How long to leave chicks on medicated feed?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mistymeadowchicks, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. mistymeadowchicks

    mistymeadowchicks Chirping

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    I would like opinions/ experiences on medicated (Amprolium only) chick starter vs plain chick starter. I've googled & read lots of posts, but am still undecided. Brief background: I raised 10 chicks last spring on medicated to POL, lost 0, they did great & currently free-range w/ yogurt, BOSS,sprouts, etc for treats & layer pellets. I've read posts about building natural immunity by allowing exposure to the bad stuff they will encounter in their environment & since this birds will free-range, that makes sense too. (I had even bookmarked an excellent post that I of course I can't find.) I'm sure there is lots of 'stuff' in the soil now since there have been 22 chickens + wild birds on it for almost a year. This new batch is 35 days old give or take; I have been feeding medicated starter, weekly yogurt, & just added a dish of dirt to the brooder, but was wondering when/ if to switch to plain starter. Just to clarify, I'm asking medicated chick starter vs non-med. chick starter, not switching to some other feed. Thanks in advance for sharing your wealth of knowledge.
     
  2. I keep them on the medicated for at least 5-6 weeks. I too suffer no losses during brooding and grow out. Practicing good flock keeping is vital and the medicated starter takes that issue off the table. At 6 weeks, they now should be able to develop their own immunity. It's worked for me. Either starter/grower or grower, but no layer until POL.
     
  3. mistymeadowchicks

    mistymeadowchicks Chirping

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    Fred's Hens Thanks for the reply--I'll plan to stay w/ medicated for at least another couple weeks. I think I'm pretty careful w/ flock management--water is changed twice daily, food is dumped if pooped in & new shavings added regularly. They're in a 6'x 7' brooder w/ hover so they've got another 8 sf on top for 25 chicks. There has yet to be an odor or any wet spots (the waterers are in another lid to contain spills.) I appreciate your time.
     
  4. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

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    I never feed medicated myself, but at 6 weeks if I DID I'd think that would be when I'd take them off.
     
  5. sueche

    sueche Chirping

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    [​IMG]

    I bought a large bag of it. I have 8 chicks that are bout 25 days old. Is it okay to just finish the bag?

    What else should I be giving them?

    Whats the yogurt you give them? Plain? with fruit and granola [​IMG]

    Thanks
     
  6. beetlebob

    beetlebob In the Brooder

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    My new chicks are only about a week old and I have them on medicated chick starter. I was wondering that question too. Now I have an answer. I never heard about giving chicks yogurt?? Can you give more information about giving them yogurt?
     
  7. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I keep mine on medicated chick starter for 8 weeks, more if I don't put them outside by then. It does relatively little good to stop it before they are exposed to real dirt. If the chicks are off medicated feed for a while and then go out to the real world, there has been no exposure, hence no immunity built.

    I learned that the hard way and lost 10 youngsters within a week, about two weeks after they were out in the yard. I didn't have housing ready for them right away so I kept them in the brooder for 11 weeks, but started non- medicated feed at 8 weeks. Heartbreaking lesson.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  8. mistymeadowchicks

    mistymeadowchicks Chirping

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    gryeyes Thanks for the reply & warning, so sorry for your loss. That's a lousy way to learn but thanks for sharing & saving others the grief. I added a small shovel of dirt from near the coop to the brooder, planning to add more gradually. Will that help? Or should I keep them on medicated feed until they've been outside which may be a few more weeks depending on weather? '[​IMG]'
     
  9. mistymeadowchicks

    mistymeadowchicks Chirping

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    Quote:Google "yogurt" or "probiotics" on this site. You need plain, w/ active live culture (I use Stonyfield Farms or Dannon or use these as starter & make my own--also very easy to do.) As w/ people--it's great for the good bacteria in the digestive system and they love it. Word of warning--get out of their way when you feed it or you'll be covered w/ splatters. I've been giving it twice a week to my chicks since they were about a week old--they were scared of it at first, but by the second 'treat' they'd figured it out & love it. '[​IMG]'

    PS. I just read your post about your chick losses. So sorry & best of luck w/ the new ones you're getting tomorrow!
     
  10. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Always for one month after you start letting them touch dirt.
     

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