To Medicate or Not to Medicate?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Jhuff8181, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. Jhuff8181

    Jhuff8181 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 3, 2008
    One of my reasons for raising my own chickens is to have chemical fee eggs. Now I read this on this site:

    Chicks start out with food called "crumbles". It is specially formulated for their dietary needs; it comes both medicated or not. We know people that use either kind. If you don't use medicated feed, you run the risk that Coccidiosis will infect and wipe out as much as 90% of your chicks. If you choose non-medicated feed, pay more attention to cleanliness.

    Do you medicate your chicks? If so, why? If not, why?

  2. paddock36

    paddock36 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 24, 2008
    Ocala, Florida
    I have used used the medicated food every time I have had chicks. The first time I had to go buy some extra medication to put in their water because they got sick from something. I lost one but saved the rest. Now they are grown and I have new chicks and yes they get medicated food.[​IMG] Until they get older of course. Hope that helps.
  3. Eastins Eggs

    Eastins Eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    Ceresco Nebraska
    I use medicated feed for the first 4 weeks. We have older chickens and have cases of Coccidiosis before. This gives the new chickens a little immunity before we put them out on pasture. Coccidiosis is present in any out door environment. It is spread in the wild by just about any animal. Here is a good link
  4. DaveMN

    DaveMN Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 30, 2008
    Moose Lake, Mn
    it is not medication such as an antibiotic, it is to prevent coccidosis which is caused by a tiny parasite (if i remember correctly) and what it does is keep them in check until the chick is able to resist them and build natural immunity.
  5. mylilchix

    mylilchix Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use medicated fed, and at about 15 weeks I'll switch them off so they can get the meds out of their system before they start to lay. Although things are sanitary here, I like the comfort of knowing that I'm attempting to prevent cocci. I vaccinate, so it's my piece of mind. I also put Avia Charge 2000 in their water.

  6. Indiana hens

    Indiana hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2008
    Pendleton, Indiana
    The meds for treatment of Coccidiosis is expensive and inconvenient to acquire. My understanding is an overdose could destroy their kidneys. I did not ever have any trouble with it until last year. Medicated feed is my suggestion for chicks for 3 weeks
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Not medicated, no vaccines. Same reason as you. All my chicks did wonderfully on laying mash from day one and have not ailed since. When it comes down to it, either their immune system will fight off illness, or it will not. I give ACV in their water as an immune system boost and let nature takes its course.

    I also free range, have lots of ventilation in the coop, put the chicks outside in a brooder after 1 wk. and free ranged them at 3 wks with the rest of the flock.

    I also won't feed any feed with animal proteins in the ingredients. I don't need ground up parts of other dead animals in my chicken's feed.

    Feeding medicated feeds and giving the vaccines does not insure that your chicks will not get sick. Most of the threads I've read about pasty butts and dead chicks are from folks who fed medicated chick starter and gave vaccines, vitamins in the water, extra antibiotics at the first sign of illness, etc. because that is what they were told to do. Their chicks got sick and some died anyway.

    My thinking is this, if they have a chance of getting ill and dying even with the meds and medicated feed, why not just do without? Build a strong flock from the beginning and let nature weed out the weak ones. Provide warmth, sunshine, good feed, fresh water and let God sort 'em out! [​IMG]
  8. CA Bean

    CA Bean Chillin' With My Peeps

    True, you definitely can still have cocci with Medicated feed. We did. Ours though was just an thiamine blocker not actual antibiiotics in it. This time around we are feeding non medicated but we still got cocci too so ? So with it or not you can still get cocci. I caught it way before they showed terribly bloody stool.
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Some areas are worse than others for cocci. Cocci is a protozoa that is present everywhere. IF you get a medicated feed with amprolium in it, it is a thamine blocker and just prevents the cocci from reproducing in the gut.

    Regardless, expose chicks early to the soil so they have something to build up an immunity against.

    I myself feed medicated feed, as our damp PNW = cocci heaven.
  10. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've gone back and forth back and forth and I've settled on this...

    Coccidia is horrible... so I want to avoid it at all costs and medicated feeds have been used forEVER it seems so I know it's perfectly ok.

    I feed medicated for 4-6 weeks depending on when I run out of what I've got. I found some with a higher protein of 18% which is easily accessible and smells good.. (coop medicated chick starter smelled awful [​IMG] )

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