Did strawberries kill my baby chicks???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JenMoutz, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. JenMoutz

    JenMoutz In the Brooder

    Jan 22, 2014
    My two baby chicks were not eating their starter feed but we're drinking plenty of water and running around happily. I tried 'pecking' at their feed but they showed no interest. So one evening I added very small pieces of strawberry tossed in with their feed so they could get the taste for the feed. The next morning every last bit of strawberries and feed were gone, they ate every last bit. I was so happy until that afternoon one of them had died. He was the weaker of the two so i figured the strawberries were a coincidence. So last night I gave the other chick a small amount of strawberries and now this morning he is laying down and faintly chirping. I don't think he will make it much longer. I'm so sad, did I kill my babies?? The first to die was 5 days old and the other is 7 days old. We're they too young for fruit or were the strawberries a coincidence? Also I didn't provide any extra grit because the strawberries were mixed in with their starter feed. Should I have still provided extra?? Where did I go wrong, please help! Also they were in a huge tote with a heat lamp, pine shavings, plenty of fresh water, starter feed and also a stuffed animal to keep them company so I don't think their environment was an issue.

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I doubt it was the strawberries. I imagine if they were out with a hen in the spring, she would have shown them the berries.

    I usually don't feed anything but starter feed till they're at least 5 weeks. Perhaps grit would have been a good idea when providing anything other than starter. In fact, it's a good idea to provide grit no matter what they're eating.
    When I don't have a hen with them, I keep them on paper towels for the first few days and sprinkle the feed on them along with some crumbled hard boiled egg, in addition to a feeder with starter in it. They'll naturally peck at whatever is at their feet so this way they find out what feed is and will be eating it out of the feeder in no time. After that, I put them on shavings. I have heard of chicks eating shavings and getting impacted.

    It may very well have been nothing you did. They may have just been weak. Just make sure they aren't too hot. A heat lamp in a tote can often make it too hot. If I'm using a tote for a couple chicks, I use something closer to 75-100 watts.
    1 person likes this.
  3. JenMoutz

    JenMoutz In the Brooder

    Jan 22, 2014
    Thanks for the response. I will definitely try the paper towels next time, great idea! They pecked at their shavings often although I'm not sure if they actually ate them. And as for the heat, I have them in a huge tote, not to sound morbid but coffin size. I know that's a little much but I will be doing multiple hatches in the future with various amounts of babies. I have a screen sitting on top and the heat lamp with a 250 watt bulb that rests right above one side of the screen. I have a thermometer on the wall of the side where the heat lamp is and it reads around 82 so I imagine directly under the lamp it is much warmer, but do you think that would be too warm? I hate being new at this and having to learn through trial and error at the expense of the lives of these sweet baby chicks!
  4. I do need to agree here as this is what I do for the most part and the mashed up egg is
    what I give to all my chicks as my Grandpa showed me back in the 60's ....
    Next time put some Probiotic & Electrolyte in their water and some cooked mashed up egg's
    with chick starter and most chicks really do not start eating till around day 3 or 4 as all they
    need is inside them from their egg hatching .....
    And I only give chick starter and egg's and the part of the egg that is not eaten in 15 minutes
    need's to be removed and tossed ....

    For their brooder you will need enough room for them to run in and out of the heat that it very
    important for the little guys ......

    If you are going to put in wood chips please wait for them to finish their 2nd week of life and
    as passing into week 3 then you can put them in ......

    gander007 [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
  5. JenMoutz

    JenMoutz In the Brooder

    Jan 22, 2014
    Great info! Thanks so much!! One quick question...do you also provide chick grit when giving the mashed egg?

  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Was the temp under the lamp at the level of the chick's backs between 90 - 95 degrees? That's the goal temp. during the first week of life. Were the strawberries washed? I'd wait until the chicks were eating their starter feed well before giving them any treats. then, portion sizes need to be appropriate, starting with just a tiny taste. I agree with PP that grit is good to add right away.
  7. No I do not, just the egg's mashed as this is not just a treat but like a vitamin and nutrient supplement that is to promote growth and good health and just watch the feathers grow on the chicks compared to chicks who do not get the egg's ...... [​IMG]

    gander007 [​IMG]

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