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Medicated VS. non medicated chick feed?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi,
I'm so confused! There is so much info out there regarding the best feeds? I have 4 babies (going on 2 weeks) and 2 bigger girls (4 months?). The feed store told me to get them all start and grow by purina. They started me with a small bag of non-medicated (that was silly!), but they only sell the 50 pounder in medicated (which I bought, since I was almost out).

I have read so many things saying that medicated is very necessary, then I have read other things discouraging it! I'm not a fan of purina brand in general, but no other feed store in my area sells anything else? Any insight to the medicated vs. non? Also, are the big girls getting to old for this? Do I need a separate feed for them?

And, is there an online dealer that sells other brands that may be better, at a fair price? I would prefer to be on an organic feed by the time they start laying!

Thanks for your time!
Newchic

Full House: 1 Malamute, 1 Shepard mix, 2 cats, 1 36 gal. Saltwater Tank, 5 Hens (1 Americana, 1 Brahma, 3 Production Reds), 1 Boyfriend, very little time, but all worth it!
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Full House: 1 Malamute, 1 Shepard mix, 2 cats, 1 36 gal. Saltwater Tank, 5 Hens (1 Americana, 1 Brahma, 3 Production Reds), 1 Boyfriend, very little time, but all worth it!
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post #2 of 11

Maybe it's just us, but our chicks do much better on medicated, at least until they're about 4 weeks or so, then it doesn't seem to matter unmedicated or medicated. I switched to medicated because our locally milled unmedicated was just giving us so many pasty butts and it was hard to keep up with 100+ chicks all peeping for attention. I felt like it was a lot of stress on the chicks having to clean them every day, and it was certainly stressful on me. hmm

Work with my business partner on American Dominiques in large fowl and bantam,

also keep a few Black Sumatras in large fowl and Coturnix Quail in Tibetan and Tibetan Tuxedo.

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Work with my business partner on American Dominiques in large fowl and bantam,

also keep a few Black Sumatras in large fowl and Coturnix Quail in Tibetan and Tibetan Tuxedo.

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post #3 of 11

It will undoubtedly be difficult to get a definitive answer on what is better.  It probably depends most on you and your goals.  I chose medicated when mine were chicks, mostly because almost everything I had read up to that point said that was best...and because I was super nervous that they would get sick if I didn't.

Owned by two old dogs (yellow lab and a big, red, fuzzy mutt) and four chickens (Buff Orpington, Barred Rock, and two Easter Eggers)
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Owned by two old dogs (yellow lab and a big, red, fuzzy mutt) and four chickens (Buff Orpington, Barred Rock, and two Easter Eggers)
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post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks!

I'm sure that as long as they are getting a good quality feed things will turn out ok. I'm just trying to do whats best for them. I'm stuck with the medicated feed for now, seems to be fine.

When you say pasty butts does that mean the squirts and it sticking to their tails? If that occurs should I be cleaning it for them? If so how?


Edited by NewChic13 - 5/7/11 at 10:25pm
Full House: 1 Malamute, 1 Shepard mix, 2 cats, 1 36 gal. Saltwater Tank, 5 Hens (1 Americana, 1 Brahma, 3 Production Reds), 1 Boyfriend, very little time, but all worth it!
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Full House: 1 Malamute, 1 Shepard mix, 2 cats, 1 36 gal. Saltwater Tank, 5 Hens (1 Americana, 1 Brahma, 3 Production Reds), 1 Boyfriend, very little time, but all worth it!
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post #5 of 11

Yay Chicks! :

It will undoubtedly be difficult to get a definitive answer on what is better.  It probably depends most on you and your goals.  I chose medicated when mine were chicks, mostly because almost everything I had read up to that point said that was best...and because I was super nervous that they would get sick if I didn't.


I agree with Yay Chicks...  unless your chicks were immunized/innoculated or whatever, I bought my pullets from TSC and the employees had no idea whether the chicks had been immunized or not.  Even though i plan to raise my chicks organically...I decided to give them a good start whether it means they're no longer "organic" or not.  I just wanted to protect my investment as much as possible and decided I would take the recommended approach of giving them medicated starter feed for at least 6-weeks unadulterated.  Once I hit 6 weeks, I started mixing the medicated with a 1:1 grower feed.  When the medicated bag ran out after that, I switched to stricly grower feed.  However, all along after 6 weeks...I treated them with some specialties like yogurt, crumbled hard boiled egg, and mealworms just for an extra protein boost and for fun!  There's nothing like seeing how excited they get with treats like plain yogurt, crumbled hard boiled eggs, and live meal worms!!  It's a feeding frenzy like you've never seen unless you've watched sharks on the Discovery Channel!  I chose medicated and haven't had a sick or dead bird out of 25.  Maybe I was just lucky, but this experience will have me follow this routine if I ever raise "li'l ones" again.  Everyone has their preferences and goals...but mine won't see medicated feed after 6-8 weeks just for a good start...then, we'll have to see how attached I've gotten to them to treat with medication later.  If they do get sick...quaranteen them from the others so they don't spread the "dreaded whatever".

