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Medicated or non medicated???

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Good morning all, I am so excited I will be getting my baby chicks soon , they are going to give them the mareks shot I want to feed organic , would it be beneficial for them to have the medicated feed as babies? I'm new to chicks and want the best for them 😀
post #2 of 7
I wrote this a while back for another question. I think it will answer most of your questions. If you have more, just ask. It might help you make your decision if you know what the medicated feed is supposed to do. I’m not sure that your chickens can be “certified organic” if you give them Amprolium. It’s not an antibiotic but I’m not sure if it is allowed or not.

Amprolium will not make any difference to the Marek’s vaccination.


First you need to know what the "medicated" is in the medicated feed. It should be on the label. Usually it is Amprolium, Amprol, some such product, but until you read the label, you really don't know. Every "medicated' feed I'm aware of from major brands for chicks that will be layers uses Amprolium, but people on this forum that I trust have posted hat some feeds for broilers have things other than Amprolium. I'll assume it is an Amprolium product, but if it is not, then realize everything I say about it may not apply. And it is possible that the "medicated" is Amprolium AND something else.

Amprol is not an antibiotic. It does not kill anything. It inhibits the protozoa that cause coccidiosis (often called Cocci on this forum) from multiplying in the chicken's system. It does not prevent the protozoa from multiplying; it just slows that multiplication down. There are several different strains of protozoa that can cause Cocci, some more severe than others. Chickens can develop immunity to a specific strain of the protozoa, but that does not give them immunity to all protozoa that cause Cocci. Little bitty tiny baby chicks can develop that immunity easier than older chickens.

It is not a big deal for the chicken’s intestines to contain some of the protozoa that cause Cocci. The problem comes in when the number of those protozoa gets huge. The protozoa can multiply in the chicken’s intestines but also in wet manure. Different protozoa strains have different strengths, but for almost all cases, if you keep the brooder dry, you will not have a problem.

To develop immunity to a specific strain, that protozoa needs to be in the chicks intestines for two or three weeks. The normal sequence is that a chick has the protozoa. It poops and some of the cysts that develop the protozoa come out in the poop. If the poop is slightly damp, those cysts develop and will then develop in the chick's intestines when the chicks eat that poop. This cycle needs go on for a few weeks so all chicks are exposed and they are exposed long enough to develop immunity. A couple of important points here. You do need to watch them to see if they are getting sick. And the key is to keep the brooder dry yet allow some of the poop to stay damp. Not soaking wet, just barely damp. Wet poop can lead to serious problems.

What sometimes happens is that people keep chicks in a brooder and feed them medicated feed while they are in the brooder. Those chicks are never exposed to the Cocci protozoa that lives in the dirt in their run, so they never develop the immunity to it. Then, they are switched to non-medicated feed and put on the ground where they are for the first time exposed to the protozoa. They do not have immunity, they do not have the protection of the medicated feed, so they get sick. Feeding medicated feed while in the brooder was a complete waste.

I do not feed medicated feed. I keep the brooder dry to not allow the protozoa to breed uncontrollably. The third day that they are in the brooder, I take a scoop of dirt from the run and feed it to them so I can introduce the protozoa and they can develop the immunity they need to the strain they need to develop an immunity to. To provide a place for that slightly damp poop, I keep a square of plywood in the dry brooder and let the poop build up on that. I don't lose chicks to Cocci when they hit the ground.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeding medicated feed to chicks, whether the protozoa are present or not. It will not hurt them. They can still develop the immunity they need. But unless the protozoa are present, it also does no good.

If you get your chicks vaccinated for Cocci, do not feed medicated feed. It can negate the vaccinations.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #3 of 7
Being new, I do recommend feeding medicated. I like to feed organic as well but I do use medicated feed as a extra confidence. I've had chickens for around 5 years now and still perfer the extra caution of medicated feed. it's entirely a personal choice however I do recommend it. Congratulations on your new chicks!!! when will they arrive? mine I ordered in January will arrive April 11th. next Monday they actually go into the hatcheries incubator! YEA FINALLY. How many are you getting? What Breeds? male or female or straight run mix? I' only have a small order of 7 female Barred Rock chicks, 1 suprise breed female production layer and 1 Golden CUCKOO MARAN Female for a total of 9. All mine will have the Mareks vaccine as well. Good for you getting yours vaccinated! That was VERY WISE of you!!hope you post pictures when they arrive! I can't wait to see them! ♡♡
post #4 of 7
I started with organic chick starter, with Corid (Amprolium) in hand. Once I saw some blood in a chick's poop and she was weak, I started to add corid in their water. Amprolium doesn't bother me, GMO does.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much very informative.. I will have to do a lot more reading before they come..
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Yes I'm excited my first time with chicks I'm only getting 6 for now.. I actually got 6 different breeds barred rock, 2 types Orpington, Easter eager, Rhode Island Red and white leghorn just realizing would they all get along I didn't even think of that
post #7 of 7
They should get along fine if raised together. Many of us have mixed flocks like that without any issues.

Occasionally you get an individual chicken that is just a brute. That can be any breed and they can be brutal to any other chicken regardless of breed. You are dealing with living animals that are all individuals, no one can give you guarantees but the huge majority of us don’t have issues with this whether mixed flocks or all the same breed.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
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