Medicated Feed vs. Growth of Chicks?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by beneduck14, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. YES

    2 vote(s)
  2. NO

    4 vote(s)
  1. beneduck14

    beneduck14 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2015
    Cattlet, VA
    *This thread will be updated almost everyday until completed. All of the following work is original and have been aproved by a veterinarian.

    LAST UPDATE: 12/25/16

    Hi guys! Welcome to my thread[​IMG] ! My name is Angie . I am doing an experiment to see if feeding medicated feed will make chicks grow faster and be healthier. This has never been tested officially and my hopes will be for this to make it to ITEL'S ISEF science fair in the future. Currently, this project is for school level and hopefully, get chosen to move on levels.

    Check out the hatch-along for this experiment here:


    Why should you follow/read this thread?:

    1) This is from a poultry lovers point of view!
    2) Backyard chicken breeders or raisers will have stronger/stronger standings
    in whether they should choose medicated or non-medicated feed for their chicks
    3) You will follow my journey with journal entries and many pictures with supported data!


    Type of bird for experiment?

    - Chicken

    PRO: Eggs, Cheap, Easy to hatch, Easy to care for, clean, medicated feed available
    CON: -

    - Duck

    PRO: Cute and animated, eggs, medicated feed available
    CON: MESSY= more prone to get diseases, harder to hatch, loud

    - Bobwhite quail

    PRO: Inexpensive, eggs, small housing and brooder, easy to hatch
    CON: No medicated feed available

    - Turkey

    PRO: -
    CON: Expensive, need large housing, hard to hatch, evil


    Animals, more specifically chickens, must be used in this experiment in order to find out how its feed, whether it contains medication (Amprolium) or not, affects its weight. The breed of chicken will be chosen based on calm disposition with people, particularly children, and since the use of the chickens after the experiment will be used as pets and for eggs, these breed chosen will likely be good layers and hardy in winter. The chicks will be hatched at separately at home prior to the experiment in order to eliminate certain variables and the hatching eggs (twenty four) will be obtained from a backyard breeder or a local farm in Virginia. The number of chickens hatched will be twenty four if all prove to be fertile and hatch but the number of chicks used for the experiment will be twenty. All the remaining chicks that hatched and will not be used will either remain separate from the others that are being used in this experiment or given away experience farm. The use of bobwhite quail chicks were considered but thought unacceptable due to the fact that quail chicks should not be fed with regular chicken medicated feed, a Coccidiostat, because it can cause liver and kidney failure. Medicated feed for quails are in addition are very hard to find. The use of ducklings were also considered but was unacceptable due to the fact that hatching ducklings are more challenging and generally have a lower hatch rate, based on previous experience. The outcome of this experiment could potentially affect both backyard chicken breeders and even small meat or egg poultry farms in their choice of feed.



    Congrats your new chicks have arrived, whether hatched, bought, or shipped! With a dose of adrenaline and a pinch of stress, you walk through your local feed store's isle and come across various feeds. Some labeled medicated feed and others organic or regular but, what the heck is medicated feed? Is it good for the new chicks with all the chemicals included? Wait what chemicals are even included? Are there any benefits?

    Medicated feeds contain a main active ingredient called Amprolium which is a coccidiostat used for poultry- meaning it protects and treats coccidiosis in poultry. I will be testing the positive benefits of this drug regarding growth/weight.



    This experiment will be done with 20 chicks in total. 10 will be in GROUP A and will be fed Medicated feed (Manapro chick starter) and the other 10 will be in GROUP B and fed with regular organic feed.

    Chicks must first be hatched myself to eliminate many variables.
    Time frame:

    -21 days for incubating and hatching
    -21 days of measurment

    Total time 42 days

    -Febuary 22nd is due date


    IF medicated feed is fed to baby chicks (day 1-21), THEN they will grow bigger faster.

