Medicated Feed for Chicks

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by LadyVictorian, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. LadyVictorian

    LadyVictorian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2016
    So, how long do you need to feed medicated starter/grower to chicks and what is the best brand of medicated feed for chicks? Also what else can you add to give chicks that good first step in life? Is Save-A -Chick worth using at all? I am working on building a second brooder to expand the one I have now and am moving onto the early diet of the chicks I want to be getting this spring. Also about how old until you want to start offering them grit or fresh food like grass, weeds, bugs, and other snacks?
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    If you keep bedding bone dry and feeders full, they don't even need 'medicated' feed.
    They don't need other things either. I usually only give starter feed till they start foraging and then they find their own forbs and bugs.
    If they're in a barren run, you may want to provide some fresh vegetation.
    Many people start giving 'treats' as soon as they'll accept them but keep in mind that starter is a complete feed nutritionally and anything else they eat could upset that balance.
    Sav-a-Chick is a good product but I rarely use it.
    I put probiotic powder in chicks first water and occasionally thereafter. I use Gro2Max which is specifically formulated for chickens.
  3. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2013
    I don't use medicated feed at all.. I don't even use chick starter. I raised my whole flock for several years on an all purpose flock raiser, higher protein than chick starter and fit the needs of the adults and babies, no need in separating feed for different age groups. The only extra I had to get was the Oyster shells for the laying hens.

    I have since switched my flock to a fermented whole grain feed that I mix myself, plus of course they get all the kitchen scraps. My flock hasn't been on Commercial feed for quite awhile now and I love it.. Much cheaper , more work but worth it MHO. Except for the coldest months (like now) I also raise fodder for them.. they absolutely go crazy for it :)
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    [​IMG] I also choose not to use medicated feed. Never have. Have never had issues with coccidiosis. My chicks get a plug of sod from my yard during the first week. The soil has beneficial bacteria and fungi to help her develop a healthy gut flora. The first 2 weeks after hatching, a chick has her highest level of antibodies received from her mother. This is the ideal time to work on boosting her immunity. I also use fermented feed. This also aids in building a healthy gut, as well as making their feed easier to digest.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
  5. I feed medicated chick starter till 8 weeks old.....Then unmedicated Grower till First egg....I continue with the Grower mixed 50/50 with Layer till my Birds are 1 years old.....

    Chicks can be fed cucumber slices, apple slices etc at any age as long as grit is provided.....I never pick them grass, crop issues can develop....On nice days I take them out to pick and scratch their own grass......

  6. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 26, 2016
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    I fed my girls Purina start & grow medicated till 16 weeks, then mixed 50/50 with layers feed for 2 weeks, then straight layers 18 weeks on. I have red sex-links born in march and they started to lay between 17 1/2 to 19 1/2 weeks. If you have a straight breed or a barnyard mix, delay above 2 weeks. I have sense found out that medicated feed after 10 weeks is not helpful. My next batch of chicks will get start & grow unmedicated at 10 weeks.
    If you get chicks born after April 30, wait till they start to lay to make the switch, but provide oyster shell free choice at 16 weeks. I will always get chicks born early spring.
    My girls got no scratch grains or any other treats till 16 weeks. I started offering granite grit when I put them in the coop around 8 weeks old.
    This is how I do it, and it works for me.
    Of course as mentioned in above posts, you don't have to feed layers feed at all. But do supply calcium. GC
  7. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2013
    I don't know if this effects medicated feed for chicks but a new federal law is set to take effect within a week or so.. I don't feed anything medicated to any of my animals so I haven't followed this closely but its been a topic of discussion within a homesteader group I am a part of for the past few months.
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Medicated chick starter has amprolium, NOT an antibiotic, and is safe to feed. Not part of the new antibiotic restrictions for livestock feed and water, sold OTC. Some of us don't need to use it, and some will have chickens sicken and die without it. Mary
    1 person likes this.
  9. Your so right Mary.....I think first time Chick keepers should use medicated feed....Also having 6 Chicks is less of a concern than having lets say, 30 poopers spilling water and messing the brooder.....Prevention is best.....

  10. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2013
    The only time I ever use medicated feed is if I have gotten shipped day olds who may have been exposed to less than optimum conditions during the shipping and then it is for one bag only. The chicks I hatch myself from my own eggs go right to chick starter or grower.
    I also quickly switch within perhaps a large bag to flock raiser. None of my birds gets layer feed until they start laying. I don't want to start the extra calcium until it is needed and during the winter and times of molt everyone is on flock raiser with oyster shells on the side.
    I am not a big fan of layer feed, especially giving it too early or when it is not needed (Because of the extra calcium.)

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