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Medicated vs Non-Medicated Feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by speckledhen, May 14, 2017.

  1. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    From my YouTube channel, just a short discussion of why we no longer feed medicated feed to our chicks, though we did begin our chicken keeping career about 12 years ago by giving them the medicated feed with amprolium, believing it would prevent coccidiosis.

     
    krowl, Shilo7, RodNTN and 6 others like this.
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Nice video! I have never fed medicated feed to either my chicken chicks or quail chicks. I have always felt exposure to Cocci and other things is the best medicine.
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    You know, they tout the amprolium-laced feed as an anti-coccidial, however the levels at which it's in the feed really does no good for most folks who have a humid climate, plus those who brood chicks until they are a month old and never hit dirt. My broodies have them on the ground the first few days, weather permitting, and we put a large dish pan with dirt in the coop for them as well. That does better than all the additives in the world. Some folks will say things like, "I feed medicated feed and have never seen cocci", but it's more likely they live in an arid climate or the chicks are on dirt early or some other factor, nothing to do with the feed at all. In my opinion, it doesn't make sense to throw the B vitamins out of whack daily when you can just be observant and keep Corid on hand to treat them for 5 days if you think they may have cocci.
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    X2 I agree with you here on this. Folks that have used medicated feed but have never seen a case of Cocci in their chicks, it probably has nothing to do with the feed. Not that medicated feed doesn't work period, as it most likely does in mild cases? But possiblely these chicks were never going to get it due to brooder conditions, stronger chicks, etc... ?

    I am no expert on this but why use it if in the end the bird is going to need to develop immunity at some point in their lives. The medicated feed is not some sort of permanent inoculation in that they will never contract cocci. In the near future their bodies will need to become immune.

    In my humble opinion, if anything, medicated feed might weaken their immune systems? I would think a baby's body is genetically programmed at those first few days/weeks to deal with things quick so as to survive. This "window of opportunity" on the speedy reaction from the immune system could close, making the immunity sluggish when you keep it from doing it's job, as with medicated feed?

    Nature has much of this worked out already. Chicks raised by broodies are known to be healthier...in contact with the dirt, contact with outside organisms, bacterias, other chickens, always on new ground, etc... But when we stuff hatchery chicks in a tiny space, stuff happens. LOL

    All this being said...I am not knocking Medicated Feed and for newbies that have never kept chickens and have just brought home a box of peepers from the feed store, using Medicated Feed might be a good idea. I personally don't use it. :)
     
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  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I would agree with about everything you said. At the beginning, I did not have a choice at the county co-op unless I special-ordered non-medicated, but once it changed hands, the new manager went out of her way to have what I needed all the time. So, they almost always have it when I need it. If not, I don't mind buying a 25 lb bag of medicated in an emergency when that's all they have on hand, and I will buy there rather than go to Tractor Supply, then when she gets in the non-medicated, I get the 50# bag. But, if there is a choice, now it's always non-medicated. And I hatch almost always with broodies so there is rarely a need for the Corid, either, though I have it on hand just in case.
     
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  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    I think some of these feed stores are just not educated enough and do push the medicated feeds. My little Mom and Pop feed store is run by people that LIVE for chickens. LOL She does carry medicated starter but she tries to steer people away from it. I like stores like this. LOL

    In your case, I totally understand. If this is all they carry, what choice do you have!
     
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  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Yup, agree 100%.
     
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    And yes, ALWAYS keep Corid stocked in your chicken cabinet!! :)
     
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  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    ALWAYS! It goes a long way when you don't have to treat chicks often, but since cocci can kill left untreated, best to have it immediately available.
     
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  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    New Mexico has outbreaks of Cocci in the wild bird population. Our migrating birds get hit hard some years, Cocci is just everywhere. Seems like once a year my older birds come down with a case of Cocci. Thank the good Lord for Corid!! :lol:
     

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