    Independant Variable:

    Type of feed (Medicated feed containing Amprolium or not)

    Dependant Variable:

    Weight of chicks in grams

    Constant Variable:

    - Feed Brand
    - Chick Age, Breed, Backround
    - Brooder (Temp, material, bedding,etc.)
    - Must have NOT been introduced to Cocci nor have vaccinations


    • 3 Plastic Kiddie Pools
    • Medicated Feed (amount needed will be added later)
    • Organic Feed (amount needed will be added later)
    • 24 Fertile Eggs (Buff orpington)
    • Leg-bands for Identification
    • Incubator and Hydrometer
    • Thermometer
    • Brooder Lamp w/ 120W Heat Bulb
    • Hardware Cloth
    • Safe Bedding
    • 3 Waterers
    • 3 Feeders
    • 3 Patio Blocks
    • Gram Scale



    • Both pens will be located inside of the house separately

    • Pine shaving bedding, great for absorbency and can prevent respiratory problems.

    • Waterer and feeder set next to each other on the opposite side of the clamped lamp.

    • Brooder temperature to be set to 95°F and every week to be reduced 5°F

    • Chicks will be kept in a 4’ plastic kiddie pool with cardboard around it as draft guards. Hardware cloth will be placed on top to prevent escaping birds. Chicken wire may not be used in case a chick gets stuck in between which may cause injury or death. Label one GROUP A and the other GROUP B
    • Three will be made, last one will be a plastic gallon tub with hardware cloth on top for the remaining chicks that will be not used for experiment.


    NOTE- This is not a embryonic/hatching study so I will not be focused on this part. For a more detailed step-by-step, please refer to someone elses on this website

    1. Eggs are to be placed with care on the bottom of a pre setted incubator with pointy side of the egg pointed slightly down. Temperatures should be set prior to setting eggs at 99.5F and humidity to 50%. Mark the eggs with a "X" on one side and "O" on the other to keep track of turning.
    2. Candle every other day to moniter growth of embryo and dispose dead ones. Turn three times a day until the last three days.
    3. Last three days to hatch day (21st), go into lockdown and raise humidity to 70%. Remove chicks after all have hatched and put into corresponding brooding pen. Do NOT open incubator during lockdown unless absolutely needed.


    1. Place ten chicks in each brooding pen carefully once dried *Dip beak into waterer prior to letting them go so they know where the waterer is located at.
    2. After all have been placed, wait at least five hours before taking each of their weights and recording to reduce some amount of stress. Must be done before chicks turn one day old.
    3. Introduce feed the next day when the chicks are one day old. Give medicated feed to Group A and non-medicated feed to Group B.
    4. Refresh water at least three times a day and feed if necessary. Bedding should be changed at least once a day or more if necessary. Damp areas must be cleaned as soon as possible to prevent respiratory issues and bacterial growth.. *All of the above must be done simultaneously with the other group. Ex. If a group needs changed bedding, the other group must have their bedding changed at well around the same time.
    5. Record weight every other day and closely monitor for health issues. The use of gloves is an absolute necessity and shall be changed when going over to the other group to prevent spread of anything.If a chicks health starts deteriorating, notify an adult supervisor and isolate from other chicks for treatment on Amprolium

