i have a feed problem

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lilchicklover, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. lilchicklover

    lilchicklover In the Brooder

    Apr 16, 2011
    My first batch of chicks ever is coming in the post office Tuesday or Wednesday next week, I bought un medicated chick starter, I then reasearched it and I'm freaking out... I do not live by a place where I can go back and get more.. Is it that big of a deal if I do not feed then medicated feed, and can I switch from un medicated to medicated in a week or so when I'm out without any bad sing effects. I hope I didn't make a big mistake [​IMG] .. thank you

  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

    Apr 11, 2011
    They'll be fine eating the unmedicated. Feed them the whole bag, or buy some medicated when you get a chance and mix the two to make the switch to the medicated starter. I feed any bought chicks I have medicated starter, but my home hatched chicks never get it since they live with my laying flock.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    First, don't panic. Many of us do not feed medicated feed at all. You do not have an emergency.

    The "medicated" in medicated feed is probably (but not always) Amprolium, Amprol, some member of that family. It is not an antibiotic. It is supposed to help with Coccidiosis, often called Cocci.

    Cocci is caused by certain protozoa that live in animals' intestines. When the number of these protozoa get out if control, they can cause serious harm to the chickens. Baby chicks can fairly easily develop immunity to these protozoa if they are exposed early. The Amprolium in the medicated feed restricts the protozoa in reproducing. It does not stop all reproduction, just helps keep the numbers down to where the chick can develop immunity but not get sick. You do not want to kill all the protozoa or the chicks will not develop the immunity they need.

    These protozoa can also reproduce in wet manure. If you keep your brooder dry, you usually will not have a problem with Cocci, but if you have a wet brooder, the protozoa can multiply in it and when the chick eats the poop, the number of protozoa can get out of control. Of course there is an exception to this. There is one strain of the Cocci causing protozoa that is really strong. Even chicks on medicated feed and in dry brooders can have problems. For these, yoou need to treat the Cocci, not just try to prevent it. But for the vast majority of us, a dry brooder will control Cocci. And if they have never been exposed to the protozoa, the medicated feed does absolutely no good anyway.

    The way I do it is on the second or third day in the brooder, I take dirt from my run and feed it to the chicks so they are exposed to any protozoa I have in the dirt. I keep a fairly dry brooder, but I do allow the poop to build up a little on a piece of plywood I keep in there so they can eat each others poop and they are all exposed. This way they can develop the immunity they need while they are young enough to do so pretty easily.

    I never have fed medicated feed. It does not do any harm to feed it. If it makes you feel better, go ahead and feed it. But I don't see that you have anything to freak out about.

    Good luck!
  4. I'm with Ridgerunner... I don't bother with medicated feed either.. some people swear by it.. I've never hand an issue by not feeding it.. so just personal choice really.
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I agree with Ridge, too. No worries! I have to use medicated because it's all I can buy here, but it doesn't necessarily stop cocci anyway. Just feed what you have.

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