Just ordered first chicks: feed question

BayAreaMike408

Chirping
Nov 24, 2020
70
88
78
San Jose, Ca
Hi,
I recently ordered 5 chicks for our backyard coop. 4 will be vaccinated for mareks but the 5th is a bantam and they do not vaccinate. I’ve read not to give medicated food to already vaccinated chicks. How do I ensure the bantam is protected in this situation? I don’t want to separate her and give her medicated food and the other chicken non medicated.
Thanks!
 

Ebony Rose

Crowing
12 Years
May 26, 2009
2,603
5,877
471
David, Chiriquí, Panama
They sell a product for cocci prevention in a small squeeze bottle, the brand I use is called Coccicalf, Oral Suspension 5%. A tiny 10mL bottle will dose one or two chicks from hatch to out of the brooder age, and it's cheap. One drop daily at the SIDE of their beak (do NOT force their beak open to drop it in as you risk drowning them, no... I'm NOT kidding) will have them wiping their beak unhappily, but medicated. Do not offer vitamin supplements until after your bantam is off of the medication as it works by disallowing vitamin B absorption (starving the cocci).
After six weeks, when you'd normally ween your chicks off of medicated feed and on to non-medicated chick starter, all flock raiser (for your entire flock, young or old, male or female), or finisher feed (for meat birds). I never recommend layer feed as it can be detrimental to the health of your chicks, cockerels and unstarted pullets over the long haul, you won't see the damage of calcium overdose until it's much too late to remedy easily; layer feed is ONLY for layers, so best to just use an all flock and serve egg shell or oyster shell on the side, will keep them all healthy and happy. I digress, after the initial six weeks of babyhood when you'd normally switch the birds to other feed, you can stop giving your bantam the drops and at this time, supplement their water source with vitamins as your bantam has been being deprived of B-Vitamins to stave off the cocci parasite while your young bird develops a resistance to them.
 
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Jabebee13

Songster
Oct 25, 2020
480
647
113
Ardmore, Oklahoma
Then you're saying you want to give non medicated food to a bantam chick who hasn't been vaccinated.. because she's too small. Wait until she's older. I mean the point is you don't want to buy both medicated and un medicated food.
 

FuzzyCritters

Crowing
Mar 13, 2020
1,979
3,695
291
Kitsap county, WA
Then you're saying you want to give non medicated food to a bantam chick who hasn't been vaccinated.. because she's too small. Wait until she's older. I mean the point is you don't want to buy both medicated and un medicated food.
Any chick can eat medicated feed. Size and age do not matter at all. Young chicks are actually more prone to coccidiosis, so medicated is great for young chicks to offer them a little extra protection.
 

BDutch

Naturally ❤️
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
May 19, 2015
3,528
12,063
717
the Netherlands
My Coop
My Coop
@FuzzyCritters is right. Mareks disease has nothing to do with medicated food and coccidiosis. You can choose weather you want to give medicated chick feed or not for the whole flock.

If you have chickens vaccinated against Marek and a chicken that is not , then the ones who are vaccinated can pass the disease to the Bantam chick that is not vaccinated.

You can not get a broody hatch eggs when they have latent Marek.

Aside from that, I would not recommend to put this single bantam into a flock with 4 larger chickens. The bantam probably will have no pleasant life.

If you want more chickens you always need to buy vaccinated or adult chickens if you're flock is vaccinated. .
 

humblehillsfarm

Crazy chicken lady
Mar 27, 2020
3,663
7,199
461
Southwestern Pennsylvania
My Coop
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I ordered from Meyer the first time I got chickens two years ago. Their customer service was great, and in my anxiety (before I found BYC) I asked them their opinion on medicated feed for prevention of coccidiosis. Their suggestion was to feed them unmedicated feed and keep Corid (coccidiosis treatment) on hand. Chicks are more likely to get sick if you have a bunch of them, or they are exposed to the dirt and ground outside. I've successfully raised four batches of chicks without medicated feed and without any incidence of coccidiosis. The reality is though this is a purely personal choice. Just don't forget that medicated feed is not a guarantee they won't get sick, and if they do get sick, stop the medicated feed and start treatment with Corid or something else. Also as others have said, medicated feed has nothing to do with Marek's.

As for raising a bantam with the big chicks, you can't raise the chick by itself and with three other larger chicks, I really don't foresee a problem. At that age and size, the size difference isn't that big. I raised one tiny leghorn with six large breeds and they all did fine. Just keep an eye on it.
 

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