Switch from medicated?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by TeePants, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. TeePants

    TeePants Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The chicks I got are 4 weeks old and were on Purina's medicated chick starter, and that's honestly all you can really get around here. I'd like to wean them off it though and onto a non-medicated chick feed, but I don't want to cause them to get sick if they're relying on the meds in the feed to maintain a resistance to the cocci bacteria.

    Would it be safe to switch them in another month or so to something that's not medicated? I change their bedding daily but they're chickens - they walk in their own poop, and unless I put a grate into their pen they're going to be getting exposed to the bacteria.

    If I do switch, would this one be ok? http://www.countrysideorganics.com/product.php?productid=336&cat=51&page=1

    Thanks
    !
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I think the majority of medicated feed bags I have seen recommend you feed it for at least 6 weeks, so another month or so from now you'd do fine to switch.

    BTW, you actually want them exposed to the droppings. The most common of medications in medicated feed, amprolium, aids in preventing the cocci from overwhelming the chicks system while at the same time it helps to build an immunity to it. However, an immune system has to be exposed to something in order to trigger an immune response.

    When I raise chicks in the brooder, I feed medicated feed but I also get them out on the soil where they'll be exposed to cocci at the earliest age I can safely do so.
     
  3. PetrasRetired

    PetrasRetired Out Of The Brooder

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    Should I transition to non-medicated gradually or switch cold-turkey?
     
  4. SueT

    SueT Chicken Obsessed

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    Are they outside on soil yet? The cocci live in the soil. You might want keep them on the medicated until they've been out digging in the dirt for a month or two or longer, especially if it's a wet spring.
    And after that, when you do switch, I think it's okay to mix the two feeds so they can get used to the new, but know that diluting the medication will greatly diminish its effectiveness.
    Many people, including me, do not use medicated feeds at all, but there's always a risk of coccidiosis. Introducing soil during the first two weeks is another way to help chicks develop immunity.
    Good luck!
     

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