Chicks and medicated feed

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jymdhm, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. jymdhm

    jymdhm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2011
    How long should I keep my chicks on medicated feed and once they are off, what is the next step? I've been told I can take them off anywhere from 6 weeks to 18 weeks and that the next step would be layena crumbles.
  2. Kaugomu

    Kaugomu Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2011
    San Antonio
    I'm totally new to this, but what I've read is that there are three levels of feed. You have starter feed that can be used anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks, developer feed from there to 18 or 20 weeks, then switch to layer feed. Some starter feeds (like the one I got from our feed store - all they had) are starter-developer combo which can be used from day one up till you switch at 18 or 20 weeks. SO, basically it depends on if your starter is specifically a starter, or a combo as to when you switch them off it. It should say on the bag of feed what the age recommendations are.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    There are a lot of different options out there for what you can feed them. The normal sequence is Starter for the first 4 to 8 weeks, Grower from then until 20 weeks or they start to lay, then Layer. Some brands of feed offer a combined Starter/Grower that is good until you start the Layer. Some offer a Developer that can be used from 13 weeks until they switch to Layer. Then some people feed Flock Raiser until they switch to Layer. There is no one right answer, just a lot of options that all work.

    Do not feed Layer feed until 20 weeks or they start to lay. It has extra calcium for the egg shells. The extra calcium can potentially cause bone deformation or kidney damage in growing chicks. It is not that they are going to fall over dead the instant they eat a bit of extra calcium. It is more of a long term effect if they consistently eat extra calcium. They may never show any effects or they may fall over dead a year later when the damaged kidneys finally give out.

    The medicated feed can be a bit controversial. First, you need to know what the "medicated" is in the medicated feed. Usually it is Amprolium, Amprol, or something like that. But it is possible it can be something else. It is also possible it is Amprolium plus something else. Usually it is Amprolium only, but you really need to read the label to be sure.

    Assuming it is Amprolium only, some people say there is no problem feeding laying hens medicated feed. Some say they need a 4 week withdrawal period before the eggs are safe to eat. If you go to some government sites, they say that Amprolium in the eggs has not been proven to be a problem, but some also say that it has not been proven to not be a problem. Don't you love trying to translate legalese, especially government legalese? I suspect some of these recommendations might be for when you treat using very high doses instead of the relatively low doses in medicated feed. I am not a medical professional so I don't know who is right. I'm not sure the medical professionals know who is right. I go by what a Bird Veterinarian said. His comment was that it should not be a big problem with the medicated feed since the Amprolium does not move through the intestinal wall that well, but in light of the controversy and differing recommendations, he would recommend a week withdrawal.
  4. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    This is what I do, maybe not what others may do.

    Starter crumbles up to 8 weeks.
    Starter/Grower, until I get my first egg .
    Grower Crumbles or pellets from 8 weeks until you get your first egg.

    Layer from first egg on and free choice Oyster Shells. They will take what they want and need.

    I use medicated Starter/Grower. I feed it to the birds until I get my first egg then I switch over to Layer. If I have any Starter/Grower or Grower left over when I get my first egg, I mix in the leftover feed with the Layer feed. I have never had any problems. The amprollium in the Starter or Starter/Grower helps in the chicks development in their resistance to cocci. It is sulfa based. There is only a problem eating the eggs layed by the birds that have had the medicated feed when they start to lay if you have any allergies to Sulfa.
  5. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Good to know. I am allergic to sulfa so I'll be sure the amprolium laced feed we're using is gone at least a month or two prior to laying.
  6. Anianna

    Anianna Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2010
    N/E of Richmond, VA
    Just FYI, the Amproliun in medicated feed helps chicks survive their initial exposure to coccidiosis, a parasite that invades the intestines and is found in soil and bird feces. It does not prevent or cure coccidiosis but any chickens that survives a coccidiosis infection will be immune to future cocci infections, so it helps them build that natural immunity. In low doses, it helps chicks to be ready for exposure, so if you choose to feed medicated feed, keep it going for at least 2 weeks after your chicks are exposed to the outdoors. Amprolium is the same medication in Corid that is used in larger doses to manage an outbreak.
  7. Chick Norris

    Chick Norris Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2011
    Chester County, PA
    Amprolium is not a sulfa drug. You have no need to worry about your sulfa allergy.

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