Medicated feed or not?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by acarter26, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. acarter26

    acarter26 Out Of The Brooder

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    My BF and I ordered chicks and they will be arriving the end of August. The first chicks we hatched we used medicated feed. They all are very healthy at 15 weeks. Just wanted to know if it's best to use the medicated feed or not?
     
  2. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it's a matter of preference unless your local area is a hotspot for whatever it is the medicated feed protects against, in which case it's probably necessary. I've always used non-medicated and I've never lost a chick to illness or disease, and never had one that was even slightly poorly. I don't see the point in medicating them as a prevention when it's most likely not required, but that's just my personal view. If I ever lose a few chicks to something that medicated feed would have prevented, I'll probably swap over to it straight away!
     
  3. shober

    shober Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was told by my hatchery that they don't vaccinate for Coccidiosis in the summer and to get the medicated feed. I figured I would just use it until they were about 60 days old and go outside. Then on to lay mash or another chick feed. Whatever my feed store has for chicks. They are 2 weeks old now and doing fine![​IMG] I'm in Southern California and its been suprisingly cool so far this summer!![​IMG]
     
  4. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

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    Coccidias is devastating to the flock. It is everywhere and thrives on wet conditions. Medicated feed only helps build an immunity to the disease, it's not a cure.

    I personally always would use medicated feed. I wouldn't take the chance losing my flock.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2011
  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    They will probably be ready to go out around 4 weeks, maybe 5, even without a heat source.

    Medicated feed works by inhibiting the uptake of thamine in the cocci themselves. Cocci are in the soil, so they should not be exposed until they are outside. So giving it while they are in an indoor brooder won't do much if anything when they go out. Of course if you take them out for the day or for short periods during the day, which is a good idea, they will be exposed then. Day trips outdoors will likely ready them for the coop a little sooner as well.
     
  6. lbartsch

    lbartsch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is a matter of personal judgement. I don't use medicated feed because I don't want any remnant of the medication in the eggs when they start laying. So far so good at 8 weeks.

    Good Luck!
     
  7. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:My broody has been taking her chicks out and free ranging with them since they were just over a week old. They're all still VERY healthy. So either I don't have cocci in my soil, or the chicks have been exposed to such a low 'dose' of it that they've managed to fight it off themselves. I wonder which it is...
     
  8. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:My broody has been taking her chicks out and free ranging with them since they were just over a week old. They're all still VERY healthy. So either I don't have cocci in my soil, or the chicks have been exposed to such a low 'dose' of it that they've managed to fight it off themselves. I wonder which it is...

    Chicks raised by a broody hen on the ground will never have a problem with Coccidiosis. Chicks raised in a brooder & then transferred to the ground often [nearly always] will.
     
  9. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Why exactly is that though? Do chicks that are brooded naturally get exposed to cocci through the shell while they are still in the egg, making them immune at hatch? Or is it just because the earlier they are exposed to it after hatching, the quicker they can build up an immunity? I'd have thought that if they were first exposed to it as day old chicks they'd have been far less able to cope with it than if they were first exposed as mostly feathered up and chunky six week olds.

    I'm not disagreeing with your facts btw, just looking for further explanation.

    But I'd also add that with many hatches of artificially brooded and indoor reared chicks, I have always used non medicated feed and I have never had a problem with cocci. Never even had a single incidence of it actually. Perhaps it's just not present in the soil here. Thank goodness!
     
  10. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    If you are not certain then go with the medicated feed.

    For myself I've used it and not used it and it did not make a whit of difference either way for me but I am very careful about my brooder management and when my birds first hit the ground they do it on soil that has not had birds on it for months, preferably since the year before. Until this year I've never had coccidiosis in my birds in all the years I've been keeping them. Wouldn't have had it then, but for the fact that it was quite hot, rained every day for fourteen days straight, and the grow-out pen was overcrowded. Coccidiosis is more a management problem than anything else.

    But if you're not certain then go with the medicated feed.
     

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