Probiotics for chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by kikirikiki220, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. Yes

    1 vote(s)
  2. No

    0 vote(s)
  1. kikirikiki220

    kikirikiki220 Hatching

    Apr 21, 2018
    Getting my first chicks this weekend. I'm a little concerned though because I will like to avoid medicated chick feed. I'm not sure how to proceed. Looked into apple cider vinegar. And I found this site Does anyone have experience with it?

    Any help would be appreciated. I'm getting a little nervous about it. This is my first post so I hope I have not made a mistake. If I have I apologize.

    Ridgerunner likes this.
  2. Welcome!
    Being nervous is good, it means you care :) I have never fed medicated feed. I use apple cider vinegar in every other watering and once or twice a week I mix plain yoghurt and pureed home grown garden greens, a clove of garlic, (and sometimes other things, like herbs, or a cooked egg,)
    I mix some or all of that up with their feed. They love it.
    And if a new chick seems weak I give it more often and add honey and molasses, just a bit, and the egg for sure.
    Hope your chicken endeavor goes well.
    kikirikiki220 likes this.
  3. kikirikiki220

    kikirikiki220 Hatching

    Apr 21, 2018
    Oh Thank You! I thought I was the only nightowl here. I am becoming tangled and I do apologize if my question is naive. I was told to avoid dairy until the hens are several weeks old. Is that a misnomer? I think my grandson will enjoy learning about hens, such curious and galant creatures!! I myself will as well, I guess an old hen can learn new tricks. Thank you once again.
    Little Jerry Seinfeld likes this.
  4. I've heard alot of mixed opinions about dairy, but I've never had an issue with it...I'm kinda relearning about things too, i haven't had chickens for years, before that we had chickens most of my life and we always fed them yogurt... now that I've had chickens again this past year I sure have learned alot. It's great fun :) you guys are going to have so mich fun with them! this site is great for asking questions on, and many great articles.
    kikirikiki220 likes this.
  5. igorsMistress

    igorsMistress Crossing the Road Barefoot

    Apr 9, 2013
    Phoenix AZ
    My Coop
    You don't need medicated feed or acv in their water. You can give them a divot of grass and dirt from your yard, take them outside, etc and they'll build their immunity naturally.
  6. I definitely agree with the grass and dirt from outside, and putting the chicks out side as soon as you can. I have a set of silkie chicks right now that I take out to our orchard and let play for a while, then back in for the night. All my other chicks I bring them lots of stuff. Variety as much as possible.
    kikirikiki220 and igorsMistress like this.
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Hi, Barb, welcome to the forum. Glad you joined us.

    One problem you will find is that too many things work. We all have our opinions and ways that we do things. It is not a case where one way is right and everything else is wring, but more of there are so many things that work that it gets confusing knowing what to do. Some people will come across as if you don't do things their way you don't love your chicks and am abusing them, yet someone else does it totally differently and it still works great. Another factor is that we all raise chickens differently: different goals, set-ups and facilities, climate, flock make-up, management techniques, and so many other things. There is a lot of difference in someone keeping four hens in a small suburban back yard versus someone rural free ranging a lot of chickens with roosters hens, and chicks. It is usually quite difficult to do but maybe try to determine if the person answering your question has anything in common with the way you do things.

    Reading between the lines I think we may be quite a bit different. I'm rural and raise dual purpose chickens for meat and eggs plus play with genetics. I use broody hens to hatch when I can but also hatch a bunch in my incubator. Still, Ill respond to your question.

    I always suggest you read the label to see what the medicine actually is. In the USA it is usually (but not always) Amprolium. I don't know what is available in other countries let alone your area. But if the medicated feed you are talking about is only medicated with Amprolium, then it is not an antibiotic. It is a thiamine blocker that interferes with the reproduction of a specific protozoa that can causes Coccidiosis. It does not do anything else and may not be as bad as you think. Medicated feed does not give them immunity to Coccidiosis, it just inhibits that bugs reproduction if it is even present to start with. Still, I do not use medicated feed.

    Some people use all sorts of things in water, either just for chicks when they first receive them or just forever. Some people use vinegar, you can get packets at the feed store or from certain hatcheries to add to the water (read and follow instructions carefully), some people like to add sugar to the first water new chicks drink. If you add sugar only give that the first day and clean the waterer out so the sugar does not turn sour. I don't do any of that, I just use pure water. I think it is extremely important that any water they have (whether you add anything or not) is kept fresh. I don't think adding any of that stuff to the water hurts them as long as you don't over it and it can help, especially if they are delayed in arrival and are weakened. I's use it as a treatment if I had a specific problem, not as a preventative.

    I think your real question is how to raise healthy chicks. For that I try to strengthen their immune system and mainly depend on that instead of better living through drugs. I expose them to the environment they will be living in as soon as I can. My brooder is in the coop so they are exposed to the adults. I fed them dirt from the run to make sure they start working on any flock immunities they may need. I keep the brooder pretty dry, a wet brooder is a dangerous brooder. The only time I ever treat for a problem is when I have a problem to treat. Other people have totally different philosophies as I'm sure you'll quickly find out by reading on this forum. I'm sure their chickens are healthy too. It's just the way I do it.

    Good luck and welcome to the adventure. It is a fun journey.
  8. Back in the deep dark past of human civilization (say 100 years ago) when science was a respected human endeavor the best baby chick feed was dehydrated buttermilk. For the advise that you was told about chicks and dairy to be valid chickens were a lot different 100 years ago or else milk stopped being milk sometimes after about 1920.
    kikirikiki220 likes this.
  9. kikirikiki220

    kikirikiki220 Hatching

    Apr 21, 2018
    Thank you all for the warm welcome! It is a very engaging and lively group! I never wanted to be a "cat lady" but I do love the idea of having hens. I've slowed down too much to be a proper companion for a dog. It will take me a little bit to get the vocabulary, so pardon me if I can't address specific points you've made. The coop is comming along and will post pictures. Today the delivery man will drop off a device to hatch the chicks. And I should add–I have not made up my mind if I want day old chicks or care for the eggs. Having the eggs can maybe give me a little time to adjust and certainly learn more!

    I am undecisive and deeply enjoy various perspectives so I guess I found myself in a good group.

    After breakfast this morning, my daughter and I walked into a pet food store to ask about the probiotics for chickens. Unfortunately the gentleman couldn't find it, and said it was a new product that may have to be ordered.

    It will take me effort to find my way around this group. I gave up on Facebook. I wish I were a few year younger to make this computer stuff more accessible to seniors. I'll add that to the list! Getting chicks and eventually hens was on my list for four years so I am making my way!

    Thank you all for your lovely welcome.

  10. tinakevin

    tinakevin Songster

    Nov 1, 2015
    New hampahire
    Hi Barb. Welcome to byc. As ridgerunner says everyone does things differently so I’ll tell u what I do. When I get my chicks I give them electrolytes and probiotics for the first week whether they are in the brooder or I have a hen raise them. You can find the probiotics and electrolyte at any tractor supply or feed store. I don’t think a pet store would carry anything for chickens. I don’t feed medicated food. I don’t give them any treats for the first couple of weeks but when their ready for them I’ll give them some chopped up fruits or eggs. Just have fun with them and enjoy them they r funny characters I love to sit outside and watch them.

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