Question about medicated feed


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 19, 2011
I just got 2 pullets that are about 10 weeks old from a breeder who had them on medicated starter feed. Should I continue to give them the medicated, or should I give them regular starter?
The last group of 4 chickens that are almost a year now that I got as chicks ended up with cocci when they were about 3 months old, it happened when I moved them from brooder to outside, I lost one and 3 ended up spending 2 nights with my vet. They have been great now and are on layer pellets. I never want to go through the sickness thing that bad again. What do you think?


8 Years
Jun 21, 2011
Waldo County, Maine
If you've got cocci in your soil, I'd go with keeping up the medicated feed for a while longer. You don't say what breed your new birds are, but it's not likely they'll be laying before 20 weeks or so. You could start to taper off the medicated feed a little before then or, if they start up laying while still on the medicated feed, switch off immediately to a regular layer feed and simply don't eat the first two weeks or more of eggs.


8 Years
Aug 6, 2011
Pacific North West
A lot of folks here on the BYC believe including me that there is nothing wrong with medicated chick starter. Its the same food as flock raiser with a little medication in it to help the kids along. Then when the kids become 20 to 24 weeks I am going to mix the remainder with layer feed and ween the girls off the medicated totally. As a added feed I will be offering the calcium that is not in the medicated by crushed oyster shells and using a coffee grinder each day and throwing on top of the food and offer it in a dish to them to help with the calcium they will need to have productive eggs. Each person does it a bit differently but that is my take. Some stop with medicated at 12 weeks and begin flock raiser but I say why switch at all until eggs are being produced. Good luck every post on this thread will vary just a bit.


Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
South Georgia
In my mind there is no down side to feeding medicated starter, assuming we are talking about amprolium as the medication. When I've had a mixed age flock that included young chicks being raised by a hen, everyone ate medicated starter. You can eat the eggs, even. Of course the hens need a source of extra calcium if you do this. I'd just put out oyster shell separately. I've never seen a chick eat oyster shell, and I never had a problem with weak or thin shells.


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 19, 2011
That is good to know! I wish I had used it on the first birds....I am new to all of this. When my hens started laying I wasn't giving them oyster shells and my eggshells look great, however I just added it in this week to the 8 month old birds..


8 Years
Apr 27, 2011
Kingsville, MD
I am no expert but!
I understand that the medicated feed is a low dose med. It helps the youg birds overcome minor exposure to cocci. If the birds are not exposed to cocci while on the feed nothing happens to encourage the immune system. Birds will live with cocci once they build an immunity/tolerance to it. That is why those birds caught it when moved out doors.
A previous poster suggested adding a handful of grass and soil to the brooder while the chicks are on medicated feed. This will allow an exposure to cocci in limited amounts allowing them to develop antibodies. Similar to allowing your kids to play with someone with chicken pox.
I have not had the oppurtunity to do this. I will do it this spring however. I did take my chicks for strolls while they were fuzzies. No cooci issuse(fingers crossed)
Good luck to you


9 Years
Sep 27, 2010
ok, here is my poster said he was going to grind up oyster need to do this, just offer it in a different feeder (a butter bowl nailed to the wall of the coop works great) on the side, they will eat it when they need doesn't need to be fed to them.

Leave them on starter till they reach POL...each hen is different. I left ALL of mine on starter till they ALL started to lay with the oyster shell and crushed egg shell on the side. When they all started laying, THEN I switched them to Layer feed....I continue the oyster shell on the side as well...they still eat it, just not as much.

I have read several times on this forum, the medicated starter is can eat the eggs...but if you feel better, you can toss those...seems a shame, to waste them...but if you sleep better...go for it. Do they offer unmedicated starter where you live? If so, switch to that...flock raiser isn't balanced enough to give to younger chicks, the starter is balanced and should be fed till they reach POL.

Just MY opinion and what I do and I have very healthy, laying hens.

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