    11/15 - Can't find hatching eggs near me! The cold is ruining everything and finding them is getting hard.
    11/16 - Inquired to a women about her hatching eggs on craigslist. Pick up is D.C which isn't favorable but ordering from online was no where in my choice box. Talk about gas $! Told to wait at least 3 weeks for Buff Orp. Eggs
    11/23-30 - Trying to find a veterinary clinic to approve my vertabrae animal project for science fair
    11/26-27 - Asked a nearby veterinary clinic who specializes in farm animals if they could approve my work. A woman on facebook, the receptionist, told me to leave a message for the clinic. I did and even offered to drop it off. After that no reply on facebook, voicemail, or email. Very frustratedabout how long I had to wait for a reply but never got one! BUT gave me a lesson. Always reply quickly to someone or at least reply to make it more convinient for them!
    11/30- Asked Jenny, a women who I volunteer for at a therapeaudic riding place near my house, and she offered to give my approval papers to her wife who is an equine ambulatory veterinarian. How cool is that but doesn't it have to be a poultry specialist? Anyway, VERY VERY thankful!
    12/2 - Got all papers signed from Melinda from Haymarket Veterinary! Was warned about a new antibiotic regulation going to effect on January 1st 2017 and that I would have to hurry and go get the medicated feed first. Didn't listen to her and procrastinated about going to Tractor Supply Co.
    12/6 - All required paperwork for fair signed and gave to adult mentor to turn it. Now I can start!
    12/10 - Ordered some supplies to repair broken chicken coop and a brooder lamp w/ heater
    12/14 - Was offered Black Maran hatching eggs since they were almost done but had to decline because my mother said she didn't want any black chickens??!! Umm....
    12/17 - *I went to TSC and found out that they were withdrawing medicated feed from their store. I thought it was ridiculous because it said it was available online and in store. I asked if I could just order it online and pick it up here but store assistant said that it was now illegal. Thought the rule started next year?! Then Melinda's warning echoed through my mind and I instantly learned something, procrastination is very harmful. I thought my project was ruined.
    * Found some online at Petsmart? (Didn't know they sold poultry supplies there) They had this feed withdrawn in stores as well but luckily there were limited stocks for to home shippings only. Quickly I bought 3 bags of Manapro medicated chick feed which were 5 pounds each. I couldn't buy anymore due to it being limited. Hopefully 15 pounds is enough for 3 weeks for 10 chicks.
    * Got in a HUGE argument with dad. He was tired of buying me all these supplies. He told me that this project was too advanced and complicated for kids my age. I agreed it was stressful but I wasn't going to let him tell me what was too hard for me or not.
    * Egg provider emailed me offering to do egg pick ups at Arlington which was miraculous as it would save me so much work and money! I happily agreed and wanted to also purchase leg-bands for the chicks also. Total is $27.60 for 2 dozen fertile eggs and 20 bands!
    12/18 - More research done. Showed dad how uncomplicated my project was compared to others by showing him past winners of the INTEL science fair competitions: 15 year old wins grand prize for contructing a bionical leg to allow patients with polio to walk more naturally and cheaply and was tested on by actual patients. 1 Angie vs. 0 Dad.
    12/19 - Yesterday was the first time posting here. Got many feedback whether negative or neutral... which is good. Feedback is always good I guess and some have opened my eyes to another path. Made me question why TSC and other stores are removing medicated feed and liquid amprolium if it isn't part of the new antibiotic regulations? Please read everything on this thread before suggesting something, tired of repeating [​IMG] Thank you all once again, you all are amazing


    Hatch-Along for this experiment!:

    12/22 - hatching eggs bought and placed in incubator!



    12/23 - Day 1 of hatching

    Already made so many mistakes including overheating and high humidity on day 0 so lets just hope day 3 will show signs of life

    *I know candling everyday isn't good but I want to share a brief lecture to my class about embryology and show day to day progress pics :)

    12/24- Day 2 of hatching! So far so good on managing incubator temps and humidity. Can't wait till tomorrow! Not a huge difference from day 1 but you can see the dark mass more centered and together.


    12/25 - Merry Christmas Everyone! Will update tonight of candling pictures. We will see veins ;)

    Candling of day 3!

    I am confused as to why only 6 out of 25 eggs showed veining and the others non! Can someone please explain to me?



    Look closely :)


    12/18/16 -HUGE PROBLEM GUYS! Did more research on the new antibiotic regulations. First, it was in effect due to people using it other then to prevent or treat chickens like to make the chickens fatter for consumption or increased egg laying. (Remember I am not doing the experiment for that reason or promoting it to people who want their chicks to grow faster. I am doing it to see if it is part of the positive effects/benefits of medicated feed) Second, you must only use it or purchase with a prescription from veterinarian. Third, there is a expiration date on the old package and it must not be fed to chicks after the VFD date or else it is illegal.

    According to FDA,

    What is a VFD?
    A VFD is a written (nonverbal) statement issued by a licensed veterinarian in the course of the veterinarian’s professional practice that authorizes the use of a VFD drug or combination VFD drug in or on an animal feed. This written statement authorizes the client (the owner of the animal or animals or other caretaker) to obtain and use animal feed bearing or containing a VFD drug or combination VFD drug to treat the client’s animals only in accordance with the conditions for use approved, conditionally approved, or indexed by the FDA. A VFD is also referred to as a VFD order.

