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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by REINABUGY, Jan 21, 2010.
Does the medicated feed work if your chicks have not been able to go out due to weather?
They do need to be on the medicated feed till something like a month after they are put out on the ground.
They are 12 weeks old. should I just keep them on the medicated until it is warm enough to go outside?
Medicated feed works by inhibiting the growth of cocci in the gut so the chicks can gain an immunity to the protozoa. If they are not exposed to the protozoa, the medication just goes right through them with no effect.
Just bring in a big dish of dirt from the run to let them play in it and that should be sufficient as an inoculation.
The medicated feed has done its job. If they are in crowded conditions because they can't get out to a run or something, then leave them on it. If they have space, you can take them off at 12 weeks. They don't have to touch soil to pick up cocci. There is never enough in soil (that hasn't been overrun by adult chickens) to kill chicks. It is them picking up what little there is (they can pick it up anywhere) and then growing more in their gut, then eating droppings of their own or other chicks, making more which are in more droppings, etc.
If you plan on mixing chicks with full grown birds, in an enclosed coop/run that is more than two years old, then you really need to leave them on the medicated feed until they are laying age.
I've never used medicated feed. I read that cocci comes from poo and not keeping brooder clean. They out grow the risk of cocci with age. I also use food grade DE in the bedding.
Thank you for your replies. The ground here is frozen and covered with snow so I wont be able to bring dirt in. The 12 weeks olds have a seperate coop from the bigger girls and will have their own run as well. I really dont think they are over crowded, their coop is huge. we got them in october that is why I have not let them out yet, winter came and I live on a mountain and the wind is crazy. I was worried they would get to cold and die. What if when they do go out if I mixed the medicated with the layer?
If the ground is frozen, any coccidia in the ground would be dead.
Quote:Are yo sure??
Quote from McMurray's catalog. Coccidiosis Vaccination heading "Coccidia are common protozoan parasites. They are present in almost all chicken yards and can lay dormant for years until chickens are introduced."
Coccidia are present everywhere, but they are killed by freezing. So, while the ground will be clear, as soon as it thaws out, it will be recolonized. But "ground" is not a problem. If one parasite could kill a chick (or any baby bird) there would not be any birds left. Cocci only become a problem when they can multiply inside birds. And then, only if the birds are confined to an area for a sufficient amount of time in a sufficient density.
For example, baby chicks raised on new litter will probably have no problems if given 1 sf per bird or room and basic cleanliness. These same birds would have no problem mixing with adult birds on pasture or free range. But, put them in an enclosed run, where adult birds have been kept for 2+ years, and then you can get pick up enough parasites to kill or severely sicken.
All I can get for chicks here is medicated. So, I use medicated. But it probably is only necessary in high density operations or when baby chicks will be raised with adult birds.