medicated chick feed vs non medicated feed

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kar-bear, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. kar-bear

    kar-bear In the Brooder

    Sep 17, 2013
    St. Peters, MO
    Which is better for healthy chicks? I am going to get them vaccinated, but is medicated feed still a good idea or need?

    What type of food and water containers are better for days old chicks?
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    I personally recommend feeding medicated feed. It is one of the best preventative measures against Coccidiosis. I assume that the vaccination you are talking about is a Marek's Disease vaccination? Medicated feed is not for Marek's Disease. Or, are you talking about a vaccination for Coccidiosis? If you get your chicks vaccinated for Coccidiosis, you shouldn't feed medicated feed.

    Some people do not feed their chicks medicated feed. If you decide to do this, and your birds aren't vaccinated for Coccidiosis, keep their water and litter very clean. Dirty litter or shavings in the water are common causes of Coccidiosis, as they expose chicks to their own droppings in too high of levels.

    As for the best type of chick waterer and feeder, I think that small quart jar waterers and feeders work well for small flocks. There are also trough feeders, but these can take up a lot of space, and you don't need such a large feeder if brooding small batches of chicks.
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    If you are getting them vaccinated for coccidia you should not feed them medicated (with amprolium) feed since that negates the vaccination.
    I usually just use those plastic mason jar base feeders and waterers you find everywhere, but any small shallow containers will work, just be sure the water is shallow enough they can't drown in it, a lot of people put marbles etc in.
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    Just keep in mind that (provided these chicks are NOT vaccinated for cocci) even if you feed medicated you still need to keep a close eye out for coccidiosis. Chicks on medicated feed can still come down with it, I've had it happen here. I keep brooders/feeders/waterers very clean but they will still manage to land a poop in their water at some point and they are scratching about in the brooder amongst their poop all day as well. It's always a very good idea for anyone raising chicks to keep Corid on hand in case of an outbreak.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    In Missouri there is a reasonable chance you have some form of Cocci in your soil. It’s possible it could be anywhere but it thrives in warm wet soil. The US Gulf Coast is really bad for it but even way up here you and I could have it. Any of us could if we have a wet warm spot.

    Having a bit of the protozoa that causes Cocci in their system is not a problem. If it is in your soil, it will be in their system. The problems come in when the numbers get out of hand. With the warm wet soil or wet manure being a part of that protozoa’s life cycle, what often happens is that the chick eats enough of the protozoa in the soil that the numbers really multiply in its system. A real safeguard against Cocci is to keep the brooder, coop, and run fairly dry. That’s not always possible especially in the run if the weather sets in wet.

    If the chick is exposed to the protozoa for about three weeks it will develop an immunity against that form of Cocci. There are several different strains of the protozoa that cause Cocci. Immunity to one does not give them immunity to all the others. Some strains are a lot stronger than others.

    For chicks to develop immunity to Cocci, they need to be exposed to a few life cycles of the protozoa. You can achieve that a couple of ways. Let your brooder get just a tad damp, maybe just in one spot. I don’t mean wet. Wet is dangerous. But maybe allow their poop to build up just a bit in one small area. The other way would be to regularly feed them dirt from outside that has the protozoa in it. That’s the way I do it. I give them some dirt from the run on their second or third day in the brooder and give them some more every few days. This not only exposes them to the Cocci that is in the soil and they are going to have to face whenever they hit the ground so they can build immunity, but it exposes them to any probiotics the older chickens have into their systems and the dirt acts as grit.

    If you buy medicated feed, you should check the label to see what the medicine is in the medicated feed. Here in the US, it is almost certain to be Amprolium in any major brand we buy over the counter, but some feeds for broilers could have something else in it. I’ll assume it is Amprolium by itself as the medicine.

    Amprolium in the dosage in medicated feed does not kill all the protozoa in the system. It greatly reduces the ability for it to reproduce, thus helping to control the numbers. It still allows enough to reproduce to enable that chick to develop immunity. If it is a really strong strain of Cocci the dosage in the medicated feed may not be enough to prevent an outbreak. If the chick is living in a dangerously wet environment, the medicated feed may not be enough by itself to prevent an outbreak. It helps, but it is not an absolute guarantee. That’s why Cafarmgirl gave that warning.

    The vaccination does not cover all strains of Cocci. It is still possible for them to come down with Cocci from a different strain even if they are vacinated.. And it is possible that feeding medicated feed can prevent that weakened protozoa in the vaccination from reproducing enough for them to develop immunity. Just because they are vaccinated for Cocci does not mean they are protected against all strains of Cocci. They are not.

    A common occurrence is that people will feed medicated feed while the chicks are in the brooder and have never been exposed to Cocci. The quit feeding medicated feed when the chicks are taken out of the brooder and hit the ground where they are first exposed to Cocci. These are the people that tell you medicated feed doesn’t work or doesn’t help when they just didn’t use it right. The medicated feed needs to be fed for three weeks after they have been exposed, whenever that is.

    I do not get my chicks vaccinated and I do not feed medicated feed. I introduce them to Cocci in the brooder and keep the brooder pretty dry. They develop immunity and have no problems when they hit the ground.

    As long as the chicks have not been vaccinated, it does not hurt a thing to feed them medicated feed as long as the medication is Amprolium. For it to do any good, they need to have been exposed to Cocci, but it will not do any harm if they haven’t been exposed.
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