    More information:

    I am in a huge mental breakdown guys. Why did it have to go in effect the year I want to test it. I've worked so hard for this and already scheduled for egg pick up and got all materials. If someone at the science fair finds out I did this then my project might be terminated and I would be fined. But I don't know if it is illegal for me, a veterinarian already approved my project so does that count as a VFD? I will speak to my adult mentor about this tomorrow. I need your guyses help! What do I do?

    Finally, would be project still be useful now that medicated feed is impossible to get or should I give up.

    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
  2. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Amprolium will not be affected by the VFD regulations.

    Amprolium is a coccicidiostat, it has no claims for growth promotion, I'd suggest you look at a different medication.
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    All is not lost in that several alternatives can be developed within a couple days. I also work with projects like you are setting out to do. The projects are at college and high school level.

    Do you have access to either of the following: a coarse fiber that can be added to feed, biochar?

    Have you gotten approval from your school or advisors institution to conduct animal research? Form is likely to submitted to ACUC or Animal Care and Use Committee.
  4. beneduck14

    beneduck14 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2015
    Cattlet, VA
    Are you sure? The store attendants, as stated above in my journal entry, said that amprolium both the feed and liquid form were being removed from the stores.

    The reason I chose this project was because there are many people holding different opinions that it helps with growth and that is why many people misuse this drug for that reason. If you try looking it up on this website you will find various opinions :)

    Thank you for your feedback!
  5. beneduck14

    beneduck14 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2015
    Cattlet, VA
    I can get access to it, where would I find it?

    As stated in the forum I have gotten approval from a veterinarian, adult mentor, and a chairman for the project since it is a vertabrae research. Don't worry :)
  6. beneduck14

    beneduck14 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2015
    Cattlet, VA
    I can get access to it, where would I find it?

    As stated in the forum I have gotten approval from a veterinarian, adult mentor, and a chairman for the project since it is a vertabrae research. Don't worry :)
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri

    The chairman will be the one that addressed my concerns in most instances. Is the chairman with a university?

    Instead of using medicated versus a control, consider using a control diet with something non-nutritive to see how it impacts the following; growth as you already considered, feed intake, feed conversion ratio, and qualities to be determined with respect to the feces produced.

    Biochar you can purchase online. Fibrous materials could come in the form of beet pulp, sunflower seed shell / byproduct left over from oil and meal extraction.
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Amprolium is a thiamine blocker. I think this is a very valid experiment. All things being equal, with chicks in same environment, same breed, same exact heating and living conditions, and with feed having same nutrients with the exception of addition of Amprolium in the study group, it would answer a valid question: Does use of a Thiamine blocker as a preventative coccidiostat have an effect on chick growth? My theory is that the UNMEDICATED chicks will have a better growth rate. To OP: do you have a very accurate scale that will weigh your chicks in grams? I would also like to see you make one addition to your protocol. Can you add a plug of soil or sod from your yard to the pens of both the study group and the control group? Ideally, this should be started in the first week, and continue weekly. Be sure the soil/sod is from ground that has not been treated with insecticides/herbicides/fungicides. This will allow chicks to have access to natural pathogens in the soil as well as giving them a gut full of beneficial microbes. Or, you could simply give the sod/soil to your control group. Now that would also be very telling: Natural means of boosting immunity compared to the medical approach of simply throwing medication at them to eliminate the bad guys.

    I do agree with LJF that Amprolium should not be affected by new regs. I think OP local TSP needs to do some homework.
  9. beneduck14

    beneduck14 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2015
    Cattlet, VA
    Huh! The soil thing might actually be helpful. But my main question will be changed to be geared towards whether natural or artificial methods help prevent disease. My main topic right now is if artificial methods, that helps prevent disease, also help chicks grow bigger? Unfortunatly I have gone too far with paperwork to change my question. I could give this a try in another science fair project. My question is how to make a scale from scratch? I have a accurate gram scale in which was used to weigh stuff for selling small items... hmm. Thanks for your response, every opinion is helpful!
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri

    I am supposed to be able to wade through such discussions but you lost me with the statements above. Please clarify.

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