Chick Starter Feed Advice!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by dobermanacres, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. dobermanacres

    dobermanacres Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello!

    I will be picking up my first chicks on April 29th from a Heritage Breeding program at a University here in Alberta, Canada. I've been asking them a lot of questions about the birds (Rhode Island Reds and Plymouth Rocks). They will be day-old chicks and they will be vaccinated against Marek's Disease, Infectious Laryngotracheitis and Coccidiosis.

    I've read conflicting posts on medicated vs non-medicated feed especially if they have been vaccinated against Coccidiosis. But I'm wondering if this information changes if they have multiple vaccines. The breeding program told me I would be fine to go in either direction.

    Any advice or suggestions? My local farm supply store is having a sale on poultry supplies this weekend, so I'm, hoping to start stocking up on supplies before the babies arrive :)

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    My understanding is if they are vaccinated for coccidiosis than you shouldn't feed medicated feed because it can interfere with them building immunity, but I could be wrong.

    I personally never use medicated feed nor vaccinate. I don't have troubles with coccidiosis here.
     
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Here's something I just found on this site - http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/2407/coccidiosis-vaccination-making-a-good-thing-even-better/

    Q. Can in-feed anticoccidials enhance performance in vaccinated flocks?

    CB: Yes, and no. The coccidial isolates in Coccivac-B are highly sensitive to all anticoccidial drugs. Roxarsone (3-Nitro) was used in grower feeds to enhance feed conversion in vaccinated flocks, but with Roxarsone off the market, integrators have asked about the use of chemicals or ionophores instead.

    LN: When using combination programmes, remember that coccidiosis control comes from the vaccine, not from the feed medication. If the feed medication disrupts the life cycle of the vaccine before immunity is complete, coccidiosis control will fail.
    In these situations, where birds have already been vaccinated for coccidiosis, in-feed medication is intended for performance enhancement only. Ionophores are effective antibiotics that provide clostridium control and microflora management. They can be used to maximize performance after the vaccine has induced immunity.

    I'd conclude that you have some sound advice from Oldhens [​IMG]
     
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  4. dobermanacres

    dobermanacres Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the advice so far! I know coccidiosis thrives in wet conditions. We had a lot of rain before the snow fell, so our entire property is quite damp (hoping it will dry up by June when the chicks will start adventuring outside).

    On another note, if the chicks are vaccinated against coccidiosis, is there any risk to my dog if he gets curious and gets close to the chicks?

    Thanks!
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    My dogs eat plenty of chicken poop. They fight over who gets to eat it out of the grass where the chicks were for the day. I like to think they are only after the chick feed. The only dog of mine that had coccidiosis came with it from the breeder.

    We have very wet springs here. I get my chicks in late May and they are outside in June on clean fresh lawn. They don't go onto chicken land until 6-8 weeks. By then they have built up immunity as well as it has dried out quite a bit around here and all the puddles and mud are gone and have turned to dust.
     
  6. dobermanacres

    dobermanacres Out Of The Brooder

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    It will be interesting to see if mine decides to snack on chicken poo! I caught him barking at deer poo on the lawn yesterday :)
     
  7. chickensarenew

    chickensarenew Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm getting the exact same chick's as you from the heritage breeding program. Can't wait for them to arrive. So is the census yes medicated feed or no.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    If you vaccinate for Coccidiosis, feeding medicated feed can interfere with the vaccine taking effect. Can. Not 100% absolutely every time without fail will, but CAN. If you are going to the expense of vaccinating the chicks, why would you want to try to negate the effects?

    Let me try to say it another way. If you vaccinate your chicks for Coccidiosis DO NOT feed medicated feed. I don’t know how to be any clearer.

    If you vaccinate for something else and do not vaccinate for Coccidiosis, feed only medicated with Amprolium (which most are) will have no effect on those other vaccinations. If the feed is medicated with something other than Amprolium (check the label) then I don’t know what effects it will have. Amprolium only effects Coccidiosis and is not an antibiotic.

    The protozoa that causes Coccidiosis is species specific. The bugs that cause Coccidiosis in chickens will not cause a problem with you or your dog.

    To add to the confusion. There are several different strains of protozoa that can cause Coccidiosis in chickens. Those different strains attack different parts of the chicken’s digestive tract. I don’t know how many of those strains are covered in the vaccine that hatchery is using. If chicks are exposed to a certain strain of that protozoa for a couple of weeks, they develop an immunity to that specific strain. It does not give them immunity to the other strains.

    The problem with Coccidiosis is not that the chicken is exposed to it, the problem is when the numbers get out of hand. Being exposed is a good thing, they develop immunity. Wet conditions and dirty water can contribute greatly to the numbers getting out of hand. Normally if you keep their water clean and the brooder dry, Coccidiosis is not a problem. Normally, though some strains are stronger than others.

    I do not vaccinate or use medicated feed. I keep the water clean and the brooder dry. I feed them dirt from the run a couple of times a week while they are in the brooder to introduce the strains of Coccidiosis I have in my ground. By the time they hit the ground they have developed the immunities they need.

    There is nothing wrong with getting them vaccinated for Coccidiosis. There is nothing wrong with feeding them medicated feed if they have not been vaccinated. We all solve these problems in our own ways.
     
  9. chickensarenew

    chickensarenew Out Of The Brooder

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    First time for me getting chicks so I want to make sure I do this the right way and succeed
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I understand your concern. One of the problems with chickens is that there is no one right way to do much of anything. For practically anything to do with chickens, there are usually many different ways to go about them. You have way too many options to choose from.

    Plus we are all unique. We have different experiences, set-ups, goals, flock make-ups, room, rural versus urban, climate, legal restrictions, the list just goes on and on. What works for me might not work for you. One of your challenges when you read something in here is to see if it really applies to you and your circumstances. It can get very confusing.

    Never be afraid to ask a question on here. We all have to start somewhere. Usually the more information you can give us about your unique circumstances and goals the better we can tailor our responses to you but you are still likely to get some responses from people that are totally different from you. There is a lot of good information on here but you have to filter it.

    It’s a great adventure. Good luck!
     

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