Will medicated chick starter really kill laying hens? Another ? in OP


11 Years
Apr 20, 2008
Mid/UpState NY's Hudson Valley
The title says it all.. I read this on yahoo answers but can't find anything else when googling that either supports or denies this statement.. the medicated chick starter will kill laying/adult hens.

I need to know.. I'm getting some chicks next week and plan on integrating them with my established flock as soon as they feather out..

eta to clarify: The babies will be in a small pen inside the coop under their lamp.. while unlikely.. food could possibly be spilled and scattered to the main coop floor... where the adult hens are.. So my worry was that, even though it is a remote possibility, medicated chick feed could pose an problem.
I won't use medicated after a month or so.. I don't usually use it but these chicks are hatchery (by mail) chicks and I don't want to risk my flocks or the new chicks.. so I thought I'd medicate them for a few weeks..

New Question: 9/25
So, my local feed stores offer limited choices..but one offers Grower's Pellets.. I assume this is a better choice than feeding layer pellets to a mixed flock (ages and genders).. Can Grower's Pellets be fed indef..? Or does it need to be stopped at a certain age? If I can't get Flock Raiser.. what are my options for a group of hens, mixed ages and a rooster.. if they all eat out of the same container and partitioning them off isn't an option?

Would mixing Grower's and Layer's pellets be a safe option? Or would they be ODing on the calcium too
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Um, we've started our Buff Orps and our Ameraucanas on medicated chick feed. We wean to regular chick crumble at 4-5 weeks.

No feed-related deaths so far...

Hmmm...??? Interesting notion....
Chick feed will not kill layers. I've done that when I merge the young chicks with adults wihtout a problem. Not a good idea if you are to keep the chick starter on them full time. A short time will be fine.
It hasnt hurt my hens at all and they've been on it a couple weeks now - we got an awesome deal over 50% off several bags and put my 5mo old BO's on it then 2 weeks ago we seperated the roo's and put the BO pullet's in with the Australorps and they are sharing the medicated feed cause I dont want the BO's on layer feed to soon. Though they'll be going to layer shortly as we are one the last bag of starter. Hopefully they'll start laying soon!
Why would medicated feed kill hens? Silly. Yahoo answers are free and you get what you pay for
The low level anti-cocci medicine will not do anything for the hens since they are immune to cocci by then. The only reason not to feed medicated chick starter to laying hens is the low calcium content and it is usually more expensive. But if your hens eat the odd bit, it is not going to do any harm.
The warning on the bag of medicated feed is for people who might eat egg from the hens and possibly be allergic to the medication. There is no scientific study to prove that Amprol, ( the medication in the feed) is harmful in anyway to people or animals. They just do not do much research on chickens in general.

I have given my hen medicated starter grower when I have run out of layer and it has never hurt them in any way. I have also eaten the eggs with no problems. I don't recommend this practice but it will not kill you hen.
It won't kill them straight out.

The layer feed has about 4 times the amount of calcium in it as the starter feeds and much less protein. Baby chicks don't need the extra calcium. The calium builds up over time and does cause problems in the kidneys and other organs and eventually will lead to severe health problems they cannot recover from.

Chicks need the higher protein in the starter feeds as they grow and develop at an accellerated rate.

Todays commercial chicken feeds are chemically and nutritonally formulated for the purpose stated on the bag: layer, starter, grower, finisher, broiler, etc.
So how do other people keep their birds eating the right food in a mixed flock? I have (4) 4 weeks old, (10) 5 weeks old, (8) 12 weeks old and (1) 20 week old (rooster) living in the same coop and yard.

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