When should I stop feeding my pullets/hens MEDICATED Start-N-Grow?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by CALI CHICK, Oct 21, 2011.


    CALI CHICK Songster

    Apr 27, 2011
    Rio Linda, CA
    Whenever I ask my feed store or a local chicken breeder (or even look at the back of the bag recomendations) how long to feed the Medicated Starter they tell me until the chickens are 4 months old. Wow-they are only 9 weeks old. I

    worry about the de-wormer or antibiotics in the medicated feed contaminating their eggs when they begin laying. Even now, the chickens prefer foraging in the chicken tractor all day...Good for them! At night (in the coop) they have

    medicated starter crumbles as well as seeds/grains/sunflower seeds that I've combined to add to their diet...this is also available all day, but they hardly touch it. They seem healthy, but I'm having concerns about feeding them the medicated stuff

    and even wondering how safe their eggs will be with ANY commercial feed? I can't afford to buy all organic, but is the commercial feed absolutely necessary for healthy chickens?

  2. OvertheHenHouse

    OvertheHenHouse Songster

    Sep 12, 2011
    San Diego
    My pullets aren't laying yet, but my understanding is that you should wait till they start laying before tradng out the medicated chick feed. You're not going to want the first few eggs anyway...
  3. Time-Out

    Time-Out Songster

    Jun 29, 2011
    The Peak District, UK
    From about 8 weeks, I'd have moved them onto the grower's pellets.
  4. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Songster

    Sep 2, 2011
    New Hampshire
    Quote:My feed store person said the same.
  5. partsRheavy

    partsRheavy Songster

    Jul 28, 2011
    You can change them over to NON-medicated Start-n-Grow anytime.

    I am raising 56 chicks (2 batches) . I have insisted on NON-medicated starter from Mail Receipt day until now. The little fuzzies got plain Greek yogurt from my fingers + a tiny amount of vitamin-electrolyte in their water. The Little Munchkins (month-old now) get Greek yogurt occasionally in a dish because they peck too hard. [​IMG]. The yogurt is to promote beneficial gut flora.

    They seem happy though about 6 are slow to feather out.

    To me, medicated ration is only good for industrial poultry operations. Not the backyard flock where we want to select for natural disease resistance and hardiness.

    If you want to be close to Organic, definitely switch them to non-medicated Chick Starter immediately.. They need chick crumbles until week 9 or 10 at least.

    Everyone in my brood is alive thanks to a reinforced cage (vs. raccoons). The feed store peeps laugh when I insist on the Natural non-medicated Chick Starter but I don't want my Poultry to be hauled in front of Congress for performance-enhancing drugs like Barry Bonds and Jose Canseco. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    The "medication" in starter is neither an antibiotic nor de-wormer.

    It is a blocker. It prevents the cocci from overwhelming their developing immune systems. Cocci is such a dreaded disease that blocking it is preferred by many folks. Still, the chicks need exposure to the dirt to kick their own immune systems into high gear. Since you've come this far, you might keep feeding it until your pullets have had a few weeks on the dirt where the cocci might be. After that? They are normally good to go.
  7. JodyJo

    JodyJo Songster

    Sep 27, 2010
    I have never given mine medicated feed...I added a supplement to their water...

    Once they have started walking on around on dirt...you can wean them off of it...they will have built up enough in their immune system...

    I still have mine of grower/starter, with oyster shell on the side...I have a mixed flock of 13 29 week olds, and 3 19 week olds...when the younger ones start to lay, I will switch them all over to Layer feed...its just the way that works for me, too much hassle to try and feed 3 younger ones some place else.

  8. sparrker

    sparrker Songster

    Aug 12, 2011
    Baldwinsville, NY
    So if my chickens,which are 10 weeks old, have had cocci and were all treated, been on dirt for weeks, can they move off the medicated? Can they get cocci again?
  9. JodyJo

    JodyJo Songster

    Sep 27, 2010
    I don't think they can get it again...I am NO expert though...I would think it is safe to change their feed...my thoughts were, I didn't want it in my eggs...(IF that is true or not, didn't want to chance it)
    Maybe someone else with more experience will have different advice.

    CALI CHICK Songster

    Apr 27, 2011
    Rio Linda, CA
    Thank you, Everyone!

    So, since my pullets are 9 weeks old and LOVE the dirt, worms, bugs and all things natural...it would be safe to stop the medicated Start-N-Grow? I can always save it for the next batch of chicks.

    They really don't eat much of what goes into their feeder anyway because they scratch for bugs and such all day long in their tractor -which I move every day to new ground. I also feed them plain Greek yogurt, mealworms and special treats like oatmeal with mixed veggies daily.

    Which would be better to feed them from this point on: 1)Flockbuilder? or 2)Layena? I have both of these on hand so I was hoping to use what I have.

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