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Organic Feed for ORGANIC CHICKS!!! :).... and medicated feed quandry..

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by arwmommy, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. arwmommy

    arwmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2007
    California
    Hey everyone!
    Quick question-- that I am struggling with. I hve searched and read everything on the forum about this, but still have questions, so here we go....

    IMHO, the reason we are getting chickens is to have wonderful pets and an organic source of eggs and compost for the garden. We are commited to organic gardening and organic chickens. That being said, I am still waffling on my use of medicated feed for the first few weeks. I do not want them to get sick and die, crushing my children's emotions in the process.

    This is our first flock, so they are living in brand new digs, and so are not concerned about getting coccidiosis from any former chickens. We also are the only ones for miles with any chickens, so no wandering neighbors they might come in contact with. We have leaned towards feeding Organic starter/grower from the start until laying age, then transfering to Organic Layer Feed (both of which are readily available locally-- this is Southern California, after all [​IMG] )

    However, I am starting to wonder about starting them on medicated feed for a week or two as a precaution. Does it really make that big of a difference for chicks that are not exposed to other chickens, or should we just go organic from the start???

    Thanks!
    Love,
    an Organic Mom who is conflicted about this, with a husband who doesn't really see what all the whoo-ha about Organic is anyway.......(((sigh)))) I grew up in CA, he grew up in Maryland and is clearly still catching up--LOL--- just kidding all you Marylanders out there--- [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I understand and respect your concern, but if your chicks get sick with coccidiosis, you will have to give them drugs to get them well. They can go down hill fast.

    However, there are several organic chicken growers on our board. They use powdered milk as a coccidiostat. I will see if I can find some more information for you.
     
  3. arwmommy

    arwmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2007
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    Thanks Allen Wranch, that would be great! I would feel much better about finding a natural coccidiostat! Gosh I love this board! [​IMG]
     
  4. MTchick

    MTchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    In my opinion, feeding the chicks a medicated feed is very practical. The whole "organic" thing is really a general notion or idea (unless you are selling a certified product) and so if you feed the chicks a medicated feed, then switch to organic feed once they are young hens, it is reasonable to say that the eggs themselves are organic.

    Don't get too caught up in labels. There are lots of drugs and chemicals that are certified as organic products and fed to "organically grown" animals. Your chickens will be 100% healthy, naturally raised, chemical free, nutritionally complete, and hilarious adults. A little prevention won't ruin any of that!

    One of my chicks nearly died from coccidiosis and we've never had chicks before- the sick chick came from a hatchery, and had the disease at 3 days old when I purchased it. I ended up having to dose the whole flock of chicks with Amprolium in the water for three weeks- medicated feed wasn't the half of it! And I am a dedicated organic gardener, and buy almost exclusively local and organic foods. You just have to draw the line where it makes the most sense.

    -MTchick
     
  5. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Coccidiosis vaccinations are in compliance with the NOP/USDA organic standards.

    So you can get your birds vaccinated. Just don't feed the medicated starter feed if you do get them vaccinated.
     
  6. arwmommy

    arwmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are getting bantams, which they refuse to vaccinate before shipment. I wish we could just vaccinate and go with that, but that is not an option! [​IMG]
     
  7. girlsnboys

    girlsnboys Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2007
    Whidbey Island, WA
    I did not use medicated feed 3 yrs ago nor for this current batch of chics. When I had done research originally, the consensus was for small flocks raised in clean conditions it wasn't necessary. The suggestions also were that the chicks needed to be exposed to the droppings and "dirt" to some degree so they could build up their own resistance. I cleaned the brooders regularly, always had clean water available and kept droppings out of food. A little organic kefir was added to some mash every day or two. I don't use any chemicals on my property outside, grow all veggies using organic methods and feed the chicks and hens organic feed. Everyone is happy, healthy and until there is a problem, no medication will be given. Good luck and do what you feel comfortable with.
     
  8. jkm

    jkm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got got my girls from the feed store, the first bag of feed was medicated, the second not, I will get the cleanest feed for laying I can find, it would have been painful to raise them for a week or two then lose them.

    my two cents worth
    cheers
     
  9. Crunchie

    Crunchie Brook Valley Farm

    Mar 1, 2007
    Maryland
    I too use organic feed (and I grew up in MD...go figure... [​IMG] hahaha). Actually, we do everything organically around here, and it is very important to us. I'm not using medicated feed for my new little guys (but I realize that that is a chance that I chose to take.) That said, I do agree with a previous poster who said not to get too caught up w/labels. There's more to "organic" than a certification. If you do decide to use medicated feed for a few weeks, I wouldn't beat myself up that I'd "sold out" my organic ideals....kwim?? You know you're going to feed them organic feed and do things as clean as possible. You know your eggs are going to be organic and that your birds are going to grow up with little or no chemicals in their bodies. That's what's important.

    BTW, I spent a month in the Santa Ynez Valley. Beautiful! It's like a whole 'nother planet out there. I loved it. Yes, So. Cal is light years ahead of us out here on the east coast when it comes to organic and what not...but there are a few of us "crunchy"-minded folks out here! [​IMG]
     
  10. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Talked to my contact who uses powdered milk as a coccidiostat. She said to mix about 50/50 with the feed. She hasn't had any cocci since using it. The milk also adds a little extra protein.
     

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