Unmedicated starter/grower

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by montana girl, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. montana girl

    montana girl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My husband bought a 50 pound bag of unmedicated chick starter for my chicks. We have already begun to use it so there is no taking it back.

    Now I am worried about Cocci.

    Is there anything specific I should do?

    Do any of you feed unmedicated and if so why?

    I have read that vinegar in the water is preventive?

    When do I have to worry about cocci? When I introduce them to the rest of the flock?

    Thanks so much for your help

    Darlene
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Is there anything specific I should do?

    Medicated starter will not prevent Cocci. It will help prevent Cocci problems. Cocci is a bacteria that is everywhere. Chicks actually need to ingest some to develop an immunity. I read on either the Texas A&M or NC State websites (can't remember which. Old age) that chicks raised on wire the first week will not develop the immunity to cocci they need. They need some exposure. What causes the Cocci problems is not exposure to Cocci. It is exposure to too much Cocci where it gets too concentrated in their system. The best defense against Cocci is to keep their brooder clean. You can clean the brooder twice a day and they will get enough Cocci from their droppings to develop immunity. All the medicated feed does is add insurance against the brooder getting too dirty. That is not an excuse to have a dirty brooder. They can still get Cocci or develop other problems, even on medicated feed, if the brooder is allowed to get dirty.

    I have read that vinegar in the water is preventive?

    I believe so but I have no experience with it.

    When do I have to worry about cocci? When I introduce them to the rest of the flock?

    You don't worry about Cocci, you prepare and prevent it. They are exposed to it from day 1. You just keep the brooder clean.
     
  3. Kelly G

    Kelly G It's like herding cats!

    I accidentally bought an unmedicated bag, too. I just put it into a sealed bin, and will use it once the chicks are about 8-10 weeks old, and went and purchased the medicated bag of feed.

    I think you can do okay with non-medicated feed, but you MUST be on top of hygeine (sp?). That means frequent bedding changes, bleaching waterers & feeders daily, etc. Things MUST be kept super clean.

    You will get a lot of input here...you'll just have to sift through it and see what works best for you. There's no ONE right way to do things...there's what's best for you [​IMG]
     
  4. debakadeb

    debakadeb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use unmedicated feed all the time. I have some electolytes and vitamins that I purchased from the farm store that I give them the first few days or so.
     
  5. TheNewMrsEvans

    TheNewMrsEvans Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I really think the mediated feed is unnecessary for a small flock. The big producers don't keep the area clean and they pack in the chicks. Run the waterer & feeder through the dishwasher regularly, and keep the bedding dry. Don't let them get chilled. No worries!
     
  6. montana girl

    montana girl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for your helpful replies! I run a clean brooder anyway so I am not worried anymore : )[​IMG]
     
  7. cgmccary

    cgmccary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I ONLY use UNMEDICATED feed. I like to give my chicks a high protein feed that is only available as unmedicated. I also give them vitamin supplements in their water the first week and about once a week thereafter.

    The medicated feed is not really "medicated" in the sense we normally use the term. The "medicine" is usually the anticoccidial, amprolium, which works against cocci by vitamin deficiency (which wouldn't work anyway if you are giving vitamin supplements). The amprolium specifically blocks the uptake of the nutrient, thiamine, depriving the cocci (and the chicks) of this vital nutrient. This vitamin deficiency robs the cocci from having a chance to reproduce and allows the chick time to develop its own immune system against the cocci. Incidentally, chicks raised outdoors with mama hen, in the run, with all the "dirty" there do not need any medicated feed. For the first few days, they "inherit" immunity from their mother who laid the egg & being in the run, they develop very strong immune systems quickly.

    As Ridgerunner points out, good management practices is the best way to prevent coccidiosis:
    Ridderunner:
    he best defense against Cocci is to keep their brooder clean. You can clean the brooder twice a day and they will get enough Cocci from their droppings to develop immunity.

    I would add to make sure they have fresh, clean water.​
     

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