I have a dilema... how long can i keep feed??


In the Brooder
10 Years
Dec 27, 2009
Ok I just bought 50# (2 25# bags) of chick started on Sun. Because my feed store is getting chicks in this week. The problem is as follows: the feed store let me know two weeks ago they cannot get the breeds i wanted to order through them/Privet hatchery because orders must contain at least five of each breed (sounds like a lie if you ask me) so i said ok i will get one of each of whatever you (feed store) will get. they said ok. Well when I called today it turns out they are getting one breed at a time every two weeks with a min of three chicks at each purchase!!! I don't want to get some RIR one week and try to introduce new chicks every two weeks!!

So i want to just order from ideal. but they are sold out until May, i can wait but will my chick starter last that long??? It is medicated, mash.

It will be fine, not optimal, but it's not going to hurt them if it's stored properly in a cool, dry area. If it concerns you, you could try to return it or if you have a large freezer you could throw it in there until needed.
just return it it you haven't opened it. It wont spoil but who knows how long the feed store has had it already. Not that i would consider myself an expert, someone just mentioned it to me recently before i got my chicks and it got me thinking, any medication you give the chickens will get into your food through the eggs, plus they likened giving them medicated feed to giving too many antibiotics to humans when not needed, it just helps breed stronger strains of illnesses. Have you heard anything like this and does anyone know the science (not personal preference) between medicated and unmedicated?
Don't be so suspicious.
Most chick orders are for a minimum of 25. Only in recent years have hatcheries begun offering smaller quantities to the hobbyist/enthusiast. But it is likely that a commercial account like the store cannot get them in the small numbers you desire, so must take the full load offered.

As for feed viabiliity, most labels recommend you not store it longer than six months under proper conditions (sealed from damp and air).
Yeah i checked the label and it says made 11-10-09. So that may be pushing it. I may just return it and place an order with ideal and re-buy some more feed. I have also read about the dangers of medicated, but organic seem too expensive. and i was so close to having my chicks... well now i can get the breeds i want and i will try to save a little more and special order organic feed from the store when i go for the return.. i seem to have also bought me some time..
You also should check if your chicks have been vaccinated already. If they are, then the medicated feed will negate the vaccine.

If you are ordering from Ideal, that's easy to do. Just don't pay for the vaccine. But with store-stock you need to ask.

I agree with the above. Return the feed and don't try to brood chicks 2 weeks apart.
Yeah i checked the label and it says made 11-10-09. So that may be pushing it. well now i can get the breeds i want and i will try to save a little more and special order organic feed from the store when i go for the return.. i seem to have also bought me some time..

I have stored feed for over a year in sealed metal drums, with no harm to efficacy. Something to consider.

Personally, I wouldn't bother with organic feed. There is the altruistic, philosophical satisfaction of having used it, I admit. This is a profit making fact not lost on the feed makers. I'm willing to bet, however, that the chickens wont know the difference and you wont gain benefit enough to warrant the price difference.

But its your money and choices abound. It's a great age we live in, aint it?
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Regarding the above, i wasn't really thinking organic, just unmedicated, correct me if i have missed something, is unmedicated automatically organic? I agree organic is expensive for very little benefit. I mentioned it because someone bought it up to me when i was in the feed store a couple weeks ago!
No. Unmedicated is just that. 'Organic' on the other hand is a regulated thing and it must be stated as such.

Personally, I feel the benefit to using medicated feed outweighs any perceived harm it may do.

It exists to overcome faults we ourselves inject into the chicken keeping process. It is because of the way we manage them that it was added in the first place. It is more of a safeguard against our own practices than anything else.

It offers great help in curbing the diseases that chickens succumb to, especially in chicks and young birds. How would you feel if your chickens died from a disease that you didnt know was there, and which could have been prevented with mildly medicated feed at an early age?
It is similar to you getting polio and other vaccinations you receive as a child, before starting school.

Not to use it, again, is your choice. But I would think that one over long and hard, were I you.
As I like to say, "It is cheap insurance!"
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Absolutely agree, at the moment the chicks are on unmedicated feed, i have no particular affinity to any one particular way, i am stilll a rookie when it comes to chickens so i am like a sponge, absorbing a lot of ideas, opinions and ways of raising the flock. I was wondering if anyone has access to or can direct me to a place that could explain the science behind the medicated feed, as you put it, its just like our baby shots, others have told me it is like feeding babies too many antibiotics that can help breed tougher bacteria that are resistant to medication. My wife is a nurse so i get the "dont take too many drugs" and "Always finish your prescription" lesson from her, so i am wondering if there are parallels in chickenry?!

If the medicated feed is like our baby shots then i will go get some, if it is like over medicating and helping breed tougher diseases then i am out!

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