Have fun with it, don't worry too much like we all do in the beginning.  Mine are developing and growing nicely after being away from this "chicken stuff" for 28+ years.  That's only because I was in the U.S. Air Force and it's kinda tough to raise chickens in Iraq and Afghanistan!!!
lau

post #6 of 11

If you do a search on this topic, you will find lots of threads where people discuss both sides to great lengths. I personally  decided to not use medicated feed..one of the reasons to do this was to get away from all the meds, hormones, etc. ..so do a search if you like and many people will tell you why or why not they choose to use it. smile

Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, every American school is a school of humanism. What can a theistic Sunday school's meeting for an hour once a week & teaching only a fraction of the children do to stem the tide of the five-day program of humanistic teaching?" - Charles F. Potter, "Humanism: A New Religion," 1930
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Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, every American school is a school of humanism. What can a theistic Sunday school's meeting for an hour once a week & teaching only a fraction of the children do to stem the tide of the five-day program of humanistic teaching?" - Charles F. Potter, "Humanism: A New Religion," 1930
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post #7 of 11

Medicated feed contains Amprolium and is specifically targets cocci. It does not "cure" anything but aids in the natural immunity and I personally switch to non-medicated at about 8 weeks or so. There is a lot of dissenting opinions on here about the topic and it pretty much boils down to a philosophical opinion as both sides claim there way is better and both ways have success and failure. I don't like losing chicks and cocci is the #1 killer so 7 or 8 weeks of meds is acceptable to me considering the alternative. Hen reared chicks almost never get cocci.

post #8 of 11

I'm just starting out with 9 chicks, a mixture of breeds, 4 are almost 3 weeks and 5 are 5 days old.  The feed store where I got them gave me medicated Chick Starter.  They said that here in California it's the LAW.  They didn't tell me it was medicated until after I'd fed it for 3 days and one chick had pooped a bloody speck that worried me.  The 10# bags were not labeled as medicated.  Now after reading the forum I also use ACV as a backup.  All seem healthy...in fact, although I tried to keep them separated, the flock mixed together right away.  My wire basket separator in the brooder was ineffective.  The little guys popped through it and mingled with the bigger girls before I knew it.  So I watched them for quite a while, still do, frequently, and they are coexisting nicely... no pecking going on yet!   So FUN to watch!

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for the response.
Like I said before, I ended up with a 50# bag after it was all said in done, so that's what they will eat for now.

I plan on ending that once the bag is gone, which I have so quickly discovered will be sooner than later! By The way, will these girls continue to eat this much once full grown?!?!?! My goodness, I didn't expect to go through 5 pounds with 6 chicks in 1 1/2 weeks!!!

By the way, HenaLayLady, I live in CA and no one mentioned that there was some law requiring I feed them medicated food? I did however buy my feed in NV. I also work in a pet store (Not a feed store) in CA, and have never heard such things!  But who knows....

Anywho, Thanks to you all!!!

Full House: 1 Malamute, 1 Shepard mix, 2 cats, 1 36 gal. Saltwater Tank, 5 Hens (1 Americana, 1 Brahma, 3 Production Reds), 1 Boyfriend, very little time, but all worth it!
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Full House: 1 Malamute, 1 Shepard mix, 2 cats, 1 36 gal. Saltwater Tank, 5 Hens (1 Americana, 1 Brahma, 3 Production Reds), 1 Boyfriend, very little time, but all worth it!
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post #10 of 11
I bought my chicks a week ago from Dell in Monroe, WA...the salesperson was very helpful and recommended the Purina medicated just for preventing cocci...the chicks seem to love it and I get a little peace of mind. I plan to free range them in the back yard and switch to an organic feed once they are ready. For now I will keep them on the medicated Purina until they are a few weeks older. Thanks to all for your input!

3 Buff Orpingtons, 3 Easter Eggers, 1 German Shepherd (Jake "The Destroyer")

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3 Buff Orpingtons, 3 Easter Eggers, 1 German Shepherd (Jake "The Destroyer")

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