Can my chicks go off medicated feed at 3 weeks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 4urbanchicks, May 28, 2010.

  1. 4urbanchicks

    4urbanchicks In the Brooder

    Apr 26, 2010
    My chicks will be 3 weeks old this Sunday, and I have read that you can switch to non medicated food after they have been on it for the first two weeks or so of life. I am almost out of the medicated food, and have a bag of regular food and will switch if it sounds acceptable to those of you who have experience on your side! [​IMG]

  2. colowyo0809

    colowyo0809 Songster

    Apr 27, 2010
    Dacono, CO
    Quote:Well, I personally don't have a whole lot of experience, we have only had our chickens since the end of April or so, but we started them on the nonmedicated feed when we brought them home. Feed stores and the like tend to feed their chicks the medicated feed, so basically they were switched from medicated to nonmedicated at anywhere from four days of age to two weeks of age (we brought home chicks with a range of ages as well as breeds!) and so far they seem to be doing just fine. havent lost one yet (thank god!) [​IMG] hoping to keep up this good run when we get the batch of 25 next week. However, we do mix in probiotic once a week with their feed and I feed kelp everyday with their morning ration, so take that how you will :)

    Matthew Ryan
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member 11 Years

    They can to to non-medicated feed, sure. Many never feed anything medicated anyway. You'd have to watch for signs of cocci, but when you do give the feed with amprolium, medicated feed doesn't necessarily prevent cocci. They won't be past threat of cocci until they are closer to 10-12 weeks old. By then, they have usually developed immunity to the oocysts in the soil that cause it.
  4. midget_farms

    midget_farms Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    The medicated feed is only needed if there are crowded or unsanitary conditions - or if you know you've had a problem in the past with sick chicks.

    Most people never use it - I haven't - and have very good results.

    The down side to not using it though - is if you do have an issue - a disease will wipe out almost the entire flock before you know what happened - cheap ins. If you are ok with antibiotics in your food supply.

  5. I would highly suggest not stopping feed that at least has amprollium (which is not a "medication" BTW). Until they are about 2-3 months old, they are highly susceptible to cocci in the ground. The amprollium helps to curb the overproduction of cocci in their GI tract. JMO... [​IMG]
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member 11 Years

    The medicated feed is only needed if there are crowded or unsanitary conditions - or if you know you've had a problem in the past with sick chicks.

    Not true, sorry. My brooders and grow out coops are kept very clean. This is a very moist environment and that makes it worse. I cannot get unmedicated feed here and they still get cocci--at least the brooder raised chicks do. The broody-raised ones never do.​
  7. I never use medicated feed and have never had a problem.

  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member 11 Years

    I'd use non-med if I could get it since it doesn't help anyway.
  9. I've never noticed a difference between chick health & medicated vs non-medicated feed.

    Both are $17.95 per 50# bag at the feed store.

    I've still had juvenile birds get it (before I put sand in my runs)--and before I learned that just because it's hot out doesn't mean I could use a sprinkler in the run (cocci loves hot & wet)...or that I shouldn't house Muscovies with chickens because ducks are wet & filthy! LOL

    Since switching to deep sand in the runs (I rake it every now & then) and I keep the brooder as clean & dry as possible--I've not had any more problems with cocci.

    I also have CORID on hand and treat the entire flock as a precautionary measure....
    Last edited: May 28, 2010

  10. lemurchaser

    lemurchaser Songster

    Apr 11, 2008
    Corvallis, OR
    If you are using a medicated food with Amprolium in it (which is a coccidiostat, so it doesn't kill coccidia it just slows the growth so the birds can build a natural immunity to it), then stopping now is a bad idea. Coccidia take 1-2 weeks to complete their lifecycle and start causing problems in the birds, and they'll be exposed to coccidia as soon as they have access to dirt. You want them to have the medicated food until at least 6 weeks old, and longer if they are housed indoors early on.

    I know I have coccidia at my house because my dogs eat the chicken poop and then test positive for coccidia (doesn't make them sick because all coccidia are species specific). But chances are you have bird coccidia too. My chicks are outside by week 2, so they stay on medicated food until sometime after 6 weeks when the bag of food runs out.

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