8 Years
Apr 26, 2012
Boise, Idaho
Hi folks,
looking for any experience with probiotics and ACV. my 6 week old chicks have been on durmycin-10 880mg dose in their h20 for 7 days treating a respitory infection. I caught it early, all 9 chicks are doing well except one is still a bit punky acting but is eating and drinking and seems to be improving each day. I want to start useing ACV & probiotics in their water asap.
several questions....

#1 What is ACV for or what does it do for the chicks? How much do I give them, and IS IT OK TO GIVE WITH ANTIBIOTIC NOW?

#2 I bought a powdered acidophilus 835mg/equivalent of 1 billion count/tsp and want to start as soon as they are off the durmycin-10, so how much should i add to how much h20? and is it ok to mix with ACV?

#3 also should I supplement with a vitamin supplement also.......... always or only in times of stress, and any suggestions on brands or types?

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ACV = apple cider vinegar. It's ok to give now. Just put it in the water. You want the cloudy stuff, like Bragg's brand, and you can find it in health food stores. They can't overdose. It's great for you, too. It's very cleansing, and helps remove toxins from the body.

Probiotics... before you go spending a lot of money on probiotics, consider buying some plain yogurt and mixing it with their feed. My chickens finished antibiotics after getting bronchitis, and I gave them a few days of yogurt mash. First I ground up some flaxseed, oats, cracked wheat, and chick scratch. Then I mixed it with plain yogurt. (Actually, I made the yogurt, but that's a different story. Plain yogurt, like Mountain High brand, gives you just as many probiotics, for CHEAP.) If you're unsure about the probiotics, just check the labels. I promise you, most people overspend horribly on them, when it's in simple yogurt. And yes, probiotics are fine to mix with ACV. They're fine anytime, but are kind of pointless if you give them at the same time as antibiotics.

Vitamins are always a good idea, but make sure you don't use something with iron. You can also use Polyvisol, which are vitamin drops for human infants, but be sure to get the ones with NO iron. Everything else in there is water-soluble, so the extra metabolizes out in their livers. Put a few drops in the water, and change the water daily. But I wouldn't use them all the time, because their chick scratch should be more than enough nutrition if they aren't stressed.

You can also consider giving them power foods. Spinach, cottage cheese, grapes. They're so young that they might not eat them. But when my chickens got sick, the youngest were less than 2 weeks, and the oldest were almost 1 year. They ALL ate the yogurt mash. I had to make it thick enough that it was chunky in the cup, not runny, though.

Good luck!
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Thanks!!!! found the braggs tonight and gave some to the chicks, and me :)
also found a big bottle of acidophilus for 6 dollars at the health food store should last a while, much cheaper than sav-a-chick or dog probiotics at the feed store. I'm gonna sacrifice some of the braggs to make another bottle in the garage (found recipe on earlier posts from today)......I'll have to try the yogurt mash ( i use nancy's it has the cultures)see if they'll eat it, they seem to eat other treats well kale,spinach,cabbage, carrots, meal worms, gave em a few spagetti noodles tonight just for entertainment purposes ;-) not giving them a whole lot of treats since last sunday when they had bronchial symptoms, just a small bit of something every few days...Thanks for the baby vit without iron advise i'll try that and or compare to a bottle we had for my kids pet rats......i'm thankful 8 seem fully recovered, one still a bit punky but improving...just still shocked and confused as to how they got sick i bought them as day old chicks at the hatchery?? they weren't around my new sex links long enough to contract anything, and they only went outside a few times on really sunny days for a short time fully supervised.....these are my first chickens in 30 years and never on this property?? maybe I brought it home from the feed store? I plan on spraying lysol on my shoes when i come home from the feed store now...just heart broken to think these chicks could be life time carriers of some CRD!
When mine got sick, I had not introduced anyone new for about 6 weeks. Then it tore through the flock! It started with my 6-8wk group, and they were so sick that I just put them out of their misery. We started antibiotics right then. I tried isolating the sick ones in a bathroom at the furthest point in the house, keeping the brand new babies behind a closed door... I even made a rule that anyone who went in the quarantine room had to strip down and shower before visiting the chicks or the laying hens. We had bleach and disinfectant flying everywhere! It still crossed over. Luckily, by the time it hit the babies and the hens, I had a handle on the antibiotics. Well, the last physical symptoms were 3 weeks ago. I can finally eat the eggs again, but egg production is WAY DOWN! I was getting 7-9 eggs a day, from 10 hens. And even though only one hen showed bronchial symptoms before I put them on lockdown and medicated them, one day I only got 2 eggs. My welsummer hasn't laid an egg for 3 weeks, and the one that had the bronchial symptoms hasn't squatted for me at all yet. I've also heard that egg quality is most affected if tiny babies get sick, but I could just not bring myself to cull every single little one on the chance that it might not lay in the future. So now we're playing a game of wait-and-see.

Anyway, while reading about infectious bronchitis, I read that it's the most contagious chicken disease, and can spread on the wind up to 1200 YARDS! I live in the middle of Reno, but the nearest coop is a block away. Another a block after that... and a block after that... There are also wild birds and field mice that get into my yard, since I free-range inside a 6-ft wooden fence. One of my kids could have tracked the virus in on their shoes, to get the babies sick. From the first culling to the last symptoms, it was a 3 week ordeal, for 4 groups of chickens.

But my rule now: I don't share chickens. Every chicken that lives on this property will leave by way of a natural death or the stewpot. I cannot responsibly give one of them to another chicken owner, and take a chance of sharing it. Which is sad, because my silver spangled hamburg chick is a rooster, and I can't keep roos. I've come to accept that any new chickens will probably come down with it, so I'm keeping antibiotics onhand. The survival rate was 100% after figuring out the meds, and I'm not getting eggs for anyone but my family and a few of my daughter's customers, so we'll just have to deal with reality here.
Sorry to hear about your 6-8 week olds, and your whole flock! Out of my 9 birds only three so far have shown symptoms sneezing weezing and beak rubbing, i think we caught it before the crusty eyes and discharge but the punky pullet that used to be the strapping big girl is now the lightest one and still has poofy im not a 100% feeling great look, although everyday she looks better and is eating like gangbusters now! How long did you keep them on the antibiotics? Mine started last sun, haven't heard a sneeze since tue, and except for the one hen, alls well. I treated the whole flock even though 6 had no symptoms at all. Wondering if I should keep going at least till 10 days maybe 14 to be safe, just don't want a relapse or to have them get intestinal problems from too much tetracycline?
The good news: if it's one of many chicken illnesses, they're now immune to having it again. So if you've been a good week without symptoms, you're probablty in the clear. Bronchitis, especially, as an incubation period of just a couple days, and usually runs through a flock within a week. The biggest reason my ordeal took 3 weeks was because it ran through one group, then jumped to the next as that group recovered.

The bad news: assume they all had it. While researching, I read that some don't show symptoms until you're right beside them at night, when nothing else is making noise at all. Then you hear a little raspiness. My welsummer didn't show any symptoms, but she stopped laying, and was giving me 4-5 eggs a week before. And I haven't seen my barred rock on the nest at all since then, and when we had the sick ones, I THOUGHT I heard something from her, but wasn't sure.

I'm sure you're good to take them off of antibiotics. Unless the label says differently. I only kept it in their water for 2 days, and the sickest ones got prescription-strength down their throats. Even the chicken manuals say that they will recover, with a high survival rate. But if the label doesn't say to keep them on, I would take them off so their digestive systems can start recovering.

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