Medicated Starter Feed

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by texas_chick, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. texas_chick

    texas_chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So what's in medicated starter feed? How prevalent are the diseases it's trying to prevent?
    Thanks in Advance!
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    The medicine typical used in chick starter is amprolium (sp?). It's used to aid in the prevention of coccidiosis. Cocci' can kill a young chick very quickly.
    IMO, feeding medicated chick starter is an easy, inexpensive way to protect young chicks.
    ETA: How prevelant is coccidia? Very! It can lay dormant in the soil for a long time and re-emerge when chickens are introduced to the chicken yard.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2009
  3. texas_chick

    texas_chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh I see! So can I eventually switch to a non medicated feed (like is it less dangerous in older chickens?) or would you always buy medicated feed?
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    It's less of a threat to an adult chicken. Seperate chick starter and grower aren't readily available around here. Therefore, I fed medicated starter/grower until I got my first egg; then switched to the layer pellets which are not medicated.
    ETA: In some places you may be able to find a seperate non-medicated grower feed. I believe you make the switch from starter to grower @ 6 to 8 weeks, but I'm not sure. You can read the feeding instructions on the bag to be sure.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2009
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Basically, the drug acts as a thamine inhibitor in the intestines of the chicks that prevents cocci from reproducing. This way, when they eat the cocci in the soil, which is a protozoa, they can build up their own natural immunity to it. That does mean though, exposing your chicks to their future run early on is a good idea, so that they have something to build an immunity to!
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Yep! My chicks were scratching around in the dirt by the time they were two weeks old.
     
  7. texas_chick

    texas_chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Interesting! Thanks [​IMG]
    So how long does it take to build immunity?
    A couple of weeks?
     
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Usually, you want them on medicated for at least 8 weeks and I keep mine on it till they are laying age.
     
  9. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Mine also stay on Medicated til they are ready to lay.
     
  10. fargosmom

    fargosmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started my chicks on non-medicated feed - they're about 4 weeks old and I'm wondering if I need to switch to medicated? There have never to my knowledge been chickens in our backyard before . . . but I let the chicks out to play in the back last weekend for an hour or so and they had fun scratching around in the dirt. Should I be worried?
     

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