Debate on Medicated/Non-Medicated - Cleanliness, etc

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by HennysMom, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    Hello all - hope this finds everyone well with their "girls and boys" [​IMG] I know mine are thriving and doing oh so well! [​IMG]

    I've learned alot since getting my chicks at 1 week old pullets (they are now 7 months old) 6 RIR's, and started laying at an amazing 15 weeks! Have been getting a consistent 5-6 eggs a day (my one girl Allyssa lays huge double yokers, so sometimes she lays every other day).

    Anyway - they are all organic, non-medicated, no antibiotics or wormers whatsoever. We clean the coop completely once a week (including all litter - we dont do deep litter method really, although they do have alot of litter in their coop), they have their roost with the catch pans below that we clean out twice a week (but scrape the wire mesh every morning so the poop falls and they arent walking on it). Its just a preference thing for us - I know many do not clean their coops that much, but we prefer to (I dont like the smell and I'm sure my neighbors dont either)[​IMG] They've stated they dont even know we have chickens (they used to raise them). We put pine needles in their run (their coop is inside a 12X12 dog cage/run) so its more natural and less messy for them when it gets muddy (they really love it) and we let them out to free range for a few hours during the day (hawks are an issue so we must keep tight reigns on them). Their bowls get cleaned daily as well and disinfected once a week. All of this some may consider overkill, but its because we do not medicate at all or provide any type of anything other than all natural and organic.

    So my question is - after reading so many posts - what is everyones take on "all organic" vs. non-organic or can you even go "partial- organic" (is there such a thing even?) and cleaning (although the cleaning thing I realize is a preference - we are not "clean freaks" by any means) Our girls are spoiled to say the least and it shows, they are the most friendly, docile chickens I've ever seen in my life (has to do with raising them by hand I suppose and handling them ALOT) - and the kids just love them to death. The little ones come over from next door and the girls just eat right out of their hands, you can pet them and they dont run away and come right up to them to eat. I love that part [​IMG]

    What say you all? How many of you do not medicate at all and to those that do - same thing - why or why not?

    Thanks in advance!

    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  2. orcasislandchickens

    orcasislandchickens Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    Your setup sounds a lot like mine. It is always interesting to read the different advice given to care for our chickens. It is easy to forget how different our circumstances can be. I am sure I would set things up differently If I was on either a farm or a much tighter budget.

    As close as our neighbors are I keep things super clean and quiet also. It is realy not all that hard to do when you have only a few very tame hens. Realy with as much as mine get handled and peered at by strangers unacustomed to animals/birds of any kind, I feel they have to be kept very clean.

    I sort of walk the line, and consider mine mostly organic. Since I don't sell eggs or chicken and everything is for only my own use, I am free to do as I wish.
  3. KellyHM

    KellyHM Crowing

    Sep 10, 2008
    Lakeland, FL
    I think keeping your chickens "organic" is a preference that each person has to decide for themselves. I personally would deworm/medicate mine in an instant if I thought they needed it, but haven't had to yet and don't do it just for the heck of it. Keep in mind that it is actually illegal (not to mention ethically wrong) not to provide care for a sick animal just to keep it "organic". This is the case for big farms too and they usually handle this by moving animals they've had to medicate to a different area and not calling those products "organic." This is where a lot of people take it too far into what I consider crossing the line. Just my opinion. [​IMG]
  4. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    Hi Kelly,

    Oh my goodness - guess I should have clarified a bit. If my girls got sick, of course I would give them medications to make them better, absolutely [​IMG] I wouldnt hesitate at all and wouldnt think twice about it, no more so than I would my cat or dog. But, I know that some people medicate and vaccinate their birds while eating the eggs and/or meat (we wont eat our girls for meat, its strictly the eggs we want and sell/give away to friends).

    Good point though - and I should have been more clear on that. Thanks for bringing that up! [​IMG]

    On that note - when one's birds do get ill - how long (since I'm a "first timer" at this) - after the need to medicate can you expect not to eat the eggs? I know when they were little we did feed medicated feed to begin with (as recommended by the breeder - some said no, some said yes *most said feed medicated starter/grower, so we did*) - but then switched when they were ready, and they began laying very early. We waited a long time before eating any eggs or even giving them away (like nearly a month) since it was medicated feed previously (I know some say only a week or so, but...) - so if one does get ill - how long after medications, if need be, either holistic or traditional - before you can eat the eggs?
  5. lovemychix

    lovemychix Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Moulton Iowa
    I would like to see these poop catchers....something I would like in my coop. [​IMG]
  6. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara


    my "poop catchers" are sliding boxes with handles that are custom made. there are 2 that sit directly underneath the roost, which in turn, sits directly above the wire mesh about 2 inches or so. I'll have to take a picture and post it if I'm able. Ours fit side by side together (the catchers) and when the "human" door opens in the back of the coop, our entire coop comes apart for cleaning (roost is removable, wire mesh is removable, pans as well) soas to be disinfected.

    its great because all the droppings go right into the boards and all we have to do is remove the boards and right into the compost pile it all goes [​IMG]
  7. KellyHM

    KellyHM Crowing

    Sep 10, 2008
    Lakeland, FL
    There haven't been a lot of studies done on meat or egg withdrawal for medications in poultry, but I'd say at least a month to be on the safe side and maybe longer, depending on the potential side effects of the drug. is a government site that tries to estimate those things, so you could possibly find some help there.
  8. LittleChickenRacingTeam

    LittleChickenRacingTeam On vacation

    Jan 11, 2007
    Ontario, CANADA
    Quote:Up here, organic operations just cull birds that are sick or contract worms. Part of keeping their ORGANIC CERTIFICATION requires them to NOT use ANY MEDICATIONS.

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