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switchng feeds?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by newfmadible, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. newfmadible

    newfmadible Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 4, 2008
    North central Ohio
    My chicks are a week old and doing great. I got 22 assorted breeds from Meyer hatchery and have not lost one. Other than 3 cases of pasty butt the first day, they all seem to be thriving and growing. I am feeding the Dumor 20% chick starter from TSC. I assumed all chick starter other than organic would be medicated but after doing some reading and checking the bag I have, I realize that is not the case. My chicks will eventually be free ranging in our yard and our sheep pastures. I know coccidiosis can be a big problem and want to prevent it if possible. Should I switch to the medicated feed if I can find it? Is it too late to switch? If I do make a change should it be gradual? Should I leave well enough alone and keep feeding the non-medicated feed? Help! I am not so concerned for the chance of coccidiosis now as I am worried about it when they are exposed to the yard and sheep pastures.
     
  2. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    You may decide to switch to medicated if you want, and it should not be a problem. I would mix them together for a couple of days first.

    With my 2- to 5-week-old chicks I am using unmedicated feed and:

    * providing cultured yogurt in a cup mixed with a bit of feed periodically
    * adding very small amounts of soil from the adult hens' run to brooder boxes
    * carefully monitoring chick droppings on a daily basis
    * cleaning brooder boxes regularly, and changing out shavings once a week (allowing some small amount of droppings to stay in brooder, but not letting them literally stand around in piles of droppings)

    For me the trick is to expose the chicks slowly without allowing an overabundance of coccidia to overwhelm their little systems until they are old enough to handle it. As long as they are healthy and unstressed I hope to ease this transition as much as possible.

    Hope that helps. Please let us know what you decide and how it works out, as it helps add to the body of knowledge here! Good luck!
     
  3. newfmadible

    newfmadible Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 4, 2008
    North central Ohio
    Thanks for the response. I have not given them anything other than their chick starter but was thinking of trying some yogurt with them this week. That is a good idea. I want to give them the best start possible and if switching to medicated feed helps I will do that. I may switch and combine medicated and non for awhile just to be safe. If I feed medicated, would I stop when I switch to the adult layer ration?
     
  4. DiVon80

    DiVon80 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 23, 2009
    Pearl River,Louisiana
    The first bag is medicated(26 standard chicks)all surviving and growing. When I order them I also get the packet of "gro-gel"(this helps hydrate them and is full of benifical bacteria-like yogert)they love it! Its enough to do 100 chicks. I give them a teaspoon a couple of times daily for the first week. Then the next bag, I'll go to the non medicated. I feed purina. I figure the stress from shipping will bring on something if they have it. Also we just never know what the hatcheries have... So for everyones safety the first bag is medicated.[​IMG]
     
  5. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    I would not keep on mixing medicated and unmedicated feeds; this would only be for the "transition" to the med feed. The medicated feed will contain Amprolium, which is a thiamine blocker. It prevents coccidia (protozoa in the soil) from absorbing the B vitamin they need to survive. Mixing the feeds might dilute the effect of the medication . . . and possibly make your local coccidia immune to its effects.

    Good luck!
     

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