Originally Posted by Scifisarah
So, it isn't strong enough to kill all of it, and lets the more resistant coccidiosis survive? Funny that it tries to make it sound like it is a good thing, when what it is really doing is developing stronger strains more resistant to treatment.
The intent of medicated feed is NOT to kill off all coccidia in the bird! Amprolium is simply a thiamin blocker, not an antibiotic. This creates an unfavorable environement in the chicks gut for the coccidia to grow out of control. Therefore the chick will retain normal numbers of coccidia which enables it to develope immunity.
All chickens have coccidia in them, it is widespread in the environment and as they grow they develop immunity. The problem arises when the normal coccidia load quickly overgrows in the gut before the chick has had time to develope that immunity. When it begins breaking down the intestine then you may begin seeing bloody stool. With some strains you may not see that. Chickens hide their illness very, very well and so often by the time a bird is showing symptoms of coccidiosis it is already a very sick bird and treatment may be far to late.
Personally I consider Amprolium medicated feed to be cheap insurance against a fast moving and so often fatal problem. It's also a very unpleasant death for the birds as their intestines are basically eaten alive until they die.
Edited to add: Sorry, I see I've basically repeated what Adenium said!
Edited by cafarmgirl - 5/24/12 at 10:04am