feeding broilers...regarding medicated feeds.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Frozen Feathers, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Songster

    May 4, 2007
    Is it possible to raise broilers without using medicated feed or am I going to kill the birds without it.
    Personally I'd rather not feed them medicated feed as I am going to be eating these birds and it gives me the creeps a bit.

    This is the description of one of the feeds available at my local feed store...
    A highly efficient broiler ration, high in both fat and energy. Amprol[​IMG] Plus offers the benefits of two different medications (amprolium and ethopabate) in a broiler feeding program designed to prevent the onset of coccidiosis. Feed from hatching to finish.

    Any thoughts on the medications in bold above? Safety wise...for my family that is. What about feeding some sort of natural diet i.e. a wheat and corn based or is that not going to be enough protein?
    Thanks for any help. [​IMG]
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Just wheat and cracked corn probably doesnt have enough protein in it to support their leg growth. If they don't have contact with the soil, chances are you won't get cocci as it lives in the dirt, and if the birds are housed on the soil, slow exposure is key to the immunity building. However, I usually feed medicated feed with only amprol in it, as I am not sure what that other med is. Amprol is just a thamine blocker so not any sort of antibiotic or anything. I've done it without medicated feed with no ill effects too. It's up to you really, and if unmedicated makes you feel better, go for it.

    As a suggestion though, if you do go the non medicated route for broilers, getting an amprol treatment just in case they get cocci might be a good idea as cocci can kill fast, and we all know how sickness goes and it occurs saturday night or on a holiday where storees are closed. [​IMG] If you get a sulfer based cocci treatment though, like sulmet, there is I believe a 10 day withdrawl time from eating meat or eggs from the birds, thus may thwart your butchering plans if they get it near the end of their stay.
  3. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Wheat and corn alone will not be enough protein.

    The Ampurol is a Coccidiostat. I have seemingly coccidiossis everywhere in my environment. I do not use medicated feeds. Some birds do die to it. Those that live are probably resistant and will be bred. It's a lot easier argument for hens, than meat birds, since they're terminally bred for one purpose.

    You'll just have to soul search on the matter. I am not into farming to recreate factory farm conditions on a smaller scale. I therefore do not use medicated feeds on animals destined to be food or are providing eggs.

    [edit] Silkie- According to WSU, Amprol is considered an antibiotic. It's an early one like the sulfamets. But you cannot use it and say yoru animals are "antibiotic" free. I phone to get a direct answer on that one.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2008
  4. lynxpilot

    lynxpilot In the Brooder

    Jan 19, 2008
    I base my sales on the lack of antibiotics, hormones, or exposure to pasture with petroleum based fertilizer, pesticides, or herbicides, therefore I don't use the standard chick starter that the feed stores sell. I haven't lost a chick yet to disease (if you don't count my turkey disaster). I have been using 'grower'. I checked the ingredients and there was nothing disturbing about them except for one feed store whose grower had 'pork products' in it and I didn't use theirs.

    If you keep a half decent clean brooding area and most certainly if you pasture them for the remaining few weeks, you won't need antibiotics.

    $0.02 ka-ching!
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Interesting... I've always been of the belief that amrol in the feed wasn't an antibiotic, since well, cocci isn't a bacteria and antibiotics only kill bacteria... so I have no idea why that would be used as a cocciodistant then.... Time to look into that.

    Edit: If rules and regulations categorize it as an antibiotic, and say it cannot be used in such no antibiotic type farms, then that is just a rule that you have to follow to meet guidelines. However, I still haven't found any peer reviewed documents that say that say amprolium alone is an antibiotic like penicilin is.

    As far I think it might depend on the definition of antibiotic (mine being a drug that kills bactereia, although I'm sure other definitions exist) that is used, but as far as I can tell, amprolium as a drug is a thiamine analog which is categorized as a anticoccidial drug.

    Granted, there are antibacterial drugs that do harm mamilian cells too, so it is possible that the medication can have affect on other things than just the protist coccidia, such as preventing thamine uptake in the birds.. I still don't think it really is an antibiotic.

    Someone correct me on this though and if anyone runs accross documents other than a tripod site done by students, that says what amprolium really is, post it up, as this is intersting and I would really like to know.

    I do agree, antibiotics... providing amprol isn't one... are usually unnecessary and over used in many instances. If an animal or human is sick... antibiotic is not always the answer, could be a virus. And "preventive" use of anitbioitics is even worse as you'll kill alot of good bacteria thus opening realistate for bad bacteria to survive.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2008
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Silkiechicken, are you sure that antibiotic (legally) refers to just killing *bacteria*? The definition rattling around in my head, confirmed as being in fairly common use in the world via google, is that a/b's are things that kill *microorganisms*. One can of course be more specific, e,g, coccidiostat, if one wishes.

    I can't seem, at least not with a dialup connection and a cranky baby, to find a legal food-labeling definition of antibiotic online. Perhaps someone else can?

  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I fed out 27 broilers this past fall. I never give my chickens any medicated feed.

    I fed them grower/starter and as they got some size to them mixed it with a less priced generalized feed. The typical 'broiler' feed.

    At 10 weeks, I knew I wanted fat in the them so I began changing out the feed for cracked corn and grains until the last week they only were eating cracked corn.

    At 12 weeks we processed and those birds weighed in ay 10 - 13 lbs each. They were clean and healthy with a lovely line fat inside them.

    I did not have any loss whatsoever.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2008
  8. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Songster

    May 4, 2007
    Thanks all for the information. [​IMG]
  9. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Boils down to evidence that the way amprolium interferes with the growth of a yeast and a protozoan is by messin' up the action of the enzymes they use in thiamine metabolism.


    Pat, who never much liked microbiology or cell bio, too many acronyms and not enough actual critters <g>

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