medicated or unmedicated chick starter?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by HSerChickLady, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. HSerChickLady

    HSerChickLady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last year i got my chicks from TSC so i have no idea if they were vaccinated. The stores all said unmedicated feed is fine these days and since i'm trying to raise my birds as naturally as possible i went with unmedicated feed. This year i've ordered my chicks from Meyer Hatchery and am having them vaxed for Marek's disease. But they didn't offer the option of a coccidiosis vaccine. So what kind of starter should i use with them?

    I also read that i can add apple cider vinegar to their water as a coccidiosis preventative. Is this a better option than medicated feed?
     
  2. Apyl

    Apyl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good question, this is my first year and everything I've been reading says Medicaided Chick starter so that what I was gonna do. lol I didn't even think its looking at alternatives. I'm interested to see what others suggest. Good luck on your chicks.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I doubt vinegar would prevent cocci. If it is any comfort, the meds in Chick starter are merely a blocker, typically amprollium. It simply blocks to prevent the cocci from over whelming the immune system. The choice to feed it or unmedicated is yours to make.

    Some folks put a piece of sod from their property in the brooder in an attempt to increase the chick's immune system. I'd like to know from others how reliable that is.
     
  4. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  5. felidaet

    felidaet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lots of people have strong opinions on this. I feed mine medicated feed. Many of us today buy chicks from feed stores. These chicks come from one or more hatcheries. And some of us buy chicks from multiple feed stores to get the selection of breeds they want. Who knows if any of these were exposed to cocci along the way. IF I were raising them naturally by having my own birds lay and hatch their own eggs and having them free range most of the time them maybe I would consider other options.
     
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I always feed medicated. They are only on it a short time and all it is is a coccidiostat. It helps protect them from coccidia while they develope their own immunity. Coccidiosis is very, very hard on chicks should they contract it and many times, by the time an owner suspects what's going on, losses are high. Medicated feed seems like cheap insurance to me.
     
  7. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    If I'm feeding chicks that I've bought from an outside source-feed store, hatchery, Craigslist- they get the medicated starter. I only buy one 50lb bag, and give the babies a pan of dirt from the coop. Then once the medicated feed is gone, I switch them to gamebird feed. Chicks hatched in my own coop never get medicated feed. Never had a problem with cocci :)
     
  8. HSerChickLady

    HSerChickLady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone. I think we're going to go with medicated chick starter-I'd rather be safe than sorry. I think we're going to get Purina and use it for about 8 weeks then i'm not sure what i'm going to do because i don't want to continue with that high of a protein level during the grower stage.
     
  9. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Get a lower protein grower feed?
     
  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    If you are handy with math you can cut it with a little cracked corn or wheat berries to get to 17-18% protein down from 20%(check your bag)...here is a formula:


    http://www.lionsgrip.com/protein.html
     

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