Medicated Feed Or Not?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Shelz, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. Shelz

    Shelz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2012
    S.E. Iowa
    Still preparing for my chicks that are coming soon. Is it best to start them off on the medicated chick starter or the non-medicated? My chicks will have been vaccinated with Mareks, and I also plan on mixing some yogurt in with their water. Any other tips I could do to get them off to a good start?
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    The medicated food helps prevent coccidiosis which can wipe out up to 90% of your chicks in a short time. Personally I'd give them the medicated food. I mix Apple Cider Vinegar with their water to prevent pasty butt. 4-5 Tablespoons to a gallon water. In the past I lost some chicks to this condition, but since I started using the ACV I haven't had any problems. Have a look here for more info:

    Hatching Eggs & Raising Chicks

    Enjoy your chicks!
  3. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    Same. I'd use medicated but have heard that the "natural" ACV with the mother in it will prevent this disease too.
  4. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2012
    I've used nonmedicated for my last 3 hatches and they have been fine. My first hatch caught coccidia when they were about 7 weeks old, and I lost 1 to it, but was able to save the others. The next 3 hatches were far more successful. I learned that if you add dirt to their brooder (like just the dirt from your backyard, preferably from the area they will be in when they are put outside) it will help build their immunity. What I do is
    1) Don't sterilize the brooder. Don't put them in a maggoty hole outside or anything, just a quick wipe down and ta-da, be done.
    2) Feed them yogurt and other foods with probiotics in them. Coccidiosis is an intestinal parasite, so probiotics will help build good intestinal flora and will help prevent coccidia naturally.
    3) Add dirt from the coop, or backyard to their brooder, starting with a small-ish amount, and steadily increasing. It's not rocket science. It's really easy. It doesn't take hardly any extra time, either.
    I have raised probably around 50 chicks this way, some from a hatchery, some hatched myself, without incident. I will be placing another order from Ideal in the next couple weeks and will be raising them without medication as well. (If nothing tragic happens of course.)
    My goal in raising all my food animals is to use as little medication as possible. I know for some people that's not a big deal, but I really prefer it that way. I hope after I've been doing it for a couple years I'll have better, more detailed, advice. But it really doesn't take much explaining. It's very simple to do.
  5. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

    Dec 1, 2010
    Owasso, Oklahoma
    I use non-medicated Feed for a few reasons. I prefer my Animals to be raised the most natural way possible. Medicated feed is a little more expensive in my area. I also have birds over 8 weeks in the same 12x20 coop as my Laying Hens that free range all day everyday. I haven't ever had a problem using non-mediated feed. The last reason I use non-mediated feed is that I have 2-3 30# feeders hanging from the rafters in my coop with 1-2 full of Laying Pellets and 1 filled with either flock raiser or non-medicated Chick Starter depending on the age of the chicks.

  6. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    I chose to raise mine without, i only have 4 chickens, the rest of the birds here are ducks so i use a flock raiser which is non-medicated. I thoroughly discussed the matter with the gentleman i purchased the chicks from and we concluded this method would be fine for my situation.

    The chicks are now over 3mths old and thriving.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012
  7. serenityNH

    serenityNH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2011
    Raymond, NH
    I raise mine without medicated feed as well, have never had a problem. I like to keep feeding/raising chicks as natural as possible. I bring my chicks outside as soon as I can and let them dust bathe etc. I figure the chicks being raised by momma hen are so healthy and never have any problems that raising brooder chicks as close to the same way is the best bet.

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