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FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. Feed store sold me medicated feed. Okay if my laying hens get into it?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by iamcuriositycat, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sigh. I always always always buy unmedicated chick starter. I really think it's a very bad idea to feed medicated feed to chicks if they're not sick and there's no reason to believe they are going to get sick. Today I forgot to specify, and the feed store girl didn't ask. She just sold me the medicated. Didn't realize until I got it home, opened it up, dumped it in the feed bin... and fed it to the chickens. THEN I look at the label. Geez.

    My laying hens and young chickens all run together during the day, and get into each others's feed dishes. I read that it's still okay to eat the eggs from my layers even if they've been into the amprolium feed (yes, it's amprolium). Is this true? Any dissenting opinions on this?

    It ticks me off because a BIG reason we raise our own eggs and meat is to keep unnecessary medications and chemicals out of our bodies as much as we can. Even if the eggs are "safe" they won't be "clean." And it takes us a long time to go through a 50 pound bag of chick starter, so this will be a three-month exposure. Ugh ugh ugh.

    Think I should complain to the store, so they know their girls aren't asking? Or do I just forget it because, after all, I didn't specify or check. I don't expect them to fix it for me, because I do claim partial responsibility. But it would be nice if their people would ask consistently and not just assume. What do you think?
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Yes you can eat the eggs and it is ok for the hens:

    I am the same way about medications- so what I propose is this: if you have just a little extra freezer space, fill some ziplock bags with your medicated feed and keep them in there so your feed doesn't go bad (feed shouldn't be kept longer than 3-4 months under ideal conditions if cracked grains unless you freeze it), feeding half unmedicated and half medicated to use it up, only it will take twice as long to get rid of it. But it will half your exposure! That is what I personally would do. After feed is frozen, only thaw enough to use within a couple of days as it might get moist after coming out of the freezer.

    http://poultry.purinamills.com/ASKTHEEXPERTS/FAQs/ECMD007942.aspx
    here they say there is no exposure but I'm just cautious myself

    So yes it is OK but if you are a health nut like me I'd be freezing that feed. I wouldn't complain to the store. I have over and over had the feed stores give me the wrong thing and now try to check each time before driving away. I think it must be a rampant problem.

    Another bonus is that now you have a little extra feed on hand if the prices go up up up!!
     
  3. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for that link! It's reassuring. I agree that it doesn't mean there's truly 0 exposure, and I still think it's unhealthy for the chickens--imagine what it does to their natural intestinal flora and fauna necessary for optimal health--ugh! BUT, it is reassuring that it's unlikely to leave massive amounts in the eggs. I'm breathing easier now. :)

    We only have a small freezer at present. Fortunately, all my birds are large enough to be eating both pellets and starter, so I'll just keep mixing it up. They also eat a large quantity of veggies (we get boxes of spoiled veggies from the farmer's market) and bugs (they're free range and deep litter), and I have some scratch grains (won't do that again though--it was less than a dollar cheaper than the layer pellets, and much lower quality feed), so the medicine will be diluted considerably anyway.

    Thanks again--I feel much better. :)
     
  4. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

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    What do you imagine the medication in chick starter does to the natural intestinal flora & fauna?
     
  5. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good question. I don't know exactly. Just that the health of our (human) gut is critically important to our health... and I know that antibiotics and many other medications wreak havoc on intestinal flora/fauna populations. I guess it makes sense to me that a medication that acts solely on the gut of an animal is likely to cause problems for the flora/fauna of that gut. It's one of those things that is not tested for currently by conventional medical authorities, so it wouldn't show up in official studies. I don't KNOW for sure, of course, that it causes problems... I'm drawing lots of inferences from a small amount of knowledge. I don't even really know what amprolium is so... I'm just guessing. :p What do you know about amprolium? Any thoughts?
     
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Amprolium is a coccidiostat, it does nothing to the intestinal flora of a chicks gut. It is not an antibiotic and functions in no way like an antibiotic. It is a thiamin blocker which cocci need to thrive. It is also present in very low levels in medicated feed. That is why chicks can still get coccidiosis while on medicated feed. It helps protect while they develop immunity, but it is not a 100% preventative. The normal gut bacteria in the chick is not affected at all. The only effect is lowering the ability of cocci to reproduce too fast and overwhelm and kill the chick.

    I would not worry one whit about the older hens having eaten the medicated feed, I would not bother freezing and mixing, I wouldn't worry about it at all. Many people even still consume the eggs from hens treated for cocci with Amprolium at full strength. You would have to eat nothing but those eggs and for an extended period to even possibly have a chance at maybe seeing the thiamin blocking effects. Not likely with a normal diet.
     
  7. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, thanks. I'm not going to worry about it. I'm not convinced it's not bad for them though. I have a hard time believing that something capable of blocking enough thiamin to kill a parasite doesn't block enough thiamin to affect the animal's own cells and/or the beneficial organisms that live in the animal. Unintended consequences and all that.

    Still, it seems to be a drug that's been around long enough, and been tested enough, to be reasonably safe. So I won't stress about it. Just won't buy it again, that's all.

    Thanks for the reassuring feedback! Glad it's not the huge deal it felt like when I first realized the mistake. :)
     

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