transition from medicated starter feed to non medicated

aldarita

Songster
7 Years
Aug 2, 2012
626
189
191
Brenham TX
I have 6 pullets that are one month old, I always give medicated starter feed to my chicks (this is the third time growing chicks) but this time I plan to let them out into the yard when they turn 7 weeks old. I live in south Texas and there is always a lot of dew in the mornings and the ground stays very wet for most part of the morning so I am very sure there is coccidia everywhere. I know my chicks don't have any immunity right now because of the medicated feed I have been giving them. I would like to know if I should continue to give them medicated feed when they get moved to their coop and let out in the yard or switch them to non medicated feed and let them develop some immunity, on the other hand I am afraid they my get coccidiosis if I expose them right away. Any ideas will be appreciated.
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
523
448
South Georgia
I would definitely stay with medicated, which is intended to control cocci numbers, not wipe them out, so the chicks can develop immunity from lower exposure without getting sick. At least, that's the theory as I understand it.
 

aldarita

Songster
7 Years
Aug 2, 2012
626
189
191
Brenham TX
Thanks Judy, I appreciate the input, it does make sense to me so as long as they can develop immunity even while taking the medicated feed, I will continue to give it to them. In my area there is not grower feed available so I will have to continue to give them the starter feed until they turn 18 weeks, do you think I should give them the medicated one until then or switch them to non medicated sometime before 18 weeks? I have been giving them yogurt too, hopefully that will help to perp up their immune system.
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
523
448
South Georgia
Where I live, they sell medicated "starter/grower." I feed it to the whole flock til most of the youngest ones have started laying, for the broody raised chicks. I'm no chicken nutrition expert, but I think the main difference between the standard starter/grower/layer formulas is the calcium, and of course the smaller pieces for the chicks.
 

gunnysmom611

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 22, 2014
43
3
24
louisville, ky
Ok so I'm i understanding correctly that if i start my chicks out on medicated feed i will always have to feed medicated or just until they go on the layer formula?
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
523
448
South Georgia
No, you won't always have to feed medicated feed. You could even change from medicated to nonmedicated while they are small chicks, if you wanted to for some reason.

Chickens build immunity to cocci, which are in soil, gradually and from first exposure. What medicated feed does is to inhibit the uptake of thamine in the cocci, making them less pathogenic. Adult birds generally have good immunity, but can still get sick from cocci due to an overload of cocci, or exposure to a different strain of cocci, as when they are moved from one property to another. Chicks fed only nonmedicated feed may never get sick from cocci, and chicks fed medicated feed may get sick from them, anyway, and require treatment. But this is really oversimplifying a complex subject -- one which I hope you never have to deal with.
 

JessicaThistle

Songster
5 Years
Mar 27, 2014
915
183
196
Oregon
I read on another thread here that if you expose your chicks to the dirt outside for several weeks while still feeding the medicated food, that does the job of helping them build their immunity and lower their risk of getting sick.

I started my chicks with medicated food and started taking them outside for an hour or so for playtime when they were 3 weeks old. The bag ran out and I switched them to non-medicated and they are thriving, happy, healthy 7 week old chicks now. They have also been living in their coop for two weeks as well with no issues.

I'm no expert. This is my first flock but this site is a wealth of information. I just type any question that I have in the search bar and multiple threads to help me pop up.
 

JessicaThistle

Songster
5 Years
Mar 27, 2014
915
183
196
Oregon
I am beginning to feel like maybe i should just go with the non medicated....I'm on the fence.
Have your chicks been outside yet? From the post I read previously, which I'm not sure I could find now, it said that if you have un-vaccinated chicks to keep them on the medicated food until they have gone outside for a couple of weeks. After that you are safe to take them off of the medicated and go straight to non-medicated.

Apparently the medicated isn't helping the chicks until they are actually exposed to what the medicated food is treating them for. Therefore, if you haven't taken them outside, they have not been exposed and they may not be safe with un-medicated food.

I took my chicks outside multiple times a week and moved them to the coop, also letting them out to a penned area to semi-free range daily while still on medicated food. Now that bag has run out, I switched them to non-medicated as I believe they are fully exposed to the buggies the medication is treating.

Again, I am not an expert, just quoting what I read from an experienced post here on BYC. I followed the advice and my chicks are turning 7 weeks tomorrow and seem happy and healthy. I am very happy with the results as my chicks are doing so well.

Maybe type into the search bar above Medicated versus nonmedicated and read the debates. It may help you.
 

gunnysmom611

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 22, 2014
43
3
24
louisville, ky
They havent arrived yet im just deciding what food to purchase because they are going to be here in like 16 days. I did have they vaccinated for mareks, so thats why im tryin to make an informed decision before i go buy something they may not need or wont help....i plan on taking them outside as soon as they are old enough so they can be exposed to whatever they need to be
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom