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When to switch from medicated starter

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by happima, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. happima

    happima Chirping

    Sep 14, 2011
    San Francisco Bay Area
    My three month chicks are still eating their Purina starter. The large bag us still 1/3 full, but I'm thinking it may be time to switch to organic feed. They've been outside three weeks or so. Any guidance? And what to feed next?

  2. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Songster

    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    I switched to unmedicated starter/grower when they were about 6 weeks old. They'd been outside in the run for about 3 weeks or so, so I surmised that they'd had enough exposure to dirt/bacteria. They are doing great, I've had no problems. I did keep close watch to see if they would develop cocci but everyone is healthy and happy. Of course I've never had any chickens before so this might have been less of a problem for me, starting out with a new flock.
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    I just follow the old adage that they need exposure to dirt for a week or two while still on the blocker. It's just what I've always done and with success. I don't pretend it is only system, but it sure has worked for me. Since rarely are our temps warm enough to get them unto dirt until they are 6 weeks old, thus, I usually make the switch off the medicated at 8 weeks. Hope that helps.
  4. WitchChick

    WitchChick In the Brooder

    Nov 26, 2011
    We are new chicken owners...[​IMG]...mine are about 8 weeks old and I still have a good 1/3 of the starter. My chicks are outside during the day, but I bring them in at night into an XL kennel until our coop is done.
  5. lynnemabry

    lynnemabry Songster

    Jul 24, 2010
    Beautiful Lake County
    i switch when i buy the next bag. usually that means that everyone gets flock raiser until the young one grow up, then back to layer. i usually don't want t store an open bag of chick starter for 6 months.
  6. donnavee

    donnavee Songster

    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    I normally switch them at around 8 to 10 wks and never had any problems.
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    You can keep feeding them the Starter. It won't hurt them. When it runs out, you can either switch to Grower or Flock Raiser. When they start laying or hit 20 weeks, offer oyster shell on the side. If they need extra calcium for egg shells, they will eat the oyster shell. If they don't need it they won't eat much of it.

    Or, once they start laying, you can switch to Layer. It has extra calcium in it, but you can still offer oyster shell on the side. They just won't eat much and it will last a long, long time.

    It sounds like you don't have many chickens so the feed will last a long time. I'd think the Flock Raiser or Grower with oyster shells on the side would probably be your best bet.

    One issue is to see what the "medicine" is in the medicated feed. Usually it is Amprolium or an Amprolium like product, but sometimes it is something else or something else with Amprolium. You need to know what the medicine is so you can look at the withdrawal period before you eat the eggs. Amprolium is a confusing one. Some people in authority say you don't need a withdrawal period. Just stop feeding it and then you can eat the eggs. Some people warn that you need a withdrawal period. I like what a bird vet said. It should not be a problem because the Amprolium is not absorbed through their intestinal walls that easily, but in light of the different advice, a one week withdrawal period makes sense just to be safe. If the medicine is not Amprolium, then you need to know what that medicine is before you can look at withdrawal period.

    I'd keep feeding the Starter until I had a reason to change or it ran out, them switch. That feed is expensive.

  8. LaurenLauren2007

    LaurenLauren2007 In the Brooder

    Nov 7, 2011
    This is all great information! I was going to ask the exact same question..... glad I looked first [​IMG] My babies are 4 weeks old and still in their brooder. I have them on Purina medicated right now because they feel the need to eat doo doo [​IMG] Is this normal?
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Animals eating poo, especially young animals, is very normal in the animal kingdom. Poo had a lot of partially digested nutrition plus it is a grreat way for young animals to get the right probiotics into their system.

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