Alternative to medicated chick feed...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ChickieNikki, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. ChickieNikki

    ChickieNikki Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't know if this is the right place for this question...but...

    I am getting 25 chicks in a month, and I want to be fully prepared. The lady at the Co-Op recommended medicated feed (FYI, I don't medicate myself or my kids with anything, not even tylenol, so I'm totally OK with no medicated feed--prefer it, in fact...). She warned that coccidiosis is very common in hatchery birds, and it can wipe out my whole little chickie flock quickly. I'm not scared--just want to know how to avoid the medicated feed and what to supplement their feed/water with to keep their risk down. I know about ACV (but not exactly how to use it or if it helps with this), but any natural or homeopathic tricks and tips would be great for me, not just for the peeps, but for life. I also wanted to know if there is any feed, whether chick starter, grower or layer, that has NO GMO corn and no soy. Thanks SO much!!
  2. ashera

    ashera Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 22, 2009
    We use no medicated feed on our farm. It is difficult to find nonmedicated feed for chicks so we use growth and plumage for game birds. All of our fowl have always done fine with out medicated feed or any other medicines...period. Last time I checked the US doesn't require corn or soybeans to be so labeled. Good luck. Also flyer is what we use for the older birds.
  3. LauraN

    LauraN Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 16, 2008
    SW Houston
    I think it's Countryside Naturals that has organic, soy-free. There is an organic mill outside of Austin, Tx that is going to come out with a soy-free feed but I don't know how soon. We just got our first chicks (8) and we mix our own using the whole grain chick starter recipe #3 from Greener Pastures Farm (google). They are 8 days old. My favorite chick (BLR Wyandotte) died 3 days after we got her but there was something wrong with her when we got her. Her breeder disagreed with everything we're doing and said we're going to a lot of trouble and actually might kill 'em all. So, I've lost a little confidence but I just can't bring myself to swith to the medicated stuff at the feed store. I put ACV and garlic in their water and they drink raw cow's milk (I know some say that should only be occassionally). We have a lot in common. I'm pg with #7 also and my kids have never had any medication. Good nutrition and garlic work well for us. Hope it works for the chicks![​IMG] I'm looking forward the the responses to your question.

  4. princessmama

    princessmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    I'm also using the green acres whole grain chick starter recipe. Along with garlic and acv in their water. I don't feed my family processed food or genetically modified corn and especially no soy, so I wasn't comfortable feeding my chicks that stuff. We feed plain yogurt and scrambled eggs for protein. (my husband thinks it is so wierd to feed them eggs--i told him if he'll dig worms and chop them up i wouldn't feed eggs--he said 'really?' in this chipper voice--i have yet to see worms tho lol)

    We are only a few days into our chick experience. The website with the recipe says they've been feeding their chickens this way for years...

    Anyway, good luck [​IMG]
  5. desertgirl

    desertgirl Roo Magnet

    Mar 29, 2009
    Could someone tell me more about the garlic/ACV method (what is ACV,how much of each to how much water, everyday? etc), or suggest a link-I've been looking, but no luck yet.[​IMG]
  6. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Keep the brooder dry, the water clean, etc... and you'll do more to keep down cocci than acv or garlic will. For first time chick raisers I'd actually suggest medicated feed since chicks can go downhill so fast if you don't know what to look for. If you really don't want to do medicated there are usually version of nonmedicated chick starter. If like me you can't find that then a gamebird feed can work. I wouldn't get the really high protein stuff but there is 22% game bird feed here that I have been using for all my chicks this year.
  7. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Akane's right - your BEST defense against cocci is a CLEAN and DRY brooder. You're in St. Louis, so you should have access to Buckeye brand feed which is made in Ohio, I believe. They have a non-medicated starter that I always use (in fact, I have to special order it through my grain elevator, but they're happy to do so for me). It's called Miracle Chick Starter.
  8. LauraN

    LauraN Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 16, 2008
    SW Houston
    Princessmama, we're feeding ours the same way but raw milk instead of yogurt most of the time. How are you keeping the yogurt off their necks? Mine (8 days old) made such a mess with that and milk's not much better. Mine are going crazy trying to clean themselves. They seemed grateful when I used a wet rag to try to get some dried milk off their necks and under their beaks. It had dried on and I couldn't get some of it off. They let each other pick it off. Their milk is in a chick waterer. The yogurt was in a big spoon. Then they were trying to get it off the pine shavings after they flung it everywhere. Sooooooooooo, are yours as messy as mine and do they mind being sticky?

    Also, mine prefer the milk to the water. I'm thinking of stopping free-choice milk (greener pastures recommendation) and giving it only twice a day. I'm afraid they won't get enough water (with acv and garlic). They don't seem to like the garlic in the water but they didn't notice it in their scrambled eggs. I only put one small clove in the chick waterer with the red plastic bottom (glass jar on top). I know how powerful garlic is so I don't want to stop putting it in their water. Many times my family gets sick and I don't because I start eating a ton of garlic.

    The Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar is good for digestion and keeps things clean. I get it at the grocery store and there are 2 brands that I know of, Bragg's and Solana Gold, both organic. Someone else can probably give more details about the benefits.

    I'll go clean my brooder now.[​IMG]
  9. Hattie the Hen

    Hattie the Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    I feed my chicks non mediated chick crumbs but they also get lots of finely chopped chives & chickweed every day & they thrive on it. It used to be the old preventative for cocci. Their very first meal after they hatch is chopped hardboiled eggs mixed with chives; I also squeeze some garlic juice into the mixture. As they grow older I hang bundles of chickweed up for them and they tear into it. Even when they are fully grown chickweed & chives are a great treat. I had to find a seed company who sold chickweed seed & I have clumps of chives all over the garden, tucked in where there is space. Cider vinigar in their water is great & as the others have said a clean & dry brooder. Mine have alwats been brooded by their hen mama so she often takes them off on a little walk around so I think that helps to boost their immunity. In 7 years of raising chicks this way I have never lost a chick once it was hatched & they have grown up into very healthy adult birds. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Hattie
  10. princessmama

    princessmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    LauraN, I've not had too much of a problem with them getting yogurt all over themselves now(they are nine days old today), tho I can easily see that being a problem. I have it in a small, stainless steel condiment cup that I set leaning over a bit in the shavings. The chicks have a cow when they get yogurt on their beaks and run around wiping it everywhere. When i put the yogurt in a jar lid they would step in it and get messier with it. Maybe you could try a narrower container?

    One problem I have noticed is they will eat pine shavings that have yogurt on them. Actually swallow them [​IMG]

    I don't have access to raw milk at this time, so I use the yogurt and feed it once a day.

    I put a couple slices of garlic in their water jar and a teaspoon of acv. They don't seem to mind it at all.

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