Confused about medicated feed...

wf1992

Songster
Jun 1, 2017
161
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Okanagan, BC
My 5-week old chicks are in the house, unvaccinated, and not on medicated feed. They've got a container of outside dirt to play with, but sooner or later (hubby says sooner!), they've got to make the move to the big girl coop.

I've read some conflicting posts, and I'm confused about the medicated feed. Does the medicated feed kill everything so they don't build any immunity? Or does it just cut down on the magnitude of infection so they CAN build up their immunity?

I must assume they'll be exposed to more stuff out in the coop than they're getting from their dish full of dirt. Should I have them on medicated before moving them out? Or will that just postpone the problem, and I'll be dealing with coccidiosis as soon as they come off the medicated feed? Am I just over-thinking? :confused:

Thanks for any advice!
 

Chelsa'sChicks

Songster
Aug 16, 2017
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I always use Organic non-medicated feed for my chicks and do not vaccinate my chicks.. nothing against those that choose other options it's just not what I choose for my chickens. I've never had a sick chick or chicken. All my birds are very healthy and I just lost a hen from old age a few days ago. Just so you know they can live a very long and healthy life regardless of medicated feed! :)

I think you are just overthinking it and they will be fine! :D
 

cavemanrich

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Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Apr 6, 2014
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Melrose Park Illinois
I always use Organic non-medicated feed for my chicks and do not vaccinate my chicks.. nothing against those that choose other options it's just not what I choose for my chickens. I've never had a sick chick or chicken. All my birds are very healthy and I just lost a hen from old age a few days ago. Just so you know they can live a very long and healthy life regardless of medicated feed! :)

I think you are just overthinking it and they will be fine! :D
How old was she??? My oldest went 13 years. I just keep hens as pets BTW.
 

Chelsa'sChicks

Songster
Aug 16, 2017
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872
202
How old was she??? My oldest went 13 years. I just keep hens as pets BTW.
I have a RIR that is 10 years old now, and she was an Australorp a few years older so about 12 or 13 years I'd say. She died peacefully on a sunny patch of grass (its mostly snowy here right now) they all loved to get bugs from. I noticed the day before she was not really eating and just wanted to be in the sunshine. I did a head count that night I just knew it was her, and I found her in the am. They also free range 100%, no cages, no doors. So for all that she had a very happy chicken life!

Yes I keep my chickens for eggs and as company. I cannot cook them no matter how old they get or if they stop laying eggs. I still love them and look forward to seeing them all every day. I also have a few roosters to keep the ladies safe as they free range. Lord knows I do not have the time to sit out there with a rifle watching them! lol
 

CorvusFarm

Songster
Nov 26, 2017
106
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Corralitos, California
I'm an organic farmer, and this is a topic that causes me a little bit of issues. However, in doing more research, what I discovered is that the medicated chick starter doesn't impact organic certification since they're not laying eggs yet, and I'm not butchering for meat.

I have just always preferred helping chicks get started, so the first few weeks are medicated starter before transitioning to an organic grower. This way I give myself a little peace of mind on coccidiosis. And I also give them a chick-starter probiotic mix in their water to give their immune systems a little bit of a boost.
 

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