Preventative Health Care via Feed?

heartwork city

In the Brooder
May 12, 2015
Central Coast, CA
Hi everyone!
I'm new here. And I have questions about my flock. I have (6) 3 week old chicks. I'm learning all I can as we go. And my current question has to do with antibiotics in food and apple cider vinegar. Do such things (antibios and apple cider vinegar in their water) help prevent disease? Please help me understand. Should I start that now? How much a.c.v.and what type of feed (is it made with antibiotics)? Thank you so much for your time & help! --Denise
I put 5mls ACV in 1 litre of water i use the water to make mash pellets and for drinking. One of my girls has got sick for the first time, so they are both now drinking the above with a shot if multi vit for chickens in aswell. My aim is to be preventative from now on. I have ready a dollop of bio yoghurt is good to aid their bacteria inside
If you want a good preventative feed, I would look into fermented feed. It is high in probiotics and easy to digest so chickens get more of the nutrients. It is made from your regular chicken feed, but very little to none is wasted so saves money. Made 1 part feed to 1 part water, some add ACV with mother to jump start the fermentation process. Let soak for about four days for first time use.

Pros: less wasted feed, high probiotics, higher nutrient absorption, less stinky poop, made from your regular feed.

Cons: takes 5-10 mins longer to feed
Medicated feed does not have antibiotics in it. It helps prevent the development of coccidia, an intestinal parasite. It will not keep you chicks from getting coccidiosis, but it will help minimize the risk and help them build immunity to it. Chicken feed of any kind does not contain antibiotics.
What diseases are you trying to prevent? Some are genetic/hormone based such as internal laying. There is no preventative, no cure for that, other than buy better than common hatchery stock in the first place. Generally, though, I think of those more as malfunctions of the reproductive system than diseases.

Generally, if you feed to build healthy immune systems by feeding a feed with good protein levels for the age group and function of the birds you have, supplemented by probiotics, maybe turmeric in feed to ward off possible cancer cells (there is some evidence behind that), crushed garlic for its natural antibiotic properties, they'll have all they need. Flax seed and wheat germ oil added in extra goodies can also be healthful.

However, even with all that, some diseases cannot be prevented by nutrition nor cured by it. You need to get stock that is bred well, not just for production. Those will let you down most of the time, unfortunately. I know whereof I speak on that front after losing probably 15 hens to internal laying and/or egg yolk peritonitis (hatchery stock). When I changed up my stock to good quality breeder stock, most of that ceased. Ive had a couple of non-hatchery hens die from their too-large eggs becoming an issue, but that's an entirely different issue.
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