Medicated chick starter has a drug in it - usually amprolium - which is a coccidistat (sp?). It prevents the chicks from getting an ovewhelming infestation of coccidia, while giving the chick's immune system time to build an immunity.
Then once your chicks are on it and you take them outside, where nearly every chick will be exposed, their immune system can start working to make them immune to coccidia.
IMO, it's great insurance. Coccidiosis can kill a small chick quickly, almost before you have a chance to find out anything is wrong.
Just wondering, because when I was at my friend's house she was feeding her chicks medicated chick starter and I had to take some of my chicks with me to her house and I had to feed them that for a few days and for some reason they just didn't do good on that. I just wanted to know the differents between the two.
i'll have to let my granmother know that. looks like i'll be going out and getting medicated. thanks
Not to throw a wrench into everything but I used medicated feed and my chicks did get cocci when they started going outside. Apparently the drug is good for most types of cocci but not all. I have some two week old chicks still on it that are inside. I will continue to use it. But please keep a look out for symptoms - it is NOT a total preventive.
Also, there is a chance that some new chicks I bought had come with it. I have no idea if they had been on medicated feed before hand. Now I know to ask.
For the last 2 years Ive been using non-medicated and haven't had any problems with coccidia. Its just easier for me to get the non-medicated feed, plus it comes in 20% vs the 18% protein the medicated comes in.