Medicated vs. Non medicated feed help

peacockfeather

Songster
6 Years
May 29, 2014
139
16
119
Hello all.

What are the pros and cons of using medicated feed for your chicks? I have heard that you should not use medicated starter for ducklings. That said, I will be getting my birds soon and I am wondering what the best option is in terms of feed. Medicated for chicks, feed separately from the ducklings, or just give everyone non-medicated? I will be starting them on electrolytes too, if that adds any significance. Share your feed stories and experiences? Thanks in advance!
 

thecrumbler

Chirping
Mar 18, 2015
102
11
73
Illinois
I'm not sure on ducks, but medicated feed is personal choice. Most medicated feeds contain a thiamine blocker to inhibit growth of parasites in the colon, and are safe for human consumption if you're going to eat eggs/meat (unless you're talking about actual antibiotics which in my personal opinion should only be given if a bird is sick, not as a preventative).

Once your birds are out of their brooder and/or put outside, they're going to be exposed to dirt and also worms and parasites. Which yes, can cause disease - it all depends on what's in your area. They can even get sick from us. Medfeed can help nip some of this in the bud, but it's not a guarantee that your chicks won't get sick - it's more comparable to say, a flu shot (though med feed is not a vaccine against anything - there are actual vaccines you can get for specific diseases).

Either way your birds are going to be exposed to illness and parasites at some point. You can just keep them healthy and let them fight it off (I would definitely deworm regardless of if you choose med feed or not) or you can use the medfeed as an extra boost.

Personally I buy a big bag of medfeed and raise my chicks on it -until they've been outside and have been dewormed a few times, then I switch to plain feed. I would def research the advantages for duckies, but thats what I do for my chickens. Weigh your options and do what you feel is best for your chicks!
 

rides2far

Songster
5 Years
Dec 9, 2014
842
81
126
Bakersfield California
I don't have ducks, but I understand ducks should not have medicated feed. Medicated feed has a thiamine blocker to prevent cocci. Medicated feed is harmful to ducklings, from what I've read. Anyone with ducks verify or refute info, please
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lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,000
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
Medicated feed has a thiamine blocker to keep the Coccidiosis organism from replicating. Medicated feed will not prevent any other illnesses. Coccidiosis is in all soils, and is a normal flora in all chicken guts. It's only when it gets out of balance that the chicken gets sick. So, you can use medicated feed, or, you can choose to do a more natural approach and allow the chicks to have gradual exposure to your soils. I use this approach, and give my chicks a plug of sod in their first week. The chicks have the highest antibody levels in the 2 weeks after hatching, and the levels start to drop off after that.
 

rides2far

Songster
5 Years
Dec 9, 2014
842
81
126
Bakersfield California
I did both. Medicated feed & sod. My 4-H steer had cocci. He was sick & had to swallow huge pills. Luckily, he was a sweetie & ate the pills out of my hand. My brother's steer was not so nice! I just decided it wasn't a risk I wanted to take. My babies spent 5 days in transit & I didn't want to lose any more
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. They are 9 weeks now & very healthy. I plan to start mixing non medicated with my medicated & have them off the medicated in about 2 weeks. As stated above, it's personal choice. There isn't really 'medicine' in the feed, so to me it isn't too unnatural.
 

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