Switching from medicated starter?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Secretlyspotted, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. Secretlyspotted

    Secretlyspotted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had my babies on medicated starter since they arrived here- day 2 of life- and they are 3.5 weeks old now. All the babies are doing great! They get treats daily, mostly grass and roots from our yard. It is almost time to buy that next feed bag. Should I go ahead and buy regular starter or would they still benefit from the protection from coccidoisis? (BTW- I have no idea if I spelled that right!) They are getting water with ACV added and they have access to grit.
     
  2. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would keep them on the medicated feed.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Coccidiosis can differ in strain (8 or 9) and can flare when you least expect it. Often, the most vulnerable moment is when they are put on dirt in their Grow-Out environment.

    Medicated feed is typically just a small dose of the thiamine blocker Corid/amprollium. It isn't a medication as much as a mere blocker. It does not prevent all coccidiosis, it merely provides a low level protection in hopes that when the chick contact the coccidiosis it will not overwhelm their system. Eventually, the maturing bird grows stronger in resistance and can handle the exposure.

    In some places in the US, the outbreaks are so sudden, so intense and virulent and an entire crop of juveniles can be wiped out in frightening speed. Keep your brooder clean. Do your best.

    I've actually gotten to the place that I do not find the medicated feed to be helpful. I choose instead to prevent with a small dose in the water and then, when putting chicks on the ground, the dose is higher for the first few weeks. There's no one single right way to deal with coccidiosis, but there are effective tools.
     
  4. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes,i too always have Amprolium on hand,"just in case" and medicate at the first sign that something might be wrong,never wait. I have always used medicated feed,but i am also very knowledgeable regarding cocci and know what to look for.

    Or you can use the preventative dose as Fred's Hens recommended. I agree with the higher dose when putting chicks on the ground,in fact i too give amprolium in water for a couple of weeks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  5. Secretlyspotted

    Secretlyspotted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great information! I actually do have Corid on hand. And they are probably going to go to a grow out pen- at least part of the day- as early as this weekend. But that pen is isn't on the ground- it is a trailer. I have been pulling up dirt to feed to them to try to get them used to the germs in the environment in small exposures.
    Heck, I will probably do both- keep them on medicated feed and put a little Corid in the water. Unless there is a disadvantage to that plan? Is it okay to have my layers on medicated starter for the transition to the yard? They don't eat layer crumbles, they are on grower anyway cause I don't want their systems overwhelmed by calcium. Oyster shells provided, of course.
    Agh! Chickens are much more complicated than I thought they would be! But so much for fun too....
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The dosage of Amprolium in the medicated feed is a preventative. It helps prevent a problem but does not necessarily totally prevent it. It interferes with the Coccidiosis bug reproducing but doesn’t stop all reproduction. A small amount of the Coccidiosis bug isn’t a real problem, I consider it good so they can work on immunity. The problem is when those numbers get out of hand. They can still get sick and die, even with medicated feed. Some strains are stronger than others and wet conditions are more dangerous that dry.

    The dosage of Amproium in Corid is a treatment. It’s pretty strong. Don't do Corid and medicated feed both unless they get sick. It messes up them getting immunity.

    If chickens are exposed to the Coccidiosis bug for about three weeks they normally develop an immunity to it. That’s why the dosage in medicated feed allows some reproduction but tries to keep it under control. That bug thrives in wet warm conditions. That’s why a wet brooder is dangerous. That immunity is strain specific. If they are immune to one strain it does not mean they are immune to all strains.

    If you have been feeding them those roots with dirt attached pretty regularly for three weeks, they probably already have the immunity, but it would not be a bad idea to feed that medicated feed for another three weeks after they hit the ground.

    Fred, I finally went to look it up. I couldn’t remember the right number of strains. Here’s what I found.

    There are seven strains of coccidia which may infect chickens. These are Eimeria acervulina, Eimeria brunetti, Eimeria mitis, Eimeria necatrix, Eimeria praecox, Eimeria tenella and Eimeria maxima.
     
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member


    Old age. I used to know stuff.

    Thanks, good friend.
     
  8. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Actually the latest report i have from Alberta,Canada is that there are now 11 strains,the list keeps growing.
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    That's not a surprise. Things on the internet usually don't come with a date. Do you have a link?

    I'll probably just keep saying several and omit using numbers.
     
  10. Secretlyspotted

    Secretlyspotted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That makes sense. I am kinda paranoid about coccidiosis. I lost my favorite pullet a few months ago and I think that's what we were dealing with. Maybe not, but I would much rather be safe than sorry. To your knowledge, does this parasite occur naturally in all dirt? Or if the dirt has never had chickens on it- would it be free? Do those questions even make sense?! LOL.
     

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