Anyone Have Problems as a Result of Unmedicated Chick Starter?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by rivers2011, May 15, 2011.

  1. rivers2011

    rivers2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2011
    Port Perry, ON
    Hi all,
    I want to make the switch to unmedicated starter for my 12 day old chicks and was wondering if anyone has had problems as a result of feeding nonmedicated starter to their own chicks. I'm afraid of them getting the diseases that chicks are prone to, but I bought them for the purpose of getting organic eggs...

    Thanks very much!
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I honestly do not know how one could tell if cocci is a potential problem in one's area. I've raised out batches both ways. I have never had an outbreak.
    But....... I would sure be sorely disappointed and saddened to lose a whole bunch of birds to the disease. You have already fed them for almost two weeks, so I personally see little harm in continuing for another few weeks. The amp medication is merely a blocker and at 8 weeks, I'm all done feeding it. I'm sure by 12 weeks, long before lay, the microscopic amounts fed to them as chicks has long since passed through their systems. I also do not buy feed that is certified organic, although it is pure and all natural. That's the best I can do economically anyhow. You'll have to make your own decision on this matter. Best wishes.
    Last edited: May 15, 2011
  3. countrycluckerskaren

    countrycluckerskaren Out Of The Brooder

    May 14, 2011
    I have had chickens for years. I have never used medicated starter for them. I have never had a problem with my peeps.
  4. AKsmama

    AKsmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    Quote:The only "disease" the medicated feed will protect them from is coccidiosis, nothing else. Your post made it sound like you thought the medication in the feed would protect them from several illnesses, and it's not true. Just an FYI.

    I fed my first batch of chicks that were brooder raised medicated feed and they did great on it. It's not going to hurt them to feed them the entire bag, as you won't be getting eggs for several months.
  5. noblehillfarm

    noblehillfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2009
    Tyngsboro, Ma
    I never use medicated.I use game bird crumbles for all my birds and chicks and have never had an issue
  6. humboldtpeeps

    humboldtpeeps Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 6, 2011
    I used non medicated organic on our first batch of pullets ( almost 3 months old now). We bought a 50lb bag at the feed store and they said it would be good to feed them all the way until they were ready to lay. We raised them in a brooder with a hardware cloth floor and took great pains to manage their environment so they wouldn't get sick, but they ended up getting Cocci after a day trip out the the garden (we live in a damp climate with lots of wild birds around).

    We went out and got Corrid (amprolium- same stuff in medicated crumbles- just more concentrated) and some antibiotic feed additive for them and they recovered pretty fast. Thank goodness!

    By the time they were about 9 wks, we were just finishing up the end of the bag of feed when our speckled sussex (who had the worst of the cocci) got really sick and we had to cull her. We aren't sure what she had yet, but her symptoms were consistent with eating something moldy... the people we consulted when she got sick asked what type of feed and told us that the organic feeds don't last as long as the non-organic and our feed may have gone bad. Her immune system may not have recovered from her bout with the cocci and so... anyway, it was sad but it happens.

    For our second batch of pullets (1.5 weeks) we decided just to use the medicated crumbles for them- we want them to build up their immunity to the cocci gradually. We will switch them over to organic feeds about a month or so before they start laying. Ive heard that is how long it takes the amprolium to work through their system.

    Its all trial and error, i know lots of people who have used the organic non medicated and never had an issue [​IMG] Really my only advice is - if you go organic non medicated- buy a small bag of it because it doesn't keep as long, Keep your habitat dry and clean, bring little bits of earth in for them to get exposure to gradually, and keep Corrid on hand just in case. But if you already have the medicated crumbles...why not just finish them out? if you are raising these for eggs and want organic- switch over to the organic feed no less than 30 days before they start laying.
    Good luck!
    sorry it got so long-lots of coffee! [​IMG]
  7. geebs

    geebs Lovin' the Lowriders!

    Sep 28, 2008
    The only medication in medicated chick feed is Amproline. If you want to not worry about Cocci which is what that is for (anticoccidiastat) then use Tumeric in their feed.. It is the only anticocidiastat that is natural. I would also use DE and ACV and cinnamon.... Do some reading on herbs and such... stay away from barley.
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    This might get a bit long too. Never thought to blame coffee.

    You need to read the label and see what the "medicated" is. It is usually amprolium, amprol, something like that, which is not an antibiotic, but you never know what is in a bag until you read the label. Somebody on this forum recently mentioned something that started with a "B" in addition to the amprolium. I have no idea what that was or if it was something totally unrelated to "medicated". I'm cynical enough not top trust generalizations. I suggest reading the label so you know.

    The amprolium does not prevent them from getting coccidiosis, also called cocci. It inhibits the reproduction of the protazoa that causes cocci. Cocci usually does not cause a problem unless the numbers of the protazoa get real high. It breeds in wet manure as well as in the chicken's gut, so if you keep the brooder dry, you can usually keep cocci under control with or without amprolium. There is at least one strain of the protazoa that causes it that is real bad. A dry brooder and medicated feed together is not enough. You have to treat that variety with stronger stuff. That is not a problem for most of us, but if it is for yours, you will know about it.

    Young chicks can develop an immunity to coccci fairly easily, but they need that protazoa introduced at a young age and they need to share each other's slightly damp poop for two or three weeks so they can develop that immunity. It is not real uncommon for chicks raised in a very dry brooder, especially those raised on wire, to get cocci right after they are put in the ground. I raise mine on wire, but the way I handle this is to give them some sandy dirt from the run about the third day I put them in the brooder and put a 12" square piece of plywood in the brooder to give them a place to share poop. It stays pretty dry, just damp enough to let the cocci protazoa live. You do not want a wet brooder. Just a slightly damp place.

    I've read that you should stop giving them Amprolium five weeks before you butcher them. I've never seen a recommendation for how long to stop it before egg production. I'd guess it is not quite so long, but five weeks sounds reasonable to me.

    If your feed is medicated with Amprolium, it will allow them to develop that immunity. It does not totally stop the protazoa from reproducing, just slows it down.

    I do not feed medicated to mine and I have not yet had a problem. I don't see anything wrong with giving them medicated feed if you want to. It is your personal choice.
  9. MicheleC

    MicheleC Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2011
    Lake Charles
    Quote:Why stay away from barley? I am new to raising chickens, I actually bought some and was planning on preparing it today but didn't get time. Thanks!
  10. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    I have raised alot of chicks on medicated and did not have any problems til this spring. I have 11 8 week olds and put them out in the coop 2 weeks ago. We have cocci. I started treatment Tuesday. Today is the last dose and they are doing fine. So mrdicated feed will not totally stop your chicks from getting cocci just helps a little. I might add that this has been a very wet spring and I think that is why we Had problems this time. As for using medicated or non, its just a personal preference.

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