Medicated feed to vaccinated chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by josytang, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. josytang

    josytang Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 26, 2011
    I have ordered 30 chicks to be vaccinated against coccidiosis, not knowing that my feed store does not provide non medicated feed. So I brought 2 fifty lb bag of medicated starter and have been feeding it to my chicks for three days. They seem fine, but I know I am not suppose to do that. However, i could not return the feed. So what should I do? What are the effects if I keep using the medicated feed? Should I throw away the feed or could I keep feeding it?
  2. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    I would sel! The feed on Craig's list and switch to flock raiser or all flock. Both are fine for starting chicks.

    I don't know if it has already done the damage by feeding the medicated feed for three days. The medication in the feed starves the coccidia parasites, so may have rendered your vaccine void. Hope someone else can come along and help you with that particular detail. If its too late, I would just keep feeding (the medicated feed) and be aware that they are probably not protected by the vaccine.
    1 person likes this.
  3. LPeaslee

    LPeaslee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 9, 2014
    I agree. From what I've read you should not feed chicks medicated chick starter, if you have vaccinated for coccidiosis. With merics, medicated feed is OK.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  4. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2013
    Atlanta, Georgia
    I would go ahead and feed them the medicated starter. Amprolium is the active ingredient in the starter and it's a thiamine blocker. By feeding it, all your doing is continuing to "block" what the cocci needs to survive.

    This article discusses it. They say it's "not necessary" to feed medicated if they've been vaccinated. They don't say "don't feed it".

    Once your chicks have contact with the soil or droppings (and eating some of it) they're going to be exposed to cocci. By feeding the medicated starter you're allowing their systems to develop an immunity to your local strain.

    Some people don't feed medicated starter at all, but after having watched the videos () of Coccidiosis and what it does to the chick and how quickly it kills them, I erred on the side of caution. You'll also want to have some Corid on hand just in case there is an outbreak...because there's maybe a week between the signs and death of the chick. As a new chicken owner I didn't have any Corid, and after reading about it I tried to get some. All local suppliers were out and the fastest I was able to get my hands on it (shipped to me) took a little over a week. If there would've been a problem the chicks would've been dead.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    I err on the other side of caution. I choose to not vaccinate or feed medicated feed. Coccidiosis is every where, and the vaccine may or may not have the particular strain that is in your soil... kind of like getting vaccinated for the common cold. Regarding the Amprolium, again, I choose the flip side of the coin. Amprolium is a thiamin blocker... so it blocks the uptake in the pathogen as well as the chick, which can lead to some nutritional issues. So, my approach to the disease risk is to: give them a good dose of pro-biotics (you can buy packets of pro-biotics to mix in the chicks water, or you can give them fermented feed) as soon as they start on feed and water, then follow up with early exposure to my soil by giving them sod chunks to play with. A lot of flock keepers actually give the new chicks some feces contaminated soil from their chicken runs. In the natural world, Mama would be taking the chicks out as soon as they leave the nest, and... from a human perspective it sounds gross, but is quite natural in the animal kingdom... The chicks would be snacking on her poo to build their immunity. (The chicks would be inoculating their gut with the hen's digestive flora as well as any coccidiosis present)

    There is no right or wrong decision here. It is certainly not a subject worth arguing about, but i did want to take a moment to present the other side of the medication issue.
    1 person likes this.

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