10 Years
Mar 14, 2009
Ridgefield, WA
So I'm new. I have learned so much from you all about raising chickens. I got 7 chicks from 2 different feed stores when they where about 1 week old. They are now almost 4 weeks old. All appear healthy & happy & growing like weeds.
I have been reading stuff on this forum about sicknesses & vaccinations & medicated feed. Am I neglecting something? Do I need to either vaccinate or use medicated feed? And when? Or did they get vaccinated at the hatchery?
Where do they get these illness from? I don't want my babies getting sick.
Sorry, I know that this is a lot of questions but I am starting to be concerned that I am missing a step in the raising chicks process.


13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
northeast of Dallas
Read everything in the Learning Center - it covers almost everything. (link at the top of every forum page also)
I'm pretty new to this so I don't have a lot of answers, but I'll try. Vaccinations - doesn't automatically happen, if you get them from a hatchery you have to pay a little extra. If you got them from a feed store you just have to ask the feed store whether they buy vaccinated chicks or not. I think the only vaccine you get at day one is for Marek's, some others may come later. Actually most places I've done research say vaccines aren't generally necessary for small backyard flocks, only for factory farms or really crowded flocks. I know a lot of people do go ahead and get the Marek's vaccine because it's pretty cheap and it's an incurable viral disease (though I think it doesn't actually prevent it, just prevents some of the more troublesome symptoms).
Medicated feed - this is to prevent coccidia, an intestinal parasite. This is somewhat hotly debated. One side says you need it to make sure they are semi-protected because they will almost certainly be exposed to it (the 'eggs' are present in the dirt virtually everywhere) and will develop immunity as long as they survive the initial infection. The other side says as long as you keep their litter clean & dry they won't be exposed to an overwhelming amount of it. Personally I chose not to use the medicated feed, my guys are fine at 4 wks but I can't guarantee they'll be unaffected later on...

Research the learning center, and there are several other online resources (google chickens), you'll learn a lot there!

edited for typo...
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12 Years
May 24, 2007
These are both personal decisions that you will need to make after weighing the pros and cons of both sides.

I have never given any vaccines to any of my chickens and I've never lost one. That's only two years of experience talking here though.

I can only get the medicated feed around me so that's what my chicks get until they are old enough to move up to the straight grower or layer, whichever I chose to do that particular year.

Good luck and have tons of fun!

B. Saffles Farms

Mr. Yappy Chickenizer
11 Years
Nov 23, 2008
Madisonville, TN
I dont vacinate mine, and never had any trouble with them. I dont use medicated feed either. Its just a personal choice, and Ive always done fine without doing either so I dont want to change, now.

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