometimes we lose a chick no matter how much TLC we give them.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: