Medicated or Unmedicated Chick Feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by honeydoll, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. honeydoll

    honeydoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    I am getting 12 Buckeye chicks soon and bought a bag of the Purina Start N Grow medicated chick feed. I have never used medicated before and now am wondering if I should. So I would like to hear some opinions from other BYCers about why or why not you used medicated. I am trying to find out how long the chemicles stay in a chicks body if they do eat medicated feed. Does this weaken their immune system or am I overly concerned? Does this mean we will eventually eat the medicine in our chickens when we process them? Or will it be out of their system by then? I have read about cocci alot and want to prevent an outbreak if possible but not if it comprimises their immune system and then they will always need medicine to fight illness in the future. I will be googling to look for some info but would love to hear opinions of those who have personal experience.
     
  2. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    Idaho
    I always start mine with the medicated. The little guys up until about 8 weeks are more prone to cocci because they have not developed an immunity to it yet.
    After eight weeks then you can switch. I have not found that it lowers their immune system rather, it enhances it.
    I have only had one case of cocci and that was my fault. 3 chicks died and one other is blind in one eye.

    I don't think you have to feed them the medicated, but I would be very watchful of the chicks. If they come down with symptoms then you will have to use actual medication on them.
    They will not and should not have medicated feed forever. When mine are about 8 weeks old I switch to Purina Flock Raiser. They love that and it is not medicated. Good protein too.
     
  3. honeydoll

    honeydoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    Thanks for the reply. Cocci sounds like a real bear to deal with, which is why I went ahead and bought it. But then hearing so much negative about the medicated things I worry, thanks for your input.[​IMG]
     
  4. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    Idaho
    Cocci is bad because you usually lose chicks before you figure out they are sick. And that is hard to see.

    Cocci is naturally in the ground and chicks and chickens peck at everything.

    So those first weeks while they are building immunity, medicated feed is good. It doesn't prevent it, just helps prevent it.

    I had my chicks on medicated feed that got cocci. Like I said though it was my fault. [​IMG]

    I had brooded chicks and then I had some new chicks hatch out. I added them to the brooder that the other chicks had been in without cleaning out all the litter. (Newbie stunt) Well I learned hard and fast that was not ok! [​IMG]

    Once a chick gets cocci and survives I have heard they are not as healthy. I have noticed this with mine that I managed to keep alive.

    She is blind in one eye. [​IMG] But on the upside, she loves me. I had her in the house for over two months and she is one of the only birds that will actually come up to me and let her pet her without effort on my side. [​IMG]

    Yesterday she just snuggled on in to me and my heart just melted. I won't be breeding her, but there is no way she is going to be dinner either. Not her. [​IMG]
     
  5. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I've done both and haven't really ever been able to tell a difference to be honest. Really, I think it is your own personal preference as to whether you decide to feed them medicated or not. I don't think it hurts, but I've never been able to tell that it helped either.

    Are you going to brood your chicks where they will be on the ground? If not, then I don't see any reason for treating them, but again, it's all personal preference. [​IMG]
     
  6. honeydoll

    honeydoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    Quote:No, mine won't be directly on the ground. I have several other chickens and never had cocci, but I am also new to having chickens. I have only lost one chick out of 27 and that one died of unknown causes. So I haven't had issues. Just thought now that my chicken numbers are growing maybe I should use prevention. Does that make sense? It seems the larger the flock the more issues people have.
     
  7. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    Idaho
    Mine were not on the ground either. They were in a large fish tank. But they pecked at the other chicks poop and must have gotten it there.

    I have never had it again, but for me once was enough. I figure they make the medicated for a reason and I have listened to many of the more experienced breeders who use it.

    I like to think of it in the same way as we give our children immunizations when they are young to prevent illness. The same with chicks.

    It is a personal choice.
     
  8. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm Premium Member

    I've seen a big difference. I tried to do without it several different times an it was always a disaster. I now keep them on medicated feed till they have been on the ground for a few weeks. If I change there food before the move or not use medicated at all, I see losses about a week after there feet hit dirt.
     
  9. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    Idaho
    I bet that makes you want to do this [​IMG]
     
  10. honeydoll

    honeydoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    Well my gut is telling me to go medicated with this batch of chicks. My last batch were not medicated and did fine; But I learned to listen a long time ago to my gut feelings so I guess medicated it is. I'll stop with medicated after they are in the regular coop. Hope this doesn't put chemicles in the meat as some of these will be dinner for us.
     

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