Originally Posted by chiques chicks
I agree with troy. I don't use medicated starter because SFH seem to have problems with it, they develop problems, so I just quit using it all together. I do put lumps of dirt and grass in my brooder to build resistance to cocci. I believe that is what medicated is for.
My run has an open top. My losses this winter have been to predators. I guess the smart and strong survive.
We don't use the medicated starter either, most of our birds are broody raised in the coop so they share the sand floor with the rest of the birds. We haven't had any loss of chicks to illness, last year broodies raised 38 chicks in the coop. We also raised 20 meat birds and 6 black giants from TSC in a brooder for 2 weeks and did like you, chicques, our brooder is an old wooden crib and we have a false floor in one with a plastic pan that sits down in and we fill it halfway with sand mix from the coop. A couple times a day I would sprinkle hulled sunflower seeds or some other treat in the pan so the babies would scratch in it. At two weeks they moved to the broody area in the coop and were on the sand floor. All chicks had ACV water from the start, and our water is well water, so they probably get some minerals in it also, since we have 'hard' water.
Has anyone ever looked into whether folks with 'conditioned' water have more trouble with chicks than folks with well or spring water? I don't know if removing all of the trace minerals would be good or bad, actually.
Blarney.... that pic is scary!!!! Our coop is tucked against the tree line and though I love the location much of the time a falling tree is my biggest fear. So glad it missed your coop!