When is Medicated/Non Necessary?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by aghiowa, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. aghiowa

    aghiowa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all. I have a small backyard flock - 5 hens. I bought fertile eggs to put under my broody, and they hatched last Friday. So far I've had them on non-medicated starter crumbles, but they've eaten through the small bag I bought. I need to get more feed, but the most cost-effective is the large bags of medicated. The non-medicated is only available in small, expensive bags. I've heard conflicting advice about medicated vs. non.... My hens I got from a local breeder who vaccinated them, but my chicks have not been. And, if I DO get the medicated, Mama hen will be eating it too. Is that bad?

    Advice? Suggestions?

    Thanks!
    Angela
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I'm feeding my broody raised chicks a non-medicated feed, that's a flockraiser type feed so that all the birds can eat it - from my tiny chicks all the way up to my extra large roo. Perhaps something like that is available in 50# bags where you are?

    If not, your chicks could eat medicated, as could your broody since a broody is generally not laying eggs.

    Vaccinations have nothing to do with whether a chick needs medicated feed or not, with the exception of the coccidiosis vaccine.

    If I was raising chick in the brooder instead of being with the broody hen, I would feed them a medicated for two reasons. #1. We have wet humid conditions ideal for the harboring of coccidia. #2. They wouldn't be getting exposed gradually through their mother's droppings.
     
  3. lavacaw

    lavacaw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I try hard not to feed medicated feed of any kind to any of my animals. I think it is akin to taking antibiotics when you don't need them - you build up resistant organisms. Besides, I don't know how much of what I feed my animals comes back in eggs and carcasses.
     
  4. soap&eggs

    soap&eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i used medicated....i am basically organic but i can not afford the price of organic feeds...hmmm did that make sense ??? i buy homestead med for chicks...the grains used may or maynot be organic..or laced with chemicals..but for cocci i was told from feed store owner..organeo ..is used to prevent the cocci...is a natural medicated feed but not organic....broody hens also eat this with babies. no harm ..i truely believe conditions chickens live in, regardless how people claim they raise theirs makes a big difference in deiases.
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    The most common medication found in medicated chick feed (amprolium) is not an antibiotic, but a coccidistat. It keeps the level of coccidia in the chicks intestinal system in check, giving the chicks immune system time to build up an immunity to it.
    Left unchecked, coccidia can kill a young chick very quickly.
     
  6. FMAFarms

    FMAFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Went to three feed stores today to get more details about this. We cancelled our chicks' coxi vaccines because our two local feed stores and TSC all carry the medicated starter in much greater supply than the non-medicated. In fact, only one of these -- a local feed store -- carries unmedicated. The owner told me that, "Honestly, it's better to get the medicated because if one chick gets coxi, you'll end up having to replace the whole flock." He mentioned that if chicks are vaccinated against coxi and eat medicated feed, the two counter each other and the chick could develop coxi.

    Medicated feed is only needed for the first 8 weeks, then you can switch to a non-medicated feed. If you aren't getting your chicks vaccinated, then I recommend the medicated chick starter. BUT! Don't feed Mama Hen the same as what you're feeding the babies. Chicks have different nutritional needs than laying hens, and they may not get what nutrients and proteins they need from a laying hen's food; and vice versa, a laying hen will need the nutrients to lay good eggs. I'm also concerned about feeding a vaccinated hen medicated food would make her sick. Best for her to stick to a laying hen's rations and give your chicks their own medicated food.
     
  7. aghiowa

    aghiowa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    But Mama hen isn't a laying hen now. How soon after hatching a brood will she lay? And how in the world do I keep Mama from eating what the chicks eat - they're always together. I'd imagine after brooding for 3 weeks, plus taking care of her babies for a few more weeks, Mama could use extra protein to build up body mass she's lost. Starter feed has more protein than layer feed. I do know to not feed layer feed to chicks, as the extra calcium isn't good for them.

    I don't know about the medicated food cancelling out vaccinations...will have to check into that.

    Still confused...[​IMG]

    Angela
     
  8. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

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    I feed my chicks medicated chick starter until they are about 14-16 weeks old sometimes sooner depending on the growth of the breed of chick. This is reassuring because I haven't ever lost a chick or a bird for that matter from being sick.

    -Nate
     
  9. FMAFarms

    FMAFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmmmmmm. If you have Mama raising the chicks (good for you!) then here's a suggestion. How about the non-medicated starter feed for all (I'm not sure if the extra protein will hurt the hen) but, in a chick feeder, offer medicated chick crumbles? I know that TSC sells that. So others have to sell it, too, right?
     
  10. aghiowa

    aghiowa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At our local Theisens (farm supply store) we have 10 lb. bags of non-medicated, and 50 lb. bags of medicated. Per ounce, the medicated is cheaper, and more convenient than buying a bunch of little bags.

    Angela